In 4 mixed video games in opposition to the Avalanche and Golden Knights this month, the Bruins compiled seven of a doable eight factors and a 3-0-1 file. Naturally, the workforce additionally suffered a regulation loss to the Coyotes. But not even that blunder can knock Boston from its perch atop the remainder of the league.
Allow me to take every week off from gushing about Mitch Marner in order that I can gush about William Nylander. He exploded for a five-point sport within the Maple Leafs’ win over the Flames on Saturday, and he now has 17 targets and 33 factors in 30 video games. As if opposing groups did not have already got their palms full with Marner and Auston Matthews, Nylander can be taking part in at an elite degree.
A 3rd-round choose within the 2017 NHL Draft, Fabian Zetterlund has entrenched himself within the Devils’ lineup as a rookie. Zetterlund has 5 targets and 13 factors in 24 video games, and he has an on-ice purpose differential of plus-11 at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick. Where do the Devils discover these guys?
Steven Stamkos has now prolonged his level streak to 14 video games, and he has 9 targets and 21 factors in that stretch. After breaking 100 factors for the primary time in his profession final season, Stamkos is poised to do the identical factor this yr. Like a high-quality bourbon barrel, Stamkos solely will get higher with age.
With Freddie Andersen sidelined as a consequence of damage, the Hurricanes have turned to rookie Pyotr Kochetkov in purpose these days, and he has answered the decision. In his 12 appearances, Kochetkov has posted a 2.02 GAA and a .926 save proportion. According to Natural Stat Trick, Kochetkov has saved 6.40 targets above common, which is definitely the very best mark of any Hurricanes goaltender.
With so many thrilling younger gamers throughout the NHL, it may be just a little too straightforward to overlook about Sidney Crosby, who continues to be one of the crucial dominant gamers on this planet. With 17 targets and 38 factors in 29 video games performed, Crosby is on tempo for among the best seasons of his profession, and he must be proper within the combine to win the third Hart Trophy.
Early within the season, I doubted the Jets as a result of they had been getting shelled at five-on-five whereas Connor Hellebuyck mixed the powers of Dominik Hasek and Martin Brodeur in purpose. However, during the last couple of weeks, Winnipeg’s underlying numbers have improved. Since Nov. 29, the Jets rank eleventh within the league with a five-on-five anticipated targets share of 52.25%, per Natural Stat Trick.
The Golden Knights are 4-3-0 of their final seven video games, however that schedule options video games in opposition to the Penguins, Rangers, and two in opposition to the Bruins. It’s exhausting to knock Vegas for sputtering a bit in opposition to these golf equipment. Their schedule is about to get a lot simpler, and I’d anticipate the Golden Knights to shut the calendar yr on a tear.
When the Stars traded a first-round choose for Nils Lundvist, a 2018 first-round choice who had but to do a lot on the NHL degree, I used to be a bit confused. To Dallas’ credit score, Lundqvist has actually began to come back into his personal together with his new workforce. Lundqvist was simply on a three-game level streak, and his underlying numbers have been strong, at the same time as his position has expanded.
Rookie defenseman Calen Addison, the No. 53 total choose within the 2018 NHL Draft, is beginning to impress. Not solely does Addison have 15 factors in 27 video games, however the Wild are additionally controlling 53.15% of the anticipated targets with him on the ice at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick.
All is effectively at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers have now received 4 straight, and their newest win was an exhilarating comeback victory in opposition to the rival New Jersey Devils. Fans can put away these panic buttons — or at the very least have them prepared for the state’s New York Football Giants as an alternative.
The Kraken have cooled off a bit these days, and that’s in all probability as a result of the offense is now performing extra in keeping with expectations. Seattle has generated simply 82.22 anticipated targets, per Natural Stat Trick, however the workforce has over-performed significantly in that division with 98 precise targets.
Mikko Rantanen scored a hat trick within the Avs’ additional time win in opposition to the Blues on Sunday to deliver his whole to 19 tallies in 26 video games performed. With Nathan MacKinnon on the shelf for a number of weeks, Rantanen must be one of many gamers who picks up the slack, and to date he has finished simply that.
One of the large explanation why the Islanders have been higher than anticipated to date this season is the play of Brock Nelson. In 2021-22, Nelson set a profession excessive in targets with 37, and he’s on tempo to blow by that quantity this season. Nelson already has 14 targets in 30 video games, and that leads the remainder of the workforce by a large margin.
The Oilers are attempting to white-knuckle their approach to the playoffs with 33% of the forwards doing all of the scoring. Evander Kane, who has not performed 5 weeks as a consequence of damage, is fifth on the workforce in targets with 5. That is an issue the Oilers want to unravel between now and the postseason. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are good, however they want just a little extra assist than what they’re at the moment getting.
In basic Alex Ovechkin trend, he entered Tuesday evening’s sport in opposition to the Blackhawks needing three targets to succeed in No. 800. Of course, Ovechkin discovered a approach to rating a hat trick and attain that milestone. Now, Ovechkin wants simply two targets to go the nice Gordie Howe on the all-time checklist.
Is that Jonathan Huberdeau’s music? After a gradual begin, Huberdeau is beginning to heat up for the Flames. He has 9 factors in his final 9 video games, and that’s an encouraging signal for Calgary. Huberdeau nonetheless has one other gear to his sport, and it looks as if he’s getting nearer to hitting it.
On Tuesday, captain Bo Horvat needed to launch an announcement saying he’s positively centered on taking part in the remainder of the season in Vancouver, and he’s completely not serious about a commerce. That’s at all times an excellent signal. The Canucks merely should not have the vibes of a workforce that has received six of its final 9 video games.
Aleksander Barkov has had some powerful luck within the goal-scoring division this season. He has generated a complete of 8.05 anticipated targets, per Natural Stat Trick, however he has solely scored six. On prime of that, his 7.4% taking pictures proportion is effectively under his profession common of 13.8%. Barkov goes to search out his groove sooner or later, particularly if he retains taking part in with Matthew Tkachuk.
On Saturday, David Perron performed in his 1,000th NHL sport, and he recorded a purpose in Detroit’s additional time loss to Dallas. Perron has by no means been a celebrity on the NHL degree, however he has remained a extremely productive participant all through his 18-year profession. That has continued this season as Perron has 9 targets and 21 factors via 28 video games.
Los Angeles is having some hassle conserving the puck out of its personal web. The Kings have now given up six targets in back-to-back video games, and that’s nonetheless three targets shy of essentially the most they’ve allowed in a single sport this season. Leaky protection and poor goaltending is a nasty mixture, and it’s at the moment sinking the Kings.
Since Thomas Chabot returned to the lineup, the Senators are 6-2-1. He makes a world of distinction for that blue line, and with Artem Zub now sidelined as a consequence of damage, Chabot’s presence means much more. With Chabot on the ice at five-on-five, Ottawa has managed 52.63% of the anticipated targets, and he’s typically matched up with the opponent’s greatest gamers.
An undrafted prospect, defenseman Arber Xhekaj has come out of nowhere to play a big position for the Canadiens this season. Xhekaj has performed up and down the lineup on protection, and at 6-foot-4 and 238 kilos, he has thrown his weight round with some thunderous hits. I’m unsure what to make of Xhekaj’s long-term future simply but, however I do know he’s enjoyable to look at.
Half of the Predators’ opening evening defensemen are injured, they only misplaced former first-round choose Eeli Tolvanen for nothing after placing him on waivers, the offense is struggling mightily, they usually have misplaced 4 video games in a row. This workforce is trending within the mistaken route.
Jeff Skinner obtained a three-game suspension for making an attempt to rearrange Jake Guentzel’s enamel, however apart from that, this season has been easy crusing for him. Skinner has fashioned fairly a reference to Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch, and it has benefited all three of them. Skinner himself is on tempo to set profession highs throughout the board.
It has been a tough season to date for defenseman Torey Krug. He has been capable of generate some offense, however the Blues have struggled with him on the ice. According to Natural Stat Trick, Krug has an on-ice purpose differential of minus-13 at five-on-five. That cannot be attributed fully to him as a result of the goaltending has been suspect, however he’s struggling nonetheless.
20-year-old rookie Kent Johnson made the workforce out of camp, and he has give Blue Jackets followers a cause to be optimistic in regards to the future. Johnson has six factors and 14 factors via 25 video games, and he has finished so in a restricted position. It’ll be attention-grabbing to see whether or not Brad Larsen offers him extra accountability because the season progresses.
One of the few vibrant spots for the Flyers as of late is Kevin Hayes. After a disastrous 2021-22 season wherein he was hampered by damage, Hayes’ manufacturing has bounced again this yr. Hayes has 9 targets in 29 video games, which is only one lower than he scored final season in 48 video games. Hayes is effectively on his approach to the most efficient season of his profession.
The Mullett Arena magic is again in full power. On Friday evening, the Coyotes took down the No. 1 workforce in these energy rankings, and two days later they received an additional time thriller in opposition to the Flyers. Even if the Coyotes are one of many worst groups within the NHL, they’ve been enjoyable to look at lately.
Timo Meier did not rating a purpose within the first 10 video games of the season. Since then, he has scored 14 occasions in 21 video games. It seemed like his gradual begin was going to price Meier on his subsequent contract, wherever that is likely to be, however he has made up for that after which some in latest weeks.
What do the Blackhawks need for Christmas? Probably some targets. They have scored a whopping 9 targets in December and had been shutout in back-to-back video games in opposition to the Islanders and Devils. This workforce desires to tank, however being entertaining within the course of could not harm.
The Ducks’ purpose differential of minus-60 is the worst within the league by 24 targets. In case you had been questioning, that comes out to a deficit of two.0 targets per sport. Not solely is Anaheim dropping video games in bunches, however it’s getting crushed within the course of.
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