Every NHL Team’s Hottest Player Right Now
Each NHL Team's Hottest Player
This time last year, the NHL was only one week into its season because of yet another irritating lockout. The shortened season created a compact 48-game schedule that saw many teams and players struggle to find a rhythm. Thus far, the 2013-14 NHL season has provided much entertainment and satisfaction to hockey fans around the world.
The offseason featured realignment that sent the Detroit Red Wings to the Eastern Conference and the Winnipeg Jets to the Western Conference, and also featured coaching changes and free agent signings. This also created new divisions: Pacific, Central, Metropolitan and Atlantic. With new divisions come new rivalries as division opponents are forced to face each other more frequently. The Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers unintentionally swapped head coaches and Daniel Alfresson left the Ottawa Senators for the Red Wings.
The San Jose Sharks got off to a quick start and rookie Tomas Hertl scored an electrifying, between the legs goal for his fourth in the same game, and became the early-season buzz around hockey. The Canucks and Rangers both got out to slow starts with their new coaches, and the Philadelphia Flyers fired their coach three games into the season. All three teams have since recovered and are playing much better of late.
Alexander Ovechkin started the season sizzling, scoring 30 goals in his first 34 games. Henrik Lundqvist, on the other hand, struggled out of the gate but has rebounded. Find out who the hottest players are on each NHL team right now.
Anaheim Ducks - Ryan Getzlaf
Ryan Getzlaf is having a career year and has led the Anaheim Ducks to the top of the standings in the entire NHL. Getzlaf had an eight-game point streak snapped recently. During the streak, he scored five goals and accumulated seven assists, five of which were power play assists. Getzlaf is now top-10 in the NHL in goals and assists, and sits in third with 59 total points on the season.
Boston Bruins - Brad Marchand
Brad Marchand is absolutely on fire right now for the Boston Bruins. Over the last four games, he has scored six goals, including a shorthanded goal and a game-winning goal, and added an assist as well. Marchand now leads the Bruins in goals with 16 on the season.
Buffalo Sabres - Ryan Miller
The Buffalo Sabres are last in the NHL in goals per game at 1.76 and have not had a player get hot offensively this season. Ryan Miller is the hottest player on the Sabres despite dropping his last two starts. He is 7-3-3 in his last 13 starts and has a .942 save percentage and a 2.08 goals against average.
Carolina Hurricanes - Alexander Semin
The Carolina Hurricanes are finding ways to win hockey games right now, and it’s largely in part to great team play. They are 7-3-0 over the last 10 games but have not been carried by outstanding play from one player. However, Alexander Semin seems to have found his old scoring touch over the last 13 games, scoring eight goals with two of them being game-winners. He has also added four assists and is riding a four-game goal streak.
Calgary Flames - Mark Giordano
The Calgary Flames continue to struggle putting the puck in the net and keeping opposing teams out of the net. Defenseman Mark Giordano is riding a five-game point streak, tallying two goals and three assists. He is also sporting a plus-2 rating over the past eight games, pretty impressive for a team who has been outscored 23-14 over that span.
Chicago Blackhawks - Marian Hossa
The Chicago Blackhawks have been slipping of late and have missed the consistent domination they have become accustomed to. Marian Hossa has been doing his best to push his team through their recent struggles, but had a six-game point streak ended last night. During this streak, Hossa has six goals and two assists while the Blackhawks were 3-0-3, securing nine of the possible 12 points.
Columbus Blue Jackets - Sergei Bobrovsky
The Columbus Blue Jackets are streaking right now thanks in large part to the play of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky is 7-0-0 in his last seven starts with .936 save percentage and a 2.00 goals against average. Over this seven-game stretch, he has taken down four Metropolitan Division foes, including a 36-save shutout against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Colorado Avalanche - Nathan MacKinnon
The Colorado Avalanche have been a pleasant surprise so far this season as they currently sit in third place in the competitive Central Division. Nathan MacKinnon is on a tear right now, proving why he was selected as the no. 1 overall draft pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. MacKinnon has scored nine goals and three assists over the last 12 games. Four of his nine goals were power play goals, and he now leads the Avalanche with seven power play goals on the season.
Dallas Stars - Alex Goligoski
The Dallas Stars are 3-8-1 in 2014 so far and have struggled to get anything going. Young stars Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have not even produced of late and the Stars find themselves only three points out of last place in the Central Division. However, defenseman Alex Goligoski does have seven points in the last six games, all assists, with four of them coming on the power play.
Detroit Red Wings - Tomas Tatar
Superstar Pavel Datsyuk has missed the last eight games due to injury, and the Red Wings have struggled offensively, averaging only 2.00 goals per game over this time. Youngster Tomas Tatar has been somewhat of bright spot, scoring four goals, including one game-winner, and has added one assist in Datsyuk’s absence.
Edmonton Oilers - Taylor Hall
The Edmonton Oilers currently find themselves in a familiar place near the basement of the NHL. There is good news for them: Taylor Hall is a beast and soon-to-be superstar in the NHL. Over his last 24 games, Hall has racked up 11 goals and 17 assists. Despite missing a handful of games near the beginning of the season, Hall leads the Oilers in points with 47, assists with 29 and is tied with David Perron for most goals on the team with 18.
Florida Panthers - Tim Thomas
Tim Thomas is 4-3-2 over his last nine starts and has helped the youthful Florida Panthers gain 10 hard-to-find points. Thomas has managed to post a .933 save percentage and a 2.33 goals against average over the nine-game stretch. In comparison, Ben Bishop leads the NHL this season with a save percentage of .935.
Los Angeles Kings - Jeff Carter
Jeff Carter is doing what he gets paid to do -- put the puck in the net. He has scored 13 goals and eight assists in his last 22 games. Carter is hot right now and if the Los Angeles Kings want to have continued success, they will need him to play at a high level.
Minnesota Wild - Darcy Kuemper
The Minnesota Wild are having a difficult time keeping goalies healthy this season. Josh Harding is again battling multiple sclerosis treatments and the aging Niklas Backstrom continues to pile up injuries. Darcy Kuemper has been a pleasant surprise for the Wild and has played extraordinarily well. He has gone 5-2-0 while posting an insane .946 save percentage and an impressive 1.71 goals against average since being called upon by the Wild.
Montreal Canadiens - Max Pacioretty
Max Pacioretty is having a spectacular season and is on pace to break his career-high goals mark. Over his last 10 games, Pacioretty has scored six goals and added five assists, totaling 11 points. He now has 21 goals on the season and has a very good chance of breaking his high of 33.
New Jersey Devils - Cory Schneider
Surprise! The hottest player on the New Jersey Devils is a goalie, but it’s not legend Martin Brodeur. It’s Cory Schneider. The Devils are 4-1-2 in Schneider’s last seven starts and it’s in large part due to his great play between the pipes. He has posted a ridiculous .960 save percentage, 1.14 goals against average, one shutout, and has only given up more than one goal twice.
Nashville Predators - Shea Weber
Defenseman Shea Weber has been a man on a mission over the past 12 games, scoring four goals and eight assists. Weber has also carried a plus-5 rating, impressive for a defenseman on a team that is slipping.
New York Islanders - John Tavares
The New York Islanders currently hold the most dangerous line in the entire NHL. That’s right, the New York Islanders. John Tavares, Thomas Vanek and Kyle Okposo are sizzling right now. Tavares, the center and anchor of this dynamic line, has 10 goals and 15 assists over his last 15 games; he might just be the hottest player in all of hockey at this moment.
New York Rangers - Henrik Lundqvist
The New York Rangers have been playing very good hockey as of late, and that can only mean one thing: Henrik Lundqvist is playing more like “King Henrik.” Lundqvist is 7-3-1 in his last 11 starts and has a .936 save percentage, a 2.00 goals against average and has allowed two goals or fewer seven times. He is also 5-2-0 in his last seven games while only allowing 10 goals.
Ottawa Senators - Clarke MacArthur
Clarke MacArthur has been playing very well of late and has decent numbers to show for it. Three of his six goals in the last 10 games are game-winners, and he added four assists as well.
Philadelphia Flyers - Wayne Simmonds
Wayne Simmonds got off to a very slow start this season and became the center of several trade rumors. Over the last 19 games, Simmonds has been one of the best players in the league. During this 19-game stretch, Simmonds was held off the score sheet only four times, and he scored 12 goals and 11 assists. Simmonds now leads the Flyers in goals with 17 and power play goals with nine.
Phoenix Coyotes - Keith Yandle
The Phoenix Coyotes are really struggling to put the puck in the net right now and their team is struggling to win. Defenseman Keith Yandle has tallied two goals and 10 assists over his last 14 games, and continues to perform at a high level. He is currently on a five-game point streak, collecting six assists.
Pittsburgh Penguins - Matt Niskanen
Bet you didn't see this one coming. Defenseman Matt Niskanen is currently the Pittsburgh Penguins' hottest player. He is currently riding a six-game point streak, and has scored four goals and collected nine assists in his last 11 games.
San Jose Sharks - Joe Pavelski
Joe Pavelski is scoring goals at will right now. He has scored 19 goals over his last 21 games. Let that sink in for a few seconds. That is Alexander Ovechkin-type numbers, not Joe Pavelski. Pavelski is on pace to shatter his career-high of 31 goals as he has 28 already. He’s added five assists during his goal scoring streak, giving him 24 points in his last 21 games. By the way, he has seven goals in his last four games.
St. Louis Blues - Alex Pietrangelo
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has been steadily contributing and is the hottest player that is part of the St. Louis Blues' highly balanced attack right now. Pietrangelo leads the team in points over their last 11 games with 12. He has scored two goals and tallied 10 assists.
Tampa Bay Lightning - Martin St. Louis
When superstar center Steven Stamkos broke his leg back in November, many people wrote off the Tampa Bay Lightning. They are currently tied for second place in the Eastern Conference and are getting closer to Stamkos’ return. Veteran Martin St. Louis has had a terrific season and is playing at another level right now. He has eight goals and five assists over his last nine games, and leads the team in both goals and assists.
Toronto Maple Leafs - Phil Kessel
Phil Kessel is on top of his game right now and is currently the hottest player on Toronto Maple Leafs. Over Kessel’s last eight games, he has scored six goals and eight assists. That is 14 points over eight games, almost two points per game.
Vancouver Canucks - Roberto Luongo
The Vancouver Canucks have been in disarray lately and do not have a player who is playing over the top. Roberto Luongo put in three solid performances since returning from injury. The Canucks are 2-1-0 in those starts with Luongo posting a .943 save percentage and 1.67 goals against average. They are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games.
Winnipeg Jets - Blake Wheeler
The Winnipeg Jets have won four of their last five games and enjoyed particularly strong play from Blake Wheeler. Wheeler has two goals and four assists during the club’s streak, and has six goals and six assists over his last 13 games.
Washington Capitals - Alexander Ovechkin
No surprise here -- Alexander Ovechkin is the hottest Washington Capitals player despite having missed their game Tuesday. Although Ovechkin’s goal scoring pace is slowing, he continues to produce and put up points. Over his last nine games, Ovechkin has scored five goals and three assists.