Islanders forward enjoying magical start

Some of the best storylines in the NHL involve goaltenders and some of the dramas should become more interesting.

Updated: November 6, 2003, 12:41 PM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
Some different names always crop up among statistical leaders early in the season but one name is conspicuously hanging around longer after the first month.

Mariusz Czerkawski of the New York Islanders is tied for fifth in scoring with 14 points and tied for second in goals with nine. The 31-year-old native of Poland has always been skilled offensively but what's most surprising is that Czerkawski has already surpassed last season's goals total (five) and matched his points total from 44 games last season with Montreal.

"That was the low point in my career, and basically, it was either I make it here or I pack my bags and go back to Europe," Czerkawski told The Ottawa Citizen. "This is my second chance and I have to try and make the most of it. I'm not trying to get too high because I know what the lows are like on the other side, but it's nice to have that feeling again. You try and believe in yourself."