HOT: ATTAWAY, SAN JOSE
Antti Niemi's 1.80 GAA helped the Sharks to a 7-0-1 start. With 14 points at week's end Patrick Marleau (above) led the NHL's fourth-highest scoring offense, while Michal Handzus's two shootout goals made him 18 for 34 (52.9%) in his 13-year career, third-best ever.
NOT: ONE AND DONE
Number 1 Michigan's loss last Saturday was the third time since Dec. 15 (after Duke and Louisville) that the No. 1 team has fallen. Indiana (20--2), which beat the Wolverines 81--73, moved back to No. 1 after unranked Oklahoma State's win over No. 2 Kansas.
HOT: GATOR CHOMP
Florida's got the bit between its teeth. The No. 2 Gators (18--2) are chewing up the SEC: In eight games their average victory margin is 27 points. Says PG Scottie Wilbekin of Florida's approach, "We want to take teams' hearts out in the first four minutes of games."
NOT: CAPITAL PAINS
The Caps were drilled 6--3 at home by the Penguins on Sunday—their seventh loss in their first nine games. Before the game, LW Alex Ovechkin characterized the team's situation as a "desperate moment." The problem? Washington is scoring just 2.3 goals a game (26th in the league).
HOT: LODO AGLOW
The Nuggets are 21--8 since Dec. 5, winning six straight through Sunday and climbing to sixth in the West. Want scoring? Denver's well-balanced offense delivers. Small forward Danilo Gallinari's 17.0 ppg leads a team that's fourth in points (104.0 per game) and second in assists (23.8).
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (GALLINARI)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (WILBEKIN)
GEOFF BURKE/USA TODAY SPORTS (OVECHKIN)
LARRY MACDOUGAL/THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES (MARLEAU)