Welcome to the NHL Star Power Index: A weekly gauge of the gamers who’re controlling substantial buzz across the league. When a participant is included on this record it will not be a very good factor — it implies that they’re capturing a considerable amount of the hockey world’s consideration.
These gamers are in no specific order in relation to the quantity of buzz that they are creating. We’ll revisit the Star Power Index each week all through the common season.
Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin continued his ascent on the NHL’s all-time targets record. On Friday, Ovechkin tallied two targets in opposition to the Winnipeg Jets and handed Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe for the No. 2 spot on the league’s all-time targets record.
For his first aim of the night time, Ovechkin intercepted a cross within the impartial zone and dished the puck off to teammate Dylan Strome. Strome dropped a cross off to Ovechkin, who fired the puck previous goaltender David Rittich to present the Capitals a 1-0 lead.
After tying Howe with the 801st aim of his skilled profession, it appeared as if Ovechkin could have to attend till after Christmas to cross Howe for sole possession of the No. 2 spot on the NHL’s all-time targets record. But the Capitals winger obtained his second within the solar with simply 60 seconds remaining within the recreation.
Ovechkin was capable of bury an empty-netter after the Jets had pulled Rittich in an try to climb again into the competition. As quickly because the puck crossed the aim line, the 37-year-old star was mobbed by the whole Capitals roster after he accomplished the historic second.
Ovechkin now has 802 profession targets to his credit score, which is simply 92 targets behind Wayne Gretzky’s all-time file of 894. Reaching Gretzky’s all-time mark is actually attainable for Ovechkin, assuming he is capable of keep wholesome over the subsequent few years.
Since Mitch Marner’s record-setting level streak got here to an finish, William Nylander has turn out to be the newest member of the Toronto Maple Leafs to hold the scoring torch.
Nylander has scored a aim in every of his final 4 video games and has tallied eight targets and 7 assists throughout the month of December. The 26-year-old star’s newest nice efficiency got here in dramatic trend in a Maple Leafs’ 5-4 additional time win in opposition to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.
Nylander scored the game-winning aim in additional time. Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko was drifting again in direction of the blue line within the offensive line when Nylander picked his spot. Nylander discovered himself in on their lonesome on Blues netminder Jordan Binnington and roofed a backhanded shot in for the game-winning aim with simply 56.7 seconds left in additional time.
Nylander’s aptitude for the dramatic produced the seventh victory in 9 video games for the Maple Leafs, together with the crew’s third consecutive win. Nylander is coming off of a career-high 80-point season (34 targets & 46 assists) and definitely may eclipse that throughout the 2022-23 marketing campaign. The Maple Leafs star presently has 40 factors (21 targets & 19 assists) and is on tempo for 94 factors (49 targets & 45 assists) this season.
The Boston Bruins’ second line is chargeable for the crew being an absolute juggernaut. The mixture of veteran heart David Krejci’s artful passing and David Pastrnak’s deadly scoring prowess has actually elevated the Bruins to the NHL’s elite. Pastrnak presently leads the crew in factors (48), targets (24), assists (24), power-play targets (10), and pictures (175) whereas being tied for the crew lead in power-play assists (12).
Prior to Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Bruins star had scored a minimum of one aim in 4 consecutive video games. In addition, Pastrnak has registered a minimum of one level in all however one in December.
His most spectacular exhibiting got here in opposition to the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 23 when he scored a pair of second interval targets in a 4-3 win. Both of these tallies got here off assists from Krejci.
Pastrnak’s offensive acumen has been one of many prime the explanation why the Bruins are sitting on the prime of the NHL standings because the New Year approaches. If this dynamic degree of play continues, it’ll be powerful to derail this Boston crew in a seven-game playoff sequence.
After a tough first two months to open the 2022-23 season, Andrei Vasilevskiy has returned to elite standing.
The Tampa Bay Lightning netminder has registered a 6-2-0 file to go together with a staggering 1.63 goals-against-average and a .945 save proportion. Vasilevskiy has additionally surrendered two targets or fewer in seven of his eight begins all through the month.
Over his final three video games, Vasilevskiy has yielded a grand complete of 4 targets and turned apart 83 of the 87 pictures that he is confronted. He’s additionally given up only one aim apiece in a pair of victories in opposition to the Montreal Canadiens in latest weeks.
After stopping 25-of-26 pictures in a 4-1 win in opposition to the Canadiens on Wednesday, Vasilevskiy’s file improved to 50-32-3 throughout the 2022 calendar yr. It marks his second consecutive calendar yr during which he is registered a minimum of 50 wins. Only Martin Brodeur (5: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, & 2007) and Patrick Roy (three: 1996, 2000, & 2001) have recorded a minimum of 50 wins in a calendar yr in a number of seasons throughout their careers.
With Vasilevskiy returning to elite kind, the Lightning have loved a terrific month of December during which they have been victorious in eight of their 11 video games. The franchise will look to proceed to climb within the standings because the All-Star break approaches using on the again of their gifted goalie.
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