By Jan Levine, RotoWire Senior NHL Writer
Special to Yahoo Sports
This week’s article includes Hall leading the way in New Jersey, a new No. 1 netminder in Philly, Bergeron sidelined and a significant hole in the crease in St. Louis.
First Liners (Risers)
Ryan Getzlaf, C, ANA – Getzlaf has had an injury-plagued and inconsistent year, but he has been red-hot lately. Anaheim’s captain potted a goal and added three assists to give the 32-year old pivot two goals and seven points in his last four games. The first-line center is now sitting at 42 points (nine goals) through 40 contests this season. While his year-end production will likely be well below his output of past four seasons, Getzlaf is still a weapon as he looks to carry the Ducks back to the playoffs.
Eric Staal, C, MIN – Staal’s production Tuesday against the Blues extended his mini-point streak to five games, but that only tells part of the story. Staal has marked the scoresheet in 15 of his past 18 games for 14 goals, 13 assists and eight power-play points, notching a hat trick and a pair of assists Tuesday. Last season was thought to be Staal’s renaissance after a poor 2015-16 campaign. The second overall pick in 2003 is on pace to far exceed the 28 goals and 37 assists he posted last season, having notched 33 and 31 in 63 games.
Mitch Marner, LW, TOR – With Auston Matthews sidelined with a shoulder injury, others have had to step up. Marner has clearly done his part, posting 11 goals and 10 assists through his past 16 games, including a pair of assists Monday. The sophomore’s recent production has improved his output to 3.08 points per 60 minutes for the campaign. Before this current streak, it looked like Marner, who is skating primarily with Nazem Kadri and Patrick Marleau, would finish markedly short of the 19 goals and 42 assists he posted as a rookie. Now, with 16 and 35, it’s very possible he’ll exceed both totals.
Taylor Hall, LW, NJ – All Hall does is score. His goal and assist Tuesday extended his point streak to 22 games. Technically, per NHL rules the streak is only 15 games because he was sidelined for three contests due to a hand injury. Regardless, Hall has 15 goals and 17 assists with 10 of the points coming with the man advantage during the 22 games.
Daniel Sedin, LW, VAN – Sedin is in the final season of the four-year, $28 million extension he signed with the Canucks in November 2013. After seeing his output drop from 76 to 61 to 44 points the last three seasons, Sedin is in the midst of a mild resurgence. The Canucks may be out of the playoff picture, but Sedin has five goals and nine points in his last seven games and has smashed the 40-point barrier for the 14th consecutive season. His 18 goals and 17 power-play points indicate he still has something left in the tank, though it’s unclear right now if twin brother Henrik will play again next season (in Vancouver or elsewhere).
John Carlson, D, WAS – Carlson posted 12 goals and 43 assists in 2014-15, seemingly taking his place among the elite blueliners in the league. Injuries cost the Caps’ top D-man 36 games the last two seasons, but even when he played, his production failed to match the level he appeared to establish. Signed to a six-year, $23.8 million contract extension in September 2012, Carlson has picked an excellent time to be on pace for new career highs, as he has 11 goals and 39 assists in 64 games, including 10 points in February.
Jeff Petry, D, MON – It’s been another season to forget for the Habs, but Petry is one of the few bright spots. After tallying a career-high 25 points last season, most viewed that output as a one-time aberration. Petry has shown that was not the case, taking advantage of injuries and additional ice time to notch 30 points, including 16 with the man advantage. Granted, that has come with an unsightly minus-26 rating, but that type of production is welcomed in just about all formats.
Petr Mrazek, G, PHI – Mrazek’s numbers were far from impressive in Detroit (.910 save percentage and 2.89 GAA in 22 games), but he has excelled in Philly. Acquired for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 and a conditional third-rounder in 2019 due to injuries to Brian Elliott (lower body) and Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Mrazek has won all three of his starts as a Flyer with a 1.30 GAA and .947 save percentage. Mrazek will have a month or so to establish himself as the Flyers’ No. 1 goalie before Elliott or Neuvirth return, and with a strong defense and hot team in front of him, the former Red Wing should post solid numbers between the pipes.
Pekka Rinne, G, NAS – Rinne notched the 300th win of his career last Thursday against San Jose. After struggling a bit in 2015-16, Rinne improved his ratios and has done the same again this season. Nashville’s clear No. 1 goalie entered Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg coming off three straight wins with a .970 save percentage during that window. Rinne now has 33 wins and could exceed his career high of 41 set in 2014-15.
Others include Matt Duchene, Eric Staal, Joe Pavelski, Victor Rask, Connor McDavid, Tyler Seguin, Brayden Point, Evgeni Malkin, Aleksander Barkov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, William Karlsson, Leon Draisaitl, Sean Monahan, Logan Couture, Nolan Patrick, Anze Kopitar, Vincent Trocheck, Mathew Barzal, Sean Couturier, Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Radulov, Evgenii Dadonov, Scott Hartnell, Evander Kane, Cam Atkinson, Kyle Connor, Johnny Gaudreau, Claude Giroux, Nick Bjugstad, Brad Marchand, Blake Wheeler, Dustin Brown, Matthew Tkachuk, Jason Zucker, Reilly Smith, Patrik Laine, Jonathan Huberdeau, Morgan Rielly, Seth Jones, Dustin Byfuglien, P.K. Subban, Rasmus Ristolainen, Justin Braun, Tyson Barrie, Mark Giordano, Sami Vatanen, Devan Dubnyk, Cam Talbot, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Antti Raanta, Jon Gillies, Connor Hellebuyck, Marc-Andre Fleury and Roberto Luongo.
Training Room (Injuries)
Patrice Bergeron, C, BOS – The Bruins added Rick Nash before the trade deadline but lost a key piece for at least the next two weeks. Bergeron suffered a fractured foot blocking a shot during Saturday’s game against Toronto, but he was able to play through the injury Sunday. After a slow start, Bergeron has been on fire the last half of the season and has 54 points in 55 games. With Bergeron out, Riley Nash has replaced him on the top line, while David Backes has been promoted to the top power-play unit.
Others include Jeff Carter (ankle, out since October 12, activated Saturday), Auston Matthews (shoulder, injured reserve, slated to miss 2-4 weeks), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (ribs, injured Jan. 13, could return this weekend or early next week), Ryan McDonagh (out since Feb. 7 with broken hand, could return within a week), Shea Weber (underwent urgery on his left foot, out for remainder of the season), Jacob Trouba (ankle, out since Jan. 25, back on the ice), Carey Price (concussion, out indefinitely), Cory Schneider (groin, out since mid-January, assigned to AHL Binghamton for conditioning purposes Tuesday) and Matt Murray (concussion, injured in Monday’s practice, out indefinitely).
Fourth Liners/Press Boxers (Fallers)
Derek Ryan, C, CAR – Ryan is pointless in 13 games. After spending a decade outside the NHL, Ryan made the most of his chance last season, potting 29 points in 67 games for Carolina. That production earned the 32-year old a one-year, $1.42 million contract with the Hurricanes in June 2017. Ryan was on pace to exceed that total this season, posting 23 points in his first 39 games before hitting the skids. Despite his slump, Ryan is still seeing decent ice time while centering the third line between Jeff Skinner and Lee Stempniak but should probably be left on your bench.
Milan Lucic, LW, EDM – Lucic’s assist Sunday was his first point since Jan. 20. Edmonton brought in the 29-year-old enforcer last year to provide leadership and some toughness to a young squad. Lucic filled those roles nicely, while also chipping 23 goals and 50 points, though he nearly doubled his career bests in power-play goals and power-play points with 12 and 25, respectively. Lucic still is seeing copious time on the PP, but his production has dropped off the table and his lack of foot speed is exposed on a quick-skating Edmonton squad. He has failed to score a goal in the last 26 games, and for now, he should only be relied on in leagues that count hits, as he has 196 in 63 games this season.
Mattias Ekholm, D, NAS – Ekholm lit the lamp Tuesday, but it’s been a rough campaign for the Nashville blueliner. Despite the goal, Ekholm has just seven points in his last 30 games, and his 17 seconds of time with the man advantage was his first power-play action in four games. Back in December, Ekholm appeared to be on his way to a monster season with 21 points in his first 31 games; however, his production has taken a steep nosedive since about the middle of December. The return of Ryan Ellis from injury in January accelerated that downward spike, though Ekholm is still paired opposite P.K. Subban, where he serves as the defensive counter-balance to his offensive-minded partner.
Jake Allen, G, STL – The Blues lost their seventh in a row Tuesday, falling 8-3 to the Wild. Allen was chased after the first period, allowing three goals on eight shots, continuing his free-fall. Allen has just one win in 2018, dropping to 1-8-since the calendar changed. The move from Ken Hitchcock to Mike Yeo and alteration of defensive system paid dividends last season, but the wheels have fallen off Allen and the entire team the past two months.
Others include Jonathan Drouin, David Desharnais, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Andrew Ladd, Gustav Nyquist, Mats Zuccarello, Justin Faulk, Jake Muzzin, David Savard, Henrik Lundqvist, Braden Holtby and Craig Anderson.