The Avs have now won five in a row and nine of their last 10, and young defenseman Cale Makar has reached another level. He does real games, like putting Chicago’s Kirby Dach in a mixer on an overtime goal, but Colorado also controls 57.47 percent of expected five-on-five goals with him on the ice.
Jonathan Huberdeau is in tears right now. He’s accumulated 13 points in his last five games, and Huberdeau’s 46 points this season puts him tied with Nazem Kadri for fourth in the NHL.
Carolina had a pair of tough games with a back-to-back set against the Flames and Panthers. They managed to collect three of four possible points with an impressive victory over Calgary and a tough overtime loss to Florida.
The Maple Leafs were really fortunate enough to assert themselves last week, and it looked like they were close to doing so when they held a 4-1 lead over the Avalanche. However, Toronto left the door open and Colorado fought back for an overtime victory. It was a missed opportunity for the Leafs.
Pittsburgh has just had its 10-game winning streak interrupted, and it is still only fourth in the Metropolitan Division. However, the Penguins still have games in hand against the Rangers and Capitals, and they’ve widened a 12-point gap between themselves and the closest teams.
Victor Hedman is now second on the Lightning in points behind only Steven Stamkos, and he’s been dominating all season. Hedman played big minutes for Tampa and he was effective against everyone. The Lightning controls an absurd 58.0% of expected goals when Hedman is on the ice five-on-five.
The Predators have another winning streak in the works, but unlike the last one, Juuse Saros has done most of the heavy lifting lately. Nashville has been outdone five-on-five in its last few games, but Saros has been exceptional. He is now second in the NHL for above average goals at 17.61.
The Blues had one of the most exhilarating victories of the season, scoring two power play goals in the last minute of regulation to defeat the Stars. It may come as a surprise, but it was Jordan Kyrou who scored the game-winning goal at 19:31 of the third period.
Like many other teams, the Rangers are struggling with roster issues due to COVID-19 protocols. Most notably, goaltender Igor Shesterkin hasn’t played since Jan. 2. In relief, Alexandar Georgiev allowed five goals on 35 shots against the Golden Knights.
Vegas had some bad luck last week. He went 1-2 and even lost a game to the Blackhawks, but the team controlled a high percentage of expected goals five-on-five in every game. If the rebounds had caught on, it could have been a much better weekend for the Golden Knights.
Minnesota has struggled to get into any pace lately. The Wild have played three games in the past three weeks, but the good news is they lost 2-0 last week. They’re one of the best teams in the league when it rolls around, but Minnesota hasn’t been on the ice enough to make that happen.
Last week I argued that David Pastrnak was due for a hot streak, but had no idea it was coming so soon. In the Bruins’ four games last week, Pastrnak scored five goals. Unsurprisingly, Boston went 3-1-0 in that streak.
If there’s one important question about this Capitals team, it’s whether the goalies can hold on enough to get them deep into the playoffs. Washington is 0-2-2 in January and goaltenders have been poor in that streak. Will the Caps find an answer in the trio of Ilya Samsonov, Vitek Vanacek and Zach Fucale?
Los Angeles are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, and the team is just four points behind the Anaheim Ducks with two games in hand. With the downfall of the Flames and Oilers, it opened the door for the Kings, and they took full advantage of that opportunity.
Sonny Milano has been a pleasant surprise for the Ducks this year. Not only has he already reached a career high in points, but the team have had great success with him on the ice. The Ducks control 59.86% of expected goals when Milano is on the ice, which is the highest rating of any player on the squad with more than one game played.
Rick Bowness’ pockets will be a little light for a while. The Stars saw a key division game slip away when the Blues scored two power play goals in the last minute of the game to win 2-1, and Bowness responded by mercilessly beating the bench with a hockey stick. This earned him a fine of $ 25,000.
The Jets continue to be plagued by inconsistency, and it’s killing the team’s chances in the playoffs. If Winnipeg is serious about making a strong playoff push in a competitive Western Conference, it can’t afford to keep taking one step forward and one step back.
The Flames have lost three straight and are 3-6-1 in their last 10. Goalkeeper Jacob Markstrom has faltered a bit during this time. Substitute Dan Vladar has even started the last two games for the squad, but has allowed a total of 10 goals in those games. From his story, Markstrom should be fine, but it’s something to watch out for.
Vancouver hasn’t played a game since New Years Day, which is unfortunate as the team was on a roll before this hiatus. Can the Canucks regain that momentum when they pick up against the Panthers on Tuesday night?
The Islanders are in the same boat as the Canucks, but they will be an incredibly busy team for the next few weeks with some games postponed. The Isles may be the only team that can make the Eastern Conference playoff run interesting, but they have a lot of work to do to make it happen.
Timo Meier has seven points in his last four games and is well ahead of the pace needed to reach a career high point in terms of points. The 25-year-old has a year left on his current contract, and he will be on the line for a hefty salary if that continues.
Philadelphia has lost five straight games. With the playoffs becoming more of a pipe dream with each passing day, it’s fair to wonder what the team will do before the trade deadline. Claude Giroux is an unrestricted free agent this summer, so the longtime Flyer could be on the move over the next few months.
Don’t look now, but the Oilers are sitting outside the playoff photo. It would have seemed impossible after the team’s hot start, but Edmonton hasn’t won a game since December 18. To make matters worse, COVID-19 has decimated the Oilers roster. If things don’t change soon, the squad will waste another one with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisitl on the roster.
Columbus is way behind in the playoff race, and that’s probably because they’re one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL. The Blue Jackets are 28th in the league in expected goals against 60 minutes.
The Senators haven’t played a game since being beaten 6-0 by the Maple Leafs, but given the length of the season, fans might not be complaining.
Chicago will be in the spotlight for a long time after Cale Makar stripped Kirby Dach to win overtime. The Blackhawks followed that game by losing to the anemic Coyotes. They did, however, end the week with a victory over the Golden Knights. Hockey is sometimes a strange game.
The Kraken went from a decent team with horrible goalkeepers earlier in the year to a horrible team with horrible goalkeepers last month. During that span, Seattle has controlled just 42.30 percent of expected five-on-five goals.
Detroit is coming out of the playoff race quickly, but Lucas Raymond still leads all rookies with 30 points. He calmed down a bit late, but Raymond still looks like a player whose fan base should be motivated to move forward.
With an injury to Jonathan Bernier, Mackenzie Blackwood has started the Devils’ last six games. During this time, Blackwood really struggled. He has allowed at least three goals in five of those games.
There are already rumors that defenseman Jacob Chychrun is on the trade block with Arizona asking for a fortune in return. He hasn’t played since December 10 due to injury and COVID-19 protocol, but the Coyotes could sell low on Chychrun. After a big year in 2020-21, Chychrun has just seven points in 26 games, and his underlying numbers are rather disheartening.
It’s really hard to find a bright spot in Buffalo these days, and former No. 1 overall pick Rasmus Dahlin looks lost. His 22 points are second on the team, but the Sabers roll with him on the ice five-on-five. The team have only 43.82% of the goals expected with him on the ice.
The Canadiens only played one game in January, and it was a loss to the Panthers. It’s hard to get out of the basement if you aren’t able to earn points at all.