Originally written on Red Light District Hockey | Last updated 3/5/12
1. Vancouver Canucks… LW: 1
The Canucks’ power play is uncharacteristically 1-for-18 over the last seven games. The team is an inconsistent 3-2-2 in that stretch.
2. New York Rangers… LW: 3
Marian Gaborik has scored in five of the last six games. The Rangers are 21-2-3 this season when Gaborik records a goal.
3. St. Louis Blues… LW: 4
Prior to their just-completed six-game road trip, the Blues knew it was going to be a good test. Well, Ken Hitchcock’s club officially passed the test by going 5-1-0 on the trip.
4. Detroit Red Wings… LW: 2
Pavel Datsyuk was already out of the lineup, but now Nicklas Lidstrom and Jimmy Howard are banged up. Nonetheless, it’s better that it’s happening now and not a month from now.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins… LW: 5
The Penguins have won five straight games, due in part to Steve Sullivan’s seven-game point streak. They better hope Kris Letang’s concussion isn’t a long-term issue, though.
6. Nashville Predators… LW: 6
The new-look Preds won Saturday in Florida will all three of their deadline acquisitions chipping in. They are now 27-3-3 this season when scoring first.
7. Phoenix Coyotes… LW: 7
As soon as the calendar flipped to March, the Coyotes were dealt a little dose of reality with regulation home losses to Calgary and Columbus.
8. Philadelphia Flyers… LW: 11
It may be too soon to say Ilya Bryzgalov has turned his season around, but the enigmatic goalie has certainly improved in the last few weeks. That’s important for the Flyers, whose defensemen are dropping like flies.
9. Dallas Stars… LW: 14
The surging Stars, 6-0-1 in their last seven contests, are now tied with Phoenix atop the Pacific. They only have one more meeting: Mar. 20 in Dallas.
10. New Jersey Devils… LW: 9
Travis Zajac’s return is “on the horizon” for the Devils. If he can be effective upon his return, it would be a defacto trade deadline pickup.
11. Ottawa Senators… LW: 10
This week should be a good test for a Senators team coming off two straight losses. They’ll face the red-hot Lightning and Sabres, sandwiched by a home date with the Rangers.
12. Florida Panthers… LW: 12
Kevin Dineen’s club had a nice comeback win on Sunday and could get Kris Versteeg back in the lineup this week. Still, the Panthers are clinging onto their division lead.
13. Boston Bruins… LW: 8
If Tuukka Rask is on the shelf long-term and Tim Thomas is forced to start close to the remainder of the regular season, it will spell trouble for the Bruins come April.
14. Chicago Blackhawks… LW: 19
The Blackhawks are the equivalent of a Katy Perry song right now (hot and cold). After relieving Corey Crawford in Wednesday’s game against Toronto, Ray Emery won all three games and allowed just three goals on 74 shots faced.
15. Los Angeles Kings… LW: 16
Coming off back-to-back wins in which they scored four goals in each game, the Kings will be tested this week with road contests in Nashville, Detroit and Chicago.
16. Colorado Avalanche… LW: 15
Since the Avalanche acquired Steve Downie, they boast a 5-2-0 record. Downie (who was injured Saturday) has looked solid on a line with Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O’Reilly.
17. Tampa Bay Lightning… LW: 22
Guy Boucher’s club is suddenly within striking distance of Florida. Steven Stamkos and his 47 goals are getting all of the attention. As a result, Teddy Purcell’s hot streak (24 points in last 14 games) has flown under the radar.
18. Buffalo Sabres… LW: 23
Ryan Miller’s stat-line since Jan. 24: 11-2-3, 1.70 GAA, .944 SV%, 4 SO. Before Jan. 24: 11-15-2, 3.15 GAA, .867 SV%, 1 SO. Like Tampa Bay, the Sabres are making a last-ditch surge for the playoffs.
19. Winnipeg Jets… LW: 20
The Jets begin March in playoff contention, which many pundits thought was close to impossible at the start of the season. Big props to head coach Claude Noel and company.
20. San Jose Sharks… LW: 18
Is it time to locate the panic button in San Jose? No, but the Sharks need to turn things around quickly. They are 4-10-1 in their last 15 games and have scored two goals in their last three games.
21. Washington Capitals… LW: 17
Last week pretty much summed up what the Capitals have been all about this season – an exciting come-from-behind overtime win, followed by a pair of shutout losses at home. Zero consistency.
22. Anaheim Ducks… LW: 13
We recently took a look at the Ducks’ playoff chances. They were decent at best at the time, but after a 1-3 week they are looking at having to gather 26 points in their final 16 games. That won’t happen.
23. Calgary Flames… LW: 21
Since a shutout win in Los Angeles on Feb. 18, Miikka Kiprusoff is 1-2-3 with a 3.23 GAA and .906 save percentage. The Flames need him (and the defense) to be better.
24. New York Islanders… LW: 25
The Isles had two nice wins against the Bruins and Devils over the weekend, but it’s going to end up being too little, too late.
25. Toronto Maple Leafs… LW: 24
Toronto’s 1-9-1 stretch was finally enough to get Ron Wilson fired. Can Randy Carlyle turn the Leafs’ season around in the season’s final quarter?
26. Carolina Hurricanes… LW: 26
Did you know: Carolina is the lone NHL team without a shootout win this season.
27. Minnesota Wild… LW: 27
You know what? I feel bad for the fans up in Minnesota and what they’ve had to endure in this season’s second half.
28. Montreal Canadiens… LW: 28
If the season ended today, Montreal would be slotted to draft third overall; it would be the first time to select in the top three since 1980. Not to say the Habs should tank in the last month of the season, but this will be a good chance for them to grab a future star.
29. Edmonton Oilers… LW: 29
Sam Gagner has five points in the last 10 games, seven of which he has gone without a point. That’s not surprising, given his four-game outburst precluding this current 10-game stretch.
30. Columbus Blue Jackets… LW: 30
Steve Mason has now won back-to-back starts for the first time since last February. Can Columbus play spoiler down the stretch?
Photos credit: Getty Images
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