This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes DJ Zib on a roll, a Pittsburgh winger showing signs of "Rust," a Chicago blueliner with a breakthrough campaign, Nashville's No. 2 netminder playing like a No. 1, the return of Perry and P.K. slumping.
First Liners (Risers)
Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR - Zib is on fire. His hat trick Thursday against the Devils was the second of his career, giving the Swedish pivot 20 lamplighters to go with 28 helpers in 50 games. He added two assists Saturday and then a goal and assist Monday, resulting in him setting career highs in points and assists. GM Jeff Gorton fleeced Ottawa in acquiring Zibanejad for Derick Brassard after the 2015-16 season. Now finally healthy after suffering several concussions, DJ Zib looks to have taken the next step in his career and is becoming a true top-line center.
Bryan Little, C, WPG - The Jets are reportedly in the market for a second-line center, but might already have one in house. Little has been on an absolute roll the last few weeks, which continued Saturday. He scored two goals and added an assist against the Ducks, giving Little 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his last 12 games. Prior to that, Little had 20 points in 40 games, so you will need to gauge if the first 40 games, last 12 contests or somewhere in between is the real Little.
Filip Forsberg, RW, NAS - Forsberg continued his recent roll, notching three assists