Here’s proof Jiri Hudler’s climb to the top of the NHL’s scoring list has gone with relative anonymity.

After the morning skate in anticipation of Friday’s clash with the New Jersey Devils Chico Resch — the colour commentator for the visiting team’s television broadcast — mistakenly approached Calgary Flames dressing room attendant Ben Dumaine believing him to be Hudler since he was lacing up skates at the forward’s dressing-room stall.

“Wouldn’t be so bad being third in league scoring” Dumaine noted via Twitter the next day.

Hudler is technically third because of his two goals but is tied with Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders and Alex Galchenyuk of the Montreal Canadiens with seven points prior to Saturday’s NHL action.

“It’s five games in. It’s nice but that doesn’t mean anything” Hudler said after Saturday’s practice at the Saddledome. “The way we play it’s a lot of fun. Every game is exciting. Everybody’s buying in playing hard. Of course we’re going to make mistakes it’s going to happen and totally normal but you can tell the bench everybody’s in.”

Count Hudler in too.

Last season the free-agent acquisition also had a fast start to the season — seven points in five games — but the wheels fell off. This time the numbers may be the same — with points in each of the five tilts — but he insists there’s a difference.

“I didn’t feel as well as I feel right now” said the winger who’s notorious for avoiding media interviews. “It seems like a regular hockey season. My game’s on the way it should be — you start training camp settle in make sure you’re ready for it physically and focus.

“Last year was hectic (after the lockout). This is just better.”

Moreover the forward who also battled through the sudden death of his father on the eve of last season has taken more of an leadership role.

“Totally different guy” Hartley said. “We can talk about all the new additions and everything but him and (Dennis Wideman) are definitely two of our leaders and two guys that starting from day one of training camp they were totally different players for us.