Anecdote: 21-21-9, Fifty one parts, fifth space in Pacific
MVP: John Gibson– The goalie is the finest reason why the Ducks are peaceable competing for a Stanley Cup Playoff berth irrespective of a 12-sport losing scuttle (zero-eight-four) from Dec. 18 to Jan. 15. He has a 17-sixteen-eight file, 2.seventy four targets-against average and .919 build share for a personnel at or come the bottom of the NHL in targets (30th), shots per sport (31st) and shot attempts (twenty ninth).
Unsung hero: Jakob Silfverberg– The forward is on injured reserve with a lower-body damage, nonetheless his 12 targets lead Anaheim and is on bound to reach 20 for the zero.33 time in four seasons.
Participant to search out: Daniel Sprong– The forward has 12 parts (eight targets, four assists) in 22 video games for the Ducks after he become obtained in a replace with the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenseman Marcus Pettersson on Dec. Three. The 21-year-outdated’s seven parts (four targets, three assists) leads Anaheim by means of 10 January video games and he’s settled at unswerving fly on the 2nd line with left fly Slash Ritchie and heart Adam Henrique.
2nd-half of prognosis: The Ducks started a makeover in January purchasing forward Devin Shore, defenseman Michael Del Zotto and heart Derek Grant in separate trades, and recalling forwards Troy Terry and Max Jones from San Diego of the American Hockey League. The brand new blood might perchance perchance give a personnel ravaged by accidents, and outscored eight-1 in consecutive losses, a spend down the stretch.
Anecdote: 23-23-four, 50 parts, sixth space in Pacific
MVP: Clayton Keller —The heart leads the Coyotes in scoring with 35 parts (Eleven targets, 24 assists), nine better than 2nd-leading scorer Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The 20-year-outdated’s zero.70 parts per sport is most high quality among these which grasp performed a fleshy season in Arizona.
Unsung hero: Darcy Kuemper — He has taken over the No. 1 goalie job with Antti Raanta (lower body) seemingly out for the season. Kuemper misplaced his first four starts and six of seven after arriving from a lower-body damage Dec. Eleven nonetheless is 6-zero-2 with a 2.07 targets-against average, .928 build share and one shutout in his past eight starts and is one in every of three goalies with out a law loss since Unusual Year’s Day, along with Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and David Rittich of the Calgary Flames.
Participant to search out: Conor Garland — The forward has 12 parts (nine targets, three assists) in sixteen video games after none in the most indispensable seven of his NHL occupation. The 22-year-outdated is the sixth rookie in Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets historic past to fetch in at the least four consecutive video games and first since Teemu Selanne set up the file of nine straight from March 14-April 1, 1993.
2nd-half of prognosis: Arizona started its destroy with six wins in nine video games (6-2-1) and is 2 parts in the again of the Colorado Avalanche for the 2nd wild card into the playoffs from the Western Convention. But a huge assortment of accidents, the uncertain station of Ekman-Larsson (lower body) and a lack of offense will present challenges to assemble the postseason for the most indispensable time since 2011-12.
Anecdote: 33-13-5, seventy one parts, first space in Pacific
MVP: Johnny Gaudreau — His seventy three parts (29 targets, 44 assists) are tied with Edmonton Oilers heart Connor McDavid for zero.33 in the NHL. The forward reached 70 parts in forty eight video games, zero.33-fastest in Calgary/Atlanta Flames historic past in the again of Kent Nilsson (Forty six video games in 1980-eighty one) and Bob MacMillan (forty seven in 1978-79).
Unsung hero: David Rittich — The 26-year-outdated has emerged as a viable NHL goalie who stepped up when Mike Smith had an undisclosed damage and has viewed his taking half in time amplify. He’s eight-zero-2 with a 2.seventy seven GAA and .909 build share in his past 10 starts.
Participant to search out: Tag Giordano — The 35-year-outdated is having a Norris Trophy-caliber season with fifty two parts (Eleven targets, forty one assists) and an NHL high plus-29 ranking in 49 video games, and in overall is a well-known-time finalist for the award given to the tip defenseman in the NHL.
2nd-half of prognosis: The Flames are eight-zero-1 of their past nine video games and concentrating on home-ice advantage in the West with Bill Peters working wonders in his first season as coach. Questions live in scheme, the set up Rittich must proceed to present he’s for true when the video games amplify in magnitude.
Anecdote: 18-24-9, Forty five parts, seventh space in Central
MVP: Patrick Kane — The forward (seventy one parts; 29 targets, forty two assists) has been a vivid arena for the Blackhawks in a season that incorporated the firing of coach Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6 and two eight-sport losing streaks (Oct. 27-Nov. 12; Nov. 27-Dec. Eleven). Kane is 23 parts earlier than Chicago’s 2nd-leading scorer, heart Jonathan Toews, and has at the least 20 energy-play parts for the sixth straight season and ninth time in his NHL occupation.
Unsung hero: Collin Delia — The 24-year-outdated went Three-1-Three with a 2.70 GAA and .932 build share in his first seven starts after his retract from Rockford of the AHL on Dec. 17, at some point soon after No. 1 goalie starter Corey Crawford sustained a concussion. Crawford’s return remains uncertain, so the Blackhawks will favor to toddle a timeshare with Delia and dilapidated Cam Ward.
Participant to search out: Alex DeBrincat — The 21-year-outdated is three targets jumpy of the 28 targets he scored at some point soon of his rookie season of 2017-18. The forward is the zero.33 participant age 21 or youthful to fetch 25 targets in the most indispensable 50 video games this season, along with McDavid and Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine.
2nd-half of prognosis: Kane lifted Chicago to within distance of the playoff relate earlier than a 5-sport losing scuttle (zero-Three-2) temporarily dropped them to the bottom of the NHL standings. The Blackhawks might perchance perchance accept closer given the inconsistency of the groups above them, nonetheless they’re short on defense and shortage offense in the again of Kane, Toews and DeBrincat to assemble a well-known glide.
Anecdote: 22-20-eight, fifty two parts, fifth space in Central
MVP: Nathan MacKinnon — He facilities arguably essentially the most dominant line in the NHL between Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, each of whom represented the Avalanche at the 2019 Honda NHL All-Large determine Game and warranted consideration on this class. MacKinnon is tied for fifth in the League in scoring with seventy one parts (27 targets, 44 assists) in 50 video games, despite the proven fact that he missed the All-Large determine Game thanks to a bruised foot.
Unsung hero: Tyson Barrie –– He leads Avalanche defensemen with 39 parts (six targets, 33 assists), along side eight parts (one scheme, seven assists) in Eleven video games defenseman Nikita Zadorov missed with an damage.
Participant to search out: Mikko Rantanen — Colorado’s leading scorer, with seventy four parts (23 targets, Fifty one assists), continues his push for the Art Ross Trophy and doubtlessly the Hart Trophy. The forward wanted forty seven video games to accept at the least 50 assists, tied with Peter Stastny and Peter Forsberg for 2nd-fastest in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques historic past in the again of Stastny’s Forty six video games in 1981-Eighty two. He’s 2nd in the NHL in scoring, four parts in the again of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.
2nd-half of prognosis: The Avalanche limped into the destroy with three losses in four video games and 12 of their past 15 (Three-10-2). The returns of Zadorov and Tag Barberio lengthen the defense, nonetheless Colorado needs extra from goalies Semyon Varlamov and Philipp Grubauer, and their offense beyond the tip line.
Anecdote: 23-24-Three, 49 parts, seventh space in Pacific
MVP: Connor McDavid — The heart and captain has 5 numerous point streaks of at the least 5 video games, along side an eight-sport glide (Eleven parts; six targets, 5 assists) from Oct. 23-Nov. 5. He factored in on Eleven of the 13 targets Edmonton scored to beginning up the season (four targets, seven assists) and had parts in 13 of 15 video games (24 parts; 10 targets, 14 assists) entering the destroy. He’s tied for zero.33 in the NHL in scoring, in the again of Kucherov and Rantanen, with seventy three parts (29 targets, 44 assists).
Unsung hero: Oscar Klefbom — The Oilers had been on a 7-1-zero glide that started Nov. 27, per week after Ken Hitchcock modified Todd McLellan as coach, when the defenseman injured his hand midway by means of the 2nd duration of a 6-four retract against the Avalanche on Dec. Eleven. They’re 6-12-1 with out him, allowing seventy six targets, most in the NHL at some point soon of that stretch, and were outshot 663-498. Klefbom leads Edmonton with a median of 25:25 of ice time per sport and is anticipated again after the destroy.
Participant to search out: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins –– The Oilers need scoring from any individual numerous than McDavid and heart Leon Draisaitl. The manufacturing of the forward and No. 1 remove in the 2011 NHL Draft, whose Forty six parts (sixteen targets, 30 assists) are zero.33 in the again of McDavid and Draisaitl, might perhaps be excessive down the stretch.
2nd-half of prognosis: The Oilers fired McLellan and customary manager Peter Chiarelli this season, irrespective of remaining in playoff competition. For all their skill, the query of why they haven’t taken that elusive next step since their glide to Game 7 of the 2017 Western Convention 2nd Round remains.
Los Angeles Kings
Anecdote: 20-26-four, 44 parts, eighth space in Pacific
MVP: Drew Gallant — The defenseman leads the Kings with 23 assists and the NHL in average ice time (26:forty one). He might perchance honest be the most indispensable to manual the NHL in time on ice in consecutive seasons since Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter from 2012-13 to 2014-15.
Unsung hero: Jake Muzzin — The unheralded 29-year outdated is 2nd in the again of Gallant in parts (21) and time on ice (21:32) among Kings defensemen and leads all Los Angeles avid gamers in plus-minus (plus-10), hits (111) and blocked shots (ninety two).
Participant to search out: Ilya Kovalchuk — It has been a interesting first season again in the NHL for the 35-year-outdated forward, who missed 10 video games after having an ankle bursectomy. Before that, coach John Stevens become fired and Kovalchuk become removed from the tip energy-play unit, out of the tip six and benched in the zero.33 duration against the Oilers on Nov. 25. He scored twice in his return Dec. 22 earlier than enduring a ten-sport scheme drought.
2nd-half of prognosis: The Kings are determined for again on offense and the capability play, which Kovalchuk become purported to again improve. It would be time to hit the reset button in Los Angeles by attempting to replace Kovalchuk and glimpse what’s accessible for forward Tyler Toffoli (three targets in past 32 video games) and heart Adrian Kempe (no targets in past 18).
Anecdote: 26-21-Three, fifty five parts, zero.33 space in Central
MVP: Zach Parise — The forward has returned to high-six build after having again surgical treatment in October 2017 to manual Minnesota with 20 targets and 44 parts in 49 video games after getting 15 and 24 in forty two video games final season. The 34-year-outdated has saved the inconsistent Wild in playoff competition irrespective of a four-eight-1 December, discovering chemistry with heart Charlie Coyle and forward Luke Kunin since they had been united Dec. 27.
Unsung hero: Ryan Suter — The reputable defenseman continues to indulge in huge minutes (26:37 per sport) with Minnesota missing injured defenseman Matt Dumba (torn pectoral muscle). Suter has been a stalwart this season after convalescing from a broken unswerving fibula sustained on March 31.
Participant to search out: Eric Staal — The heart become regressing from his forty two-scheme, seventy six-point season in 2017-18 earlier than entering the destroy with parts in three straight video games (six parts; three targets, three assists) and six of eight (10 parts; four targets, six assists). How extra special the 34-year-outdated has left will affect the Wild’s playoff possibilities.
2nd-half of prognosis: Minnesota, 10-15-1 in a 26-sport stretch following a 12-5-2 beginning up, shook up its core by purchasing and selling forward Nino Niederreiter to the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Victor Rask on Jan. 17 and started the destroy winners of three straight and four of 5. They’re hoping a transformation of surroundings for Rask sparks the underachieving Staal, Coyle, heart Mikko Koivu and forwards Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker.
Anecdote: 30-18-four, Sixty four parts, 2nd space in Central
MVP: Ryan Johansen — The heart leads the Predators in scoring with 43 parts (nine targets, 34 assists) in 50 video games, having performed with a huge assortment of skaters earlier than traditional linemates Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg returned after missing a combined forty one video games with accidents. Johansen is on scheme for his fifth 60-point season in the NHL and might perchance perchance rob his sport to new heights after the destroy.
Unsung hero: Pekka Rinne — The goalie and reigning Vezina Trophy winner become the spine of the Predators after they had been ravaged by accidents and the 36-year-outdated helped retain them contending for first in the Central Division. He’s 18-12-Three with a 2.forty seven GAA and .915 build share in 36 video games (35 starts) this season.
Participant to search out: Filip Forsberg — The forward has seven parts (four targets, three assists) in nine video games after missing 17 with a hand damage, and his 18 targets are one in the again of Arvidsson for the Nashville lead. His return has allowed others to come back into extra familiar roles for the Predators, who went eight-7-2 with out him.
2nd-half of prognosis: Injuries and adversity might perchance perchance flip out to be a blessing in disguise for Nashville, which never misplaced better than two straight video games en path to winning fifty three video games and the Presidents’ Trophy final season earlier than a seven-sport loss to the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Convention 2nd Round.
San Jose Sharks
Anecdote: 29-sixteen-7, 65 parts, 2nd space in Pacific
MVP: Brent Burns — The defenseman, with fifty five parts (nine targets, Forty six assists is on bound to exceed his NHL occupation high in parts (seventy six) set up when he won the Norris Trophy in 2016-17. The Sharks are 17-6-2 since Dec. 2, with Burns getting 28 parts (six targets, 22 assists).
Unsung hero: Timo Meier — The forward outmoded a nine-sport point scuttle (eight targets, 5 assists) from Oct. 9-30, scored Eleven targets in the most indispensable 14 video games of the season and has NHL occupation highs in assists (27) and parts (Forty six), each 2nd among Sharks forwards in the again of heart Logan Couture.
Participant to search out: Martin Jones –– The goalie won eight straight starts from Dec. 27-Jan. 15 to tie his NHL occupation high set up from Dec. Three-21, 2013 till giving up a combined 17 targets in his final three starts earlier than the destroy. Jones has started at the least 60 video games in each of the past three seasons and might perchance perchance honest again be counted on to be San Jose’s rock at some point soon of one other playoff push. He’s 23-10-four with a 2.Ninety eight GAA and .895 build share in 38 starts this season.
2nd-half of prognosis: The boulevard is difficult for the Sharks, with 14 of their final 30 video games a long way from SAP Center, the set up they’re 17-four-four. Defensemen Erik Karlsson (undisclosed) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (shoulder) are anticipated again for the stretch glide, and given how Karlsson has slot in after a behind beginning up, San Jose must be in quest of essentially the most uncomplicated file in the West.
St. Louis Blues
Anecdote: 22-22-5, 49 parts, sixth space in Central
MVP: Ryan O’Reilly — The centerpiece of the replace with the Buffalo Sabres on July 1 took a six-sport point scuttle (eight parts; two targets, six assists) into the destroy and his January numbers (15 parts; three targets, 15 assists, plus-eight) grasp helped St. Louis revive its season. He leads the Blues with 50 parts (18 targets, 32 assists) in 49 video games.
Unsung hero: Jordan Binnington — The rookie goalie went Three-1-zero with a 1.fifty five GAA and .937 build share in his first four NHL starts after he become recalled from San Antonio of the AHL on Jan. 5, and the 25-year-outdated is 5-1-1 with a 1.eighty four GAA and .924 build share in his first seven decisions.
Participant to search out: Vladimir Tarasenko — The Blues need the forward who become their leading scheme scorer each of the past four seasons and entered the destroy with 10 parts (six targets, four assists) in Eleven video games in preference to the participant who scored two targets in 13 December video games and become piece of St. Louis’ free drop to the bottom of the NHL.
2nd-half of prognosis: The glide to the playoffs is originate for the Blues after their low point of 9-13-four on Dec. 5. They did now not retract three in a row till Jan. 10-14 and hope to use a 7-four-1 stretch for the reason that beginning up of 2019 as a springboard to a postseason return. They would also honest peaceable be better at Project Center (12-13-2), the set up they play seven of their final 10 traditional-season video games.
Anecdote: 23-22-6, fifty two parts, fourth space in Pacific
MVP: Elias Pettersson — The heart leads all beginners with Forty five parts (23 targets, 22 assists) in Forty video games. The 20-year-outdated become NHL Rookie of the Month for December, selected to the All-Large determine Game and is on scheme to turn into the most indispensable Sweden-born forward to retract the Calder Trophy because the tip rookie in the NHL since Landeskog in 2012.
Unsung hero: Alexander Edler — The defenseman is playing a renaissance season (20 parts; 5 targets, 15 assists, plus-Three in 36 video games) after he become minus-20 and minus-18 in the outdated two. The 32-year-outdated, who might perchance perchance turn into an unrestricted free agent on July 1, leads the Canucks with 23:30 of ice time and is on bound for his finest season since 2011-12, when he had 49 parts (Eleven targets, 38 assists).
Participant to search out: Jacob Markstrom — He has been Vancouver’s high goalie after going eight-9-Three with a Three.31 GAA and .897 build share in his first 20 video games. One day, the Canucks will need an extended glimpse at rookie Thatcher Demko, nonetheless Markstrom is on scheme for his most high quality NHL season and consistency might perhaps be excessive down the stretch; he’s 19-13-5 with a 2.eighty four GAA and .908 build share this season.
2nd-half of prognosis: The Canucks are in the playoff hunt in the wide-originate Western Convention and detect their first postseason look since 2015. Pettersson offers Vancouver a huge three with forwards Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser, nonetheless they’re heart of the boulevard offensively and need extra special extra on the capability play (sixteen.eight percent, tied for twenty 2nd in the NHL).
Vegas Golden Knights
Anecdote: 29-19-four, sixty two parts, zero.33 space in Pacific
MVP: Marc-Andre Fleury — The goalie is a high Vezina Trophy contender after going 12 straight video games with out a law loss (9-zero-Three) from Dec. 9-Jan. eight. The 34-year-outdated leads the NHL in wins (27), starts (Forty five) and shutouts (six), to retain firm with a 2.49 GAA and .911 build share.
Unsung hero: Nate Schmidt — Vegas become eight-Eleven-1 at some point soon of Schmidt’s 20-sport suspension for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Bettering Substances Program. The Golden Knights are 21-eight-Three since he returned to stabilize the again close. He has 17 parts (four targets, 13 assists) in 32 video games and signed a six-year contract (average annual heed $5.ninety five million) Oct. 24.
Participant to search out: Alex Tuch — The No. 18 remove by the Wild in the 2014 NHL Draft become traded to the Golden Knights on June 21, 2017 and is their leading scorer with Forty parts (sixteen targets, 24 assists) in 44 video games. Tuch’s nine-sport point scuttle (Eleven parts; three targets, eight assists) which ended Jan. 15, become the 2nd-longest active glide in the NHL in the again of Blues forward David Perron (13).
2nd-half of prognosis: The Golden Knights grasp proven their Cinderella glide to the Stanley Cup Final of their inaugural season wasn’t a fluke. Center William Karlsson and forwards Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith and Max Pacioretty each has yet to play his most high quality hockey, so query of Vegas to search out one other instruments and subject the Flames for Western Convention supremacy.