Too early to say Eichel among the greats

Michael Finewax
Rotoworld

There has been a lot of talk lately with the year that Jack Eichel is having, that the 2015 Entry Draft had the best top-two ever in the history of the NHL Draft.

No way!

First of all, it is way too early in their careers and you never know what injuries can do to a career.

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The best top-two thus far have been Guy Lafleur and Marcel Dionne who were drafted in 1971. Both are in the Hall of Fame with Lafleur scoring 560 goals and 1353 points in 1127 career games while Dionne had 731 goals and 1771 points in an amazing career.

You can argue that Pierre Turgeon and Brendan Shanahan in 1987 have been stellar as well with Turgeon scoring 515 goals and 1327 points while Shanahan was one of the top all-time power forwards with 656 goals and 1354 points.

There is little doubt that Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin have been studs in their careers with only injuries to Malkin holding back their greatness.

Add in a couple of other years like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau in 1997 and Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty in 2008 as well as the 2013 year which saw Nathan MacKinnon and Aleksander Barkov go 1-2, and it is definitely not a slam-dunk, especially with this being Eichel’s first outstanding season.

Let’s wait until near the end of their careers before making such statements.

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WEEK OF DECEMBER 16-22

4 Games – Anaheim, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Nashville, Ottawa

3 Games - Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Vegas, Washington,Winnipeg

Anaheim and Nashville play all four games on the road.

Boston, Columbus, the New York Rangers, San Jose and Vancouver play three games at home.

Los Angeles, Montreal and Pittsburgh play three games on the road.

INJURIES

Evgeni Malkin is day-to-day with an illness. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ New Jersey, @ New York Islanders, @ New York Rangers

Tired: @ New York Rangers (Sunday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Ducks play a pair of back-to-back games this week so look for John Gibson and Ryan Miller to split the net. Josh Manson returned to action Tuesday after missing six-and-a-half weeks with a sprained ACL. Devin Shore finally scored his first of the season Sunday. It took him 16 games to do so. Nick Ritchie is the Ducks top penalty minutes player with 54 in 27 games but will be out another five-nine weeks after spraining his MCL a week ago. Hampus Lindholm has yet to find the back of the net in 24 games but he does have 12 helpers. The Ducks have scored only 10 power play goals in 32 games. They have five shorthanded goals and are nearly as dangerous when down a man as they are with the man-advantage.

ARIZONA

Games this week

@ San Jose, vs. Minnesota, @ Detroit

Tired: None

Rested: @ Detroit (Sunday)

Notes

The Coyotes moved back on top of the Pacific with a 5-2 win over Chicago Thursday. Darcy Kuemper continues to shine as he won his fourth straight, to improve his record to 14-6-2 with a 1.97 GAA and a .935 save percentage. Niklas Hjalmarsson is on schedule to return to the lineup in early-mid January. He has been skating after fracturing his fibula on October 12. The Coyotes will be even stronger defensively upon his return. Jason Demers is week-to-week following a knee injury suffered Sunday. Barrett Hayton has been loaned to Team Canada for the World Junior Tournament over the Christmas holidays. He will benefit greatly from the experience and playing time.

BOSTON

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. New York Islanders, vs. Nashville

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Bruins are slumping as they have lost five in a row including one overtime loss to Chicago. They are still 20-7-6 and in top spot in the Atlantic Division standings but there is some reason to worry at this time as Boston relies heavily on their top line of Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron. The trio have combined for only three goals and nine points in the five losses and they have to be a lot better than that for Boston to be victorious as the remainder of the squad do not contribute enough. Bergeron returned to action this past week after missing eight of the previous nine games with a lower-body injury.

BUFFALO

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Philadelphia, vs. Los Angeles

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

Linus Ullmark has taken over as the number one netminder for the Sabres. Carter Hutton was the top guy in net and he won his first six games but is 0-5-4 since then, while Ullmark has won his last three in a row to move to 10-6-2. Jack Eichel has been outstanding this season and has 22 goals and 46 points in 33 games. He is currently on a league-high 15-game points streak in which he has 14 goals and 27 points. The Sabres were thrilled to get Rasmus Dahlin back in the lineup Thursday after missing eight games with a concussion. Dahlin played only 15:20 but managed an assist to give him 17 points in 25 contests. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Thursday that defenseman Zach Bogosian has requested a trade.

CALGARY

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Montreal, @ Dallas

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Flames are red-hot since interim coach Geoff Ward took over the team. They have a perfect 7-0-0 since he took over from Bill Peters and the Flames are right back in the Pacific Division race, only two points out of first. After going the first 27 games without a goal, Milan Lucic has scored three times in his last five games, including the 200th of his NHL career on December 7. Matthew Tkachuk missed Tuesday’s game against Arizona with an upper-body injury suffered Monday but was back in the lineup in the Flames 4-2 win over Toronto Thursday. Cam Talbot has won his two starts this week to give him three this season. Talbot gave up five goals on 81 shots as he was particularly great against Arizona Tuesday, stopping 46-of-48 shots.

CAROLINA

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, @ Colorado, vs. Florida

Tired: None

Rested: @ Colorado (Thursday), vs. Florida (Saturday)

Notes

The Hurricanes finish a five-game road trip this week before finally returning home to face Florida. Congratulations are in order for Sebastian Aho who scored his 100th career goal Tuesday, becoming the youngest player in Carolina history to accomplish the feat. He has 23 points in his last 20 games since the calendar switched to the month of November. Erik Haula is still out of action with a knee problem. He was injured on November 16th and is not on the Hurricanes trip to Western Canada. Martin Necas returned to action Thursday after missing four games with a lower-body injury. Andrei Svechnikov, the Canes outstanding sophomore, leads the team with 34 points, three better than Teuvo Teravainen.

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. Colorado, @ Winnipeg, @ Colorado

Tired: @ Winnipeg (Thursday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Blackhawks play three games in four nights. Corey Crawford and Robin Lehner have been splitting the net so it should be Lehner with a pair of starts this week. The Blackhawks play a pair of games against the Avalanche and if there is any rough stuff look for Dennis Gilbert, who was in two fights last week, to be in the middle of things. Jonathan Toews has three goals in his last five games. After scoring 35 times last season, plenty was expected from the captain, but he managed to find the back of the net only four times in the Blackhawks first 27 games and that killed his fantasy value to start the season. Calvin de Haan was placed on injured reserve this week after injuring his shoulder. It’s the same right shoulder that required off-season surgery that required a four-six month recovery.

COLORADO

Games this week

@ St. Louis, @ Chicago, vs. Carolina, vs. Chicago

Tired: vs. Carolina (Thursday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Avs play four games this week including three games in four nights. Philipp Grubauer is out with a lower-body injury and should be back this week. If so, look for he and Pavel Francouz to share the net as the Avs may not want to place a full load on Grubauer. The Avalanche play Chicago twice this week and have nine fighting majors thus far, led by Matt Calvert’s three. Ryan Graves has been a pleasant surprise as he leads the NHL in plus/minus at plus-23. The defenseman also has five goals and 12 points in 30 games with 29 penalty minutes. Mikko Rantanen has three goals and eight points in six games since his return to action from a lower-body injury that cost him almost six weeks of action.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Washington, @ Detroit, vs. Los Angeles, vs. New Jersey

Tired: @ Detroit (Tuesday)

Rested: vs. New Jersey (Saturday)

Notes

The Blue Jackets play three games in four nights as part of a four-game week. Joonas Korpisalo is likely to get three starts with Elvis Merzlikins playing once. After a tough game Monday against Washington, the Blue Jackets do not have the toughest of schedules, taking on bottom-dwellers Detroit, Los Angeles and New Jersey. Emil Bemstrom will miss the next six-eight weeks with a dislocated rib and broken cartilage. No one misses Artemi Panarin more than Cam Atkinson. Atkinson had 41 goals last season playing alongside Panarin but the Russian inked an off-season deal with the Rangers, giving Atkinson new linemates. He has only seven goals in 31 games thus far, including a two-goal effort Monday.

DALLAS

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, vs. Calgary

Tired: @ Florida (Friday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Stars play four games this week including three games in four nights. Ben Bishop will start two and likely three games this week with Anton Khudobin getting the remainder of the starts. Bishop has been great again this season as he is 12-6-2 with a 2.03 GAA and a .934 save percentage. He is a top-three goalie at this time in the NHL. The Stars fired their coach Jim Montgomery for ‘unprofessional conduct’ and replaced him with Rick Bowness for the remainder of the season. After being a healthy scratch last week, Alexander Radulov has a goal and three points in his last two contests. He has only nine goals and 18 points in 31 games after back-to-back 72-point seasons.

DETROIT

Games this week

vs. Columbus, @ Toronto, vs. Arizona

Tired: vs. Arizona (Sunday)

Rested: vs. Columbus (Tuesday), @ Toronto (Saturday)

Notes

The Red Wings finally did something Thursday that they haven’t done in a month…they won a hockey game. Detroit knocked off the Jets 5-2 for their first win for their first win in 14 games, the last one coming on November 12 when they beat Anaheim 4-3. The acquisition of Robby Fabbri has done wonders for Fabbri’s career as the former first round pick in the 2014 Draft, has 15 points in 16 games since coming over from St. Louis. He has given Detroit some much needed scoring. Danny DeKeyser could return this week from a lower-body injury that has kept him out of the lineup since October 22. Anthony Mantha may also be able to return this week as he has been out almost three weeks with a knee injury.

EDMONTON

Games this week

@ Dallas, @ St. Louis, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Montreal

Tired: vs. Montreal (Saturday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Oilers play four games this week as well as three in four nights. The Oilers have been splitting the net fairly evenly so expect to see Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen share the cage. The Oilers are 2-5-1 in their last eight games and have fallen out of first in the Pacific, trailing Arizona by two points and have given up 12 goals in their last two games. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl continue to go head-to-head for the NHL scoring lead. McDavid currently leads by two points, 57 to 55, as both have played 34 games. The last time two teammates have finished one-two, was in the lockout year of 2012-13 when Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis had 60 points in 48 games and Steven Stamkos finished second with 57.

FLORIDA

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Dallas, @ Carolina

Tired: @ Carolina (Saturday)

Rested: vs. Dallas (Friday)

Notes

The Panthers are in a battle for a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. They currently are in fifth place after a pair of losses this week to Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders. Fortunately, it is very close in the division as only four points separate second-place Buffalo (38 points) from sixth place Toronto. The Panthers are led in scoring by Jonathan Huberdeau who moved into second place all-time on the Panthers list with 396 points, trailing only Olli Jokinen who had 419 points in his Florida career. Huberdeau had 37 points in 31 games, one up on Aleksander Barkov. Sergei Bobrovsky is 11-8-4 this season with a 3.14 GAA and a .899 save percentage but he has been very good of late, giving up only six goals in his last four starts, on 142 shots.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

@ Boston, @ Columbus, @ Buffalo

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Kings complete their six-game road trip this week.  After an incredibly horrible start to the season in which he gave up 36 goals in seven October starts on only 254 shots, Jonathan Quick has been excellent of late. He has kept the Kings in games, giving up only six goals in his last four starts despite going only 2-2-0. He has yet to get a shutout this season but has lowered his GAA to 3.03 including the terrible month of October. Ilya Kovalchuk has now gone 16 straight games as a healthy scratch. Rasmus Kupari, a first-round pick of the Kings in the 2018 Draft and Tobias Bjornfot, the 22nd overall selection of the Kings this season, have been loaned to Finland and Sweden respectively for the World Junior Tournament. The duo have been seeing action in the AHL for most of the season. Tyler Toffoli scored Tuesday for the first time in 10 games.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

@ Vegas, @ Arizona, vs. Winnipeg

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

Devan Dubnyk has not played since November 16 due to a family matter as his wife is ill. The good news is that he has been on the ice this past week and could return for the upcoming week. The Wild have been relying on Alex Stalock for the most part with Kaapo Kahkonen also seeing some action. The Wild are 8-1-3 since Dubnyk’s last contest. The Wild have played only 12 of their 32 games at home. They are not getting a lot of scoring as only Jason Zucker and Zach Parise have scored in double digits as both have 12. Matt Dumba had 12 goals in 32 games last season before surgery to repair a ruptured right pectoralis muscle, ended his season last year. The defenseman has struggled this season with only three goals and nine points in 32 games.

MONTREAL

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton

Tired: None

Rested: @ Edmonton (Saturday)

Notes

The Canadiens are in Western Canada for all three games this week. Rookie goaltender Cayden Primeau picked up his first NHL win of his career Wednesday against the Senators. Montreal is hoping that Paul Byron is ready to go on December 14 as he has been out for four weeks after undergoing knee surgery. The winger has only a goal and four points in 19 games this season but has scored 20 or more goals twice in the previous three seasons. Tomas Tatar lead the Habs with 28 points and has two goals and four points in his last three games. Brendan Gallagher saw his four-game goal scoring streak come to an end on Wednesday but he still leads Montreal with 14 goals.

NASHVILLE

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ New York Islanders, @ Ottawa, @ Boston

Tired: @ New York Islanders (Tuesday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Predators are on the road for all four games this week including three games in four nights. Pekka Rinne should get the call in three games while Juuse Saros is likely to get one start in net. The Predators have given Rinne 17 of the team’s 30 starts with Saros also coming in to relieve Rinne on three occasions in addition to his 13 starts. The problem is that Saros has a 3.04 GAA and a .894 save percentage. No wonder the Predators are in sixth place in the Central. Mikael Granlund returned to action Tuesday after missing 10 days with a lower-body injury. He has been a disappointment this season with only four goals and 12 points in 28 games.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Washington, @ Columbus

Tired: @ Columbus (Saturday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Devils play three games in four nights. Mackenzie Blackwood will get two starts in goal with Louie Domingue getting one. It was thought that the off-season acquisition of P.K. Subban would do wonders for the offense of the Devils but Subban has only two goals and five points in 30 games and none in his last 18 contests. Rene Lavoie of TVA Sports in Montreal says the Canadiens are not one of the teams interested in paying the price for Taylor Hall who is expected to become a UFA at the end of the season. Look for the Devils to deal Hall before the trade deadline if they are unable to come to a long-term deal with him. He leads the team with 25 points in 30 games, six more than Kyle Palmieri.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

vs. Nashville, @ Boston, vs. Anaheim

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Nashville (Wednesday)

Notes

The Islanders are back on track as they have won five of their last seven games. New York continues to get great goaltender from Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov as the duo are splitting the starts and have similar stats. Greiss is 11-4-0 with a 2.16 GAA and a .932 save percentage, while Varlamov is 10-3-2 with a 2.26 GAA and a .926 save percentage. That is the best way to win in the NHL. Leo Komarov has been a healthy scratch his last two games. Ross Johnston is still seeing time on the top line with Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey. Johnston has one goal in the four games but has 19 hits, including 16 in his first two games. He is averaging only 11:52 per game, but that is up from his usual fourth line minutes. Nick Leddy has missed the last two games with a lower-body injury but should be back this week.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Toronto, vs. Anaheim

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Anaheim (Sunday)

Notes

The Rangers signing of Artemi Panarin continues to pay dividends as the winger has 18 goals and 41 points in 31 games. He has double the amount of goals as the next best Ranger, Mika Zibanejad. Panarin has five goals in his last three games including a hat trick Thursday against San Jose. Kaapo Kakko is seeing time on the top line with Panarin and Ryan Strome. The rookie has six goals and 14 points in 29 games but has not scored in a month, a span of 13 games. Jacob Trouba has been held pointless his last two games but had 10 points in 10 games prior to that. Tony DeAngelo leads all Rangers defensemen with 22 points.

OTTAWA     

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Nashville, vs. Philadelphia

Tired: @ Tampa Bay (Tuesday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Senators play four games this week including three games in four nights. Craig Anderson is out with a knee injury but could be back this week. Should he return, look for Anderson and Anders Nilsson to share the net. If Anderson is unable to go, expect to see Nilsson in for three games with Marcus Hogberg playing once. Connor Brown is having a nice comeback season after he was dealt from Toronto in the off-season. The winger has only four goals but has 15 assists in 32 games. Scott Sabourin has been out of action since November 2 with a concussion but skated with his teammates this week. Anthony Duclair is second on the Senators in goals with 15, one behind Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and scored his first shorthanded goal of his career on Saturday.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Buffalo, @ Ottawa

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

Sean Couturier was back in the middle between Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek this week as injuries to Travis Konecny and Oskar Lindblom have forced some line changes. Konency is out indefinitely after suffering a concussion Saturday against Ottawa, while Lindblom has an upper-body injury. The winger has 11 goals and 18 points this season and has been a valuable contributor for the Flyers. Carter Hart is excelling in his second season with the Flyers as he is 10-6-3 with a 2.43 GAA and a .908 save percentage. Brian Elliott, his backup, has played well as well, as he has a 7-3-2 mark to go with a 2.66 GAA and a .915 save percentage. James van Riemsdyk has two goals and five points in his last seven games but has only six goals and 14 points in 31 games this season.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver

Tired: @ Vancouver (Saturday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Penguins are in Western Canada all week for their yearly trek out there. Tristan Jarry has been incredibly hot of late and has three shutouts in his last four starts. He has an 8-5-0 record to go with a sparkling 1.76 GAA and a .941 save percentage and was the second star of the week. He has played in four of the last five Pittsburgh games as Matt Murray has been shuffled to the sidelines in the interim with the Penguins playing the hot hand. Evgeni Malkin missed his 12th game of the season Thursday as he was out with an illness. He has 27 points in 20 games and trails Jake Guentzel by six points for the team lead in points. Bryan Rust scored the only goal Thursday in a 1-0 win over Columbus. Rust is having a great season when not injured as he has 10 goals and 19 points in only 18 games with a plus-11 rating.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

vs. Colorado, vs. Edmonton, @ San Jose

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blues sent Welsh-born and Australian-raised Nathan Walker to the minors Thursday. Alexander Steen is practicing with the team and hopes to return this week as he has been out since November 6 with a high-ankle sprain. Ivan Barbashev is still playing quite well and has three goals and eight points in his last eight games. Jordan Binnington was pulled from an NHL game for the first time on Saturday night as he gave up four goals on 11 shots in the first period. He made up for it on Thursday as he gave up two goals on 29 shots in a 4-2 win over Vegas. David Perron leads the Blues with 30 points in 33 games while Brayden Schenn has a team-best 14 goals.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

vs. Arizona, vs. St. Louis, vs. Vegas

Tired: vs. Vegas (Sunday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Sharks dismissed their head coach Peter DeBoer Wednesday and replaced him with Bob Bougher.   The Sharks continued their losing ways Thursday in a 6-3 loss to the Rangers and have now lost six in a row (0-5-1). Martin Jones was the third star of the week a couple of weeks ago but has lost five straight, giving up 20 goals on 136 shots. He is 12-13-1 with a 3.30 GAA and a .888 save percentage. Those stats are not going to get you into the playoffs in the NHL or your fantasy league. What has happened to Brent Burns? The great blueliner has not had a point in 10 games and is a minus-nine in the 10 contests. He has five goals and 21 points in 34 games and is third worst in the NHL in plus/minus at minus-23. Andreas Athanasiou is the worst in the league with a minus-33 rating in only 29 games.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Dallas, @ Washington

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Ottawa (Tuesday), @ Washington (Saturday)

Notes

The Lightning have won two straight and are closing in on a playoff spot. Tyler Johnson has a lower-body injury and there is no guarantee that he will be back this week.  Hopefully Andrei Vasilevskiy is getting his mojo back. The netminder was outstanding the last two seasons, winning 83 regular season games and having a GAA of 2.51 with a .922 save percentage. He has struggled this season but has given up only four goals in his last three games on 95 shots to lower his GAA to 2.78 while raising his save percentage to .910. Carter Verhaeghe needed 17 games before finally scoring his first of the season Saturday.  

TORONTO

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, @ New York Rangers, vs. Detroit

Tired: vs. Detroit (Saturday)

Rested: None

Notes

Toronto saw its two-game winning streak come to an end on Thursday, losing on the road to the flaming-hot Calgary Flames 4-2. Mitch Marner scored his first goals since returning to the lineup from a high-ankle sprain four games ago. Auston Matthews has been stellar offensively with 19 goals and 34 points in 33 games. Frederik Andersen has made seven straight starts and while he has gotten the Maple Leafs back into playoff contention, the heavy workload will not bode well down the stretch. The Maple Leafs need a backup and there should be at least a couple available in Ryan Miller and Casey DeSmith.  Despite playing only 14 games, Zach Hyman is tied for fifth in goals on the Maple Leafs with six. That’s one better than Marner who has played eight more games.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

vs. Montreal, vs. Vegas, vs. Pittsburgh

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Pittsburgh (Saturday)

Notes

The Canucks placed Micheal Ferland on injured reserve after he suffered an upper-body injury Tuesday. The news got worse on Wednesday when backup netminder Thatcher Demko (concussion) was injured during practice and also placed on the injured reserve list. Jacob Markstrom picked up the start Thursday and had a 43-shot shutout over Carolina. It was much-needed for Markstrom who returned to action Tuesday after dealing with the passing of his father in Finland. Michael DiPietro will be the backup in the interim. Elias Pettersson had the overtime winner Thursday and has 13 goals and 34 points in 32 contests, three points better than J.T. Miller.

VEGAS

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, @ Vancouver, @ San Jose

Tired: None

Rested: @ San Jose (Sunday)

Notes

Max Pacioretty has had a couple of tough seasons with 40 and 37 points respectively, after hitting the 60-plus point mark in five straight seasons, save for the lockout year of 2012-13. It looks this season as if he is ready to return to those lofty heights as he has 12 goals and 28 points in 34 games. Ryan Reaves halted a 19-game goalless streak Tuesday with his third goal of the season. Cody Glass is out of action after suffering a head injury as he was elbowed by the Rangers Brendan Lemieux. Marc-Andre Fleury returned to action this week after missing seven straight games as his father passed away in Montreal. As with Jacob Markstrom in Vancouver, our condolences go out to both goaltenders and their families on their loss.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ New Jersey, vs. Tampa Bay

Tired: vs. Tampa Bay (Saturday)

Rested: None

Notes

John Carlson was the first star of the week with three goals and six points in three games, including two game winners. The favorite for the Norris Trophy, has 12 goals and 45 points with a plus-19 rating this season. He is on a pace for 112 points, numbers that have not been seen since Paul Coffey scored 138 points in the 1985-86 season. The top-ten one season marks for defensemen have five seasons by Bobby Orr and five seasons by Coffey but if Carlson can get more than 103, he will sneak into 10th place. By the way, the 103 points by Coffey in 1989-90 was tied the following year by Al MacInnis of the Flames. Evgeny Kuznetsov has a three-game points streak going and has 31 points in 30 games. The Capitals are out in front in the Metropolitan with 51 points, seven better than the Islanders who have three games in hand and 11 better than Pittsburgh and Carolina. Washington is 14-2-1 on the road.

WINNIPEG

Games this week

vs. Carolina, vs. Chicago, @ Minnesota

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

After a poor last four months of the 2018-19 season, there was reason to worry about the career of Patrik Laine. But the Finnish stud has rebounded nicely this season with nine goals and 30 points in 30 games. While his goal-scoring is not up to expectations, his offensive play has exceeded what most thought he was capable of. Laurent Brossoit has been better of late after a very slow start as the netminder has a 3-1-0 record in his last five games, giving up 11 goals on 142 shots. He is 4-3-0 this season with a 3.22 GAA and a .892 save percentage. Connor Hellebuyck continues to impress as he is 15-8-2 with a 2.31 GAA and a .931 save percentage. He has been a top-seven goaltender thus far. Blake Wheeler saw his four-game points streak end Thursday. He has eight goals and 23 points in 32 games after back-to-back

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