Concussions? Yawn. Suspensions? Nah.

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

It would be easy to harp on the NHL and its players for all those concussions suffered in the first week of action as well as in the pre-season.

Or to chastise the 700-strong members of the NHLPA for the culture which has led to the on-ice gestures that resulted in James Wisniewski's two-game suspension, or Nick Boynton's one-game banishment.

Instead of dwelling on the negativity, I'd rather focus on a positive early-season trend.

Comebacks.

For those of us who hated how seemingly every one-goal lead was air-tight in the pre-lockout era, the number of third-period comebacks already this season has been a godsend.

Sure, goal scoring throughout the NHL could be higher, but as a fan, how can you not enjoy seeing teams erase deficits and win?

The Los Angeles Kings have done it twice in their first three games.

The Colorado Avalanche twice erased deficits in the same game before beating the Detroit Red Wings in a shootout.

The Anaheim Ducks netted their first victory of the season by stunning the Vancouver Canucks.

The Tampa Bay Lightning spoiled the Montreal Canadiens' home-opener.

This is what the obstruction crackdown was supposed to help create. Scoring chances which lead to goals which lead to more exciting finishes.

Hockey is supposed to be entertaining. Games like those make it so.

It's not acceptable for clashes to be as mind-numbing as the slasher movies released in time for Halloween.

Thankfully, the league is putting up some quality productions.

FLAMING C-NOTES

This was a question before Adam Pardy suffered a dislocated shoulder: Why weren't the Flames dressing Steve Staios instead? It was a bad trade by GM Darryl Sutter to make at the deadline last year -- giving up a third-round pick for a player at that age and with that cap hit when the playoffs were a pipe dream -- but Staios was good enough in training camp to be a starter when the season opened ... Rookie defence-man T.J. Brodie has had a few scary moments to start his career, but here's to hoping the Flames remain willing to live with a few mistakes. It'll pay dividends down the road because you can see he knows how to think the game and has the speed and agility to recover ... We're still trying to figure out the reason Raitis Ivanans fought Edmonton's Steve MacIntyre in the season- opener. Then again, pundits up north were saying it had something to do with Ivanans high sticking Oilers rookie Magnus Paajarvi. If that's the case, it's pure bunk. Ivanans hit Paajarvi's mouth when he followed through while shooting a puck. It was nothing like Donald Brashear or Chris Simon. If players have to answer for body checks and accidental high sticks, the game is in trouble. Payback for intent with a stick and cheap hits is deserved, but this is out of control.

HOCKEY TALKY

Anybody else find it priceless to hear Mike Milbury on CBC chastising teams for signing players to long-term contracts? He did it again after the Boston Bwruins signed Zdeno Chara to a seven- year pact. Milbury was the GM of the New York Islanders when they signed Alexei Yashin to a 10-year, US$87.5- million deal. For the record, he was not there when Rick DiPietro received that 15-year, $67.5-million contract ... Hello, Derek Stepan, and welcome to the New York Rangers. Good luck with those expectations after an NHL-debut hat trick ... Sure would have liked to wager in Las Vegas that Pavel Datsyuk would be the first player to record a Gordie Howe hat-trick this season. Datsyuk, who's won the Lady Byng Trophy four times, fought Corey Perry after netting a goal and an assist in a 4-0 win over the Ducks. It started a trend, too, with New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk and Washington's Mike Green dropping the mitts.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

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