The international break in November gives us a chance to take a look at the SDHL standings after the first two months of play.
The table is slightly misleading as each team has played a differing amount of games - so that both MODO Hockey and Linköping HC have played 19 games whereas last year's winners Luleå/ MSSK have only played 13.
That said, it is MODO Hockey that lead the table, and indeed, a top group of five teams that are stretching away from their rivals. That is in descending order HV71, Leksand IF, Linköping HC, and Luleå and all with 10 or more wins so far this season.
Swiss Olympian Lara Stalder may have missed five games at the start of the season, but has already asserted herself at the top of Total Points. Last year's top goal scorer lies in second on goals with 15, third in assists with 17 and therefore leads with 32 points so far for Linköping HC.
Her teammate Pernilla Winberg, one of the few Swedes from the 2006 Olympics Games silver medal team left playing, is the top scoring Swede with 29 (10G + 19A). Behind her lies Anna Borgqvist (LIF), Emma Nordin (LHF) and Hanna Olsson (DIF). But these four home grown players are the only natives in the top 20 on Total Points, where import players dominate. The top 10 contains one Swiss, four Canadian, four Finns and then Winberg as the only Swede.
However, Swedish keeper, Sara Grahn also leads the way in net with a 94,76% SVS for Luleå. Spaniard, Alba Gonzalo is in second place for HV71 and in third is 22 year old, Swede, Julia Åberg (LIF).
The question still remains in my mind, who can hold back the favourites for the series, Luleå? They still gave 6 games in hand on the league leaders, and if Grahn continues in this fine form and Finnish trio of Jenni Hiirikoski, Michelle Karvinen, Noora Tulus and Swede, Nordin continue to find the net at the same rate they are surely almost unstoppable.
Statistics correct as of 29 October