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Friday, April 19, 2024

NHL Energy Rankings: Nathan MacKinnon leads Avalanche to seven straight wins, No. 1 spot

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It is wholly unoriginal to speak about Nathan MacKinnon when the subject of the Avalanche comes up, however I will do it anyway. MacKinnon’s level streak has hit 16 video games, and he has 10 targets and 22 assists in that span. With all due respect to Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Nikita Kucherov, nobody else on this league is kind of on MacKinnon’s degree in the mean time. 6 44-20-5

The Rangers are rolling towards the No. 1 seed within the Jap Convention — and maybe the Presidents’ Trophy. It is most likely not a lot of a coincidence that Igor Shesterkin is again to being a mutant between the pipes. Within the final month, Shesterkin has saved 13.6 targets above common and posted a .943 save share. The Rangers are a terrifying crew when Shesterkin is at his finest. — 45-20-4

Evgeny Kuznetsov seemed like he was nearing the top of his NHL profession in his closing days with the Capitals, however a commerce to the Hurricanes appears to have utterly revitalized him. In his first seven video games with Carolina, Kuznetsov has notched 5 factors, and the crew is outscoring opponents 5-2 with him on the ice at five-on-five. If the Canes can get something near peak Kuznetsov, their Stanley Cup probabilities will solely proceed to rise. — 43-20-6

For the primary time in weeks, the Panthers now not occupy the No. 1 spot. That is much less about them faltering and extra in regards to the groups forward of them taking part in distinctive hockey. If there may be considerably of a nitpick, it is that Florida’s five-on-five anticipated targets share has plummeted over the past couple weeks. In fact, that may be a minuscule pattern measurement, and the Panthers have confirmed that they’re an elite five-on-five crew all season. 3 45-19-4

Edmonton has stumbled a bit over the past couple weeks, however I doubt this crew is definitely in jeopardy of stumbling over the end line. It’s price noting, nonetheless, that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has gone chilly within the goal-scoring division. His drought now sits at 10 video games, and he has only one in his final 15 video games. Contemplating Nugent-Hopkins discovered the again of the web 37 occasions final season, he has taken a step again in that space this yr. 1 41-21-4

The Jets are nonetheless rolling towards the playoffs, they usually’re nonetheless in a good battle for the Central Division crown. Beneath the hood, issues have began to slide these days with their middling five-on-five numbers being proof of that. On the optimistic facet of issues, Winnipeg’s energy play is tied for first since Feb. 20 (with the Sharks!), and Connor Hellebuyck has been a brick wall. Even when these even-strength numbers keep in the course of the pack, the Jets have a pair key areas going sturdy because the postseason nears. 1 44-19-5

Let’s have a really powerful dialogue, Stars followers. Nearly as good as Jake Oettinger has confirmed he could be, he has not been superb this yr. Oettinger’s -8.95 targets saved above common ranks 82nd. His .896 save share ranks sixty fourth. His .768 high-danger save share ranks 74th. That is tough, and it might sink an elite roster if Oettinger’s struggles bleed over into the playoffs. 3 41-19-9

Pavel Zacha has quietly been producing for the Bruins these days. He’s using an eight-game level streak, and Zacha has totaled 11 factors in that stretch. Boston would not essentially have the strongest group of facilities amongst playoff groups, so it is important that gamers like Zacha are capable of elevate their recreation on the proper time of yr. Thus far, it appears to be like like Zacha has been capable of just do that. 2 41-14-15

Thatcher Demko is out week-to-week with a lower-body damage, and that’s dangerous information for the Canucks. Demko has been stellar for Vancouver, and he’s a giant purpose why the crew has a pleasant cushion atop the Pacific Division. Whereas Casey DeSmith has been a serviceable backup, he’s leaps and bounds under Demko in any variety of classes. Down the stretch, it is going to be attention-grabbing to see how nicely the Canucks maintain up with out their security internet in aim. — 43-18-8

The Norris Trophy race most likely consists of Quinn Hughes on the prime and a race for second place under him, however Roman Josi is doing his finest to make issues attention-grabbing. After a little bit of a gradual begin, Josi is taking part in among the finest hockey of his profession. Within the final month, Josi has seven targets and 13 assists in 14 video games, making him a point-per-game participant. Oh yeah, he additionally owns an absurd 66.5% anticipated targets share in that span. 1 40-25-4

Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews has gotten a lot of the consideration in Toronto this season, and that is greater than honest. Scoring a boatload of targets and being a Hart Trophy contender will try this. I do wish to give a nod to Mitch Marner, who’s at the moment taking part in at a 100-point tempo and crushing his minutes at five-on-five. With Marner on the ice in these conditions, the Leafs have a plus-20 aim differential this season. 3 38-20-9

It could not at all times be fairly, however the Lightning are discovering a strategy to win today. Working example: Saturday’s win over the rival Panthers. The Bolts bought outshot 50-16 in that contest, however they received by a rating of 5-3. It may be a tense combat to the end for a playoff spot, but when Tampa will get in, it’s a must to suppose a division winner would not be thrilled about that matchup within the first spherical. 3 37-25-6

The Kings have been considerably inconsistent over the past month, however there’s a clear brilliant spot on the crew. Kevin Fiala has actually began to search out his scoring contact with 9 targets in his final 15 video games. A former 30-goal scorer, Fiala has the power to fill the web, and a Los Angeles squad that has struggled to mild the lamp this season will want extra of that to go on a deep playoff run. 1 35-22-11

Golden Knights
Accidents have hit the Golden Knights arduous this season, however Jonathan Marchessault is doing his half to carry the offense collectively whereas gamers like Jack Eichel and Mark Stone have missed vital time. Marchessault already has 38 tallies on the season, the best mark of his profession by a cushty margin, and there are nonetheless 14 video games left. The 2023 Conn Smythe Trophy winner is simply rising his legend in Vegas. 1 36-25-7

What the Capitals are doing proper now’s nothing lower than mind-bending. They traded some key gamers forward of the deadline, they usually appear to have much less firepower than their opponents on a nightly foundation. But, Washington has received three straight and sits in a playoff spot with a minus-27 aim differential. Netminder Charlie Lindgren has lots to do with the Caps’ success, however your entire crew has been grinding out wins these days. 6 33-25-9

The Wild are nonetheless attempting to claw their approach right into a playoff spot, however their penalty kill is not serving to them. That unit has killed off simply 73.2% of the facility performs it has confronted within the final month. That ranks twenty seventh in that stretch. Minnesota has really been fairly strong at even energy, however that penalty kill erases the arduous work the crew does in different conditions. At this level, the Wild simply need to hope Marc-Andre Fleury or Filip Gustavsson can get sizzling whereas shorthanded. 2 34-27-8

For higher or worse, John Tortorella has the very same requirements for each participant on his crew. On Tuesday, Tortorella made the choice to scratch captain Sean Couturier, who has had his ups and downs after getting back from damage this season. Couturier does have only one level in his final 9 video games, however it’s nonetheless extremely uncommon for a crew to scratch a captain. Tortorella has pushed all the fitting buttons for Philly to this point, and it labored once more because the Flyers topped the Leafs for an enormous win. 1 35-26-8

The more serious the Blues get at five-on-five, the higher they appear to get on the scoreboard. They now rank thirtieth in anticipated targets share at a dismal 43.3%. Regardless of that, the Blues simply rattled off 4 wins in a row to stay within the playoff race. Very similar to the Capitals, the Blues can attribute lots of their success to goaltending. Jordan Binnington has been bailing out the crew in entrance of him left and proper this season. 5 36-30-3

Jean-Gabriel Pageau has the fifth-most five-on-five ice time of any Islanders forwards, and the crew has not fared nicely in these minutes. Pageau is absolutely struggling this season, posting a 43.5% anticipated targets shared and minus-11 aim differential in these conditions. He additionally has one aim and three assists in his final 12 video games. That sort of underlines the depth points the Isles have had this yr. 5 29-24-15

Pink Wings
The Pink Wings have simply barely been capable of throw the brakes on their plummet to the underside of the standings. On Tuesday evening, it took the whole lot Detroit needed to beat the Blue Jackets after getting outplayed for a lot of the recreation. Since Jan. 1, Alex DeBrincat has a whopping three five-on-five targets in 32 video games. The Wings might very nicely get a wild card spot, however they might be cannon fodder for his or her first-round opponent. 3 35-28-6

Ukko-Pekka Luukonen is within the midst of a breakout season in aim. By way of 44 appearances, Luukonen has saved 13.6 targets above common (seventh) and owns a robust .915 save share. His .839 high-danger save share can also be among the many finest within the NHL. Luukonen has utterly seized the crease in Buffalo, and he has given the crew an outdoor shot of creeping into the second wild card spot. 1 33-32-5

Dustin Wolf, a highly-touted goaltending prospect for the Flames, has taken over the crease whereas Jacob Markstrom recovers from an damage. Up to now, it has been a little bit of a combined bag for Wolf. In 10 appearances this season, Wolf has allowed 1.64 targets above common, however he has had a pair spectacular video games. With Markstrom seemingly on the commerce block this offseason, Wolf ought to be the No. 1 goalie for Calgary in 2024-25. 2 33-30-5

On Tuesday evening, the Devils received the Finish This Season Already Bowl in opposition to the Penguins. Dawson Mercer and Timo Meier each notched a pair of targets, however their surges are a bit too late to avoid wasting New Jersey’s season. Possibly they will construct some confidence going into the 2024-25 season as a result of New Jersey will want them each to bounce again and compete for a Cup. 1 33-32-4

On the subject of five-on-five play, the Kraken have been probably the greatest groups within the NHL at stopping targets in opposition to. Their 121 targets allowed rank sixth within the league. Sadly for Seattle, its offense has been as dangerous because the protection and goaltending has been good. Their 122 five-on-five targets rank twenty seventh, and the Kraken are on tempo to complete the season with simply two 20-goal scorers. Including extra talent to the ahead group must be a precedence within the offseason. 5 28-27-12

Rickard Rakell’s struggles need to be discouraging for the Penguins. After tallying 28 targets and 32 assists in 82 video games final season, Rakell has simply 10 targets and 19 assists in 56 video games this season. Rakell has battled damage, however he’s additionally on the mistaken facet of 30 at this level in his profession. It is honest to surprise what the ultimate 4 years of his contract ($5 million per season) will seem like. — 30-29-9

With Ottawa already trying towards subsequent season, will Josh Norris be with the crew past the 2022-23 season? Norris lately underwent season-ending shoulder surgical procedure, and even when he was within the lineup, the outcomes weren’t nice. Will a crew be prepared to tackle a $7.95 million contract for a proficient participant who has missed vital time attributable to a number of surgical procedures in recent times? That will likely be one thing to observe this summer season. 4 28-35-4

Dylan Guenther, the No. 9 total choose within the 2021 NHL Draft, has performed 30 NHL video games this season. In that point, his profession has gotten off to a promising begin. Guenther has 10 targets and 10 assists in 2023-24, and his underlying numbers are fairly strong too. He is one other thrilling younger participant in Arizona’s group. Now if solely the crew might determine the whole lot off the ice. 2 28-35-5

Blue Jackets
In simply two years’ time Johnny Gaudreau has gone from scoring 40 targets to being on tempo for 13. That is a steep fall from grace for Gaudreau, who has proven the power to be a high-end playmaker on this league. Columbus can solely hope that, as soon as it rebuilds this roster underneath a brand new GM, Gaudreau is ready to discover some magic in an improved surroundings. 1 23-34-12

Connor Bedard, taking part in on an incredibly dangerous roster, has one way or the other managed to place up 10 factors in his final 4 video games. Bedard is now as much as 21 targets and 33 assists in 55 video games, and any questions on Calder Trophy competitors have been all however silenced by now. Bedard has lived as much as the hype this season, and the thought of Chicago including Macklin Celebrini to its lineup is simply most likely sickening for the remainder of the league. 1 19-45-5

Kaiden Guhle, the No. 16 total choose within the 2020 draft, is one other younger participant the Canadiens are banking on to construct the crew again right into a contender. Up to now, the outcomes have been simply okay. Guhle owns a 48.0% anticipated targets share at five-on-five, and Montreal has a minus-15 aim differential with him on the ice in these conditions. Guhle has had some good moments in 2023-24, however the Habs want him to take a transparent step ahead subsequent yr. 4 25-31-12

The Geese have now misplaced seven straight video games in regulation, they usually’re making a robust push for the No. 1 total choose within the 2024 NHL Draft. The massive take a look at for Anaheim will likely be whether or not it may preserve its shedding methods entering into a really winnable recreation in opposition to the Blackhawks on Thursday. — 23-43-3

Because the commerce deadline, the Sharks have been a punching bag for any crew hoping to extend its playoff probabilities. San Jose is 1-5-0 in that span, and it has been outscored 27-13. Solely 14 video games left, Sharks followers! — 16-45-7

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