This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes a Staal hitting 1,000 points, a smoking hot winger in Pitt, two backup goalies rolling, a young stud injured for Philly and a pair of New York wingers slumping.
First Liners (Risers)
Eric Staal, C, MIN – Staal continued his hot play over the last month or so, notching a pair of goals Saturday then adding a marker Sunday for his 1,000th NHL point. Those two markers gave the 35-year center five goals and six assists in 13 games since Nov. 19. Staal notched 65 and 76 points his first campaigns in Minnesota before falling to 52 last season. His fine play the last month has Staal up to 11 goals and 14 assists in 33 games on the season, which could allow him to exceed his 2018-19 output while keeping the Wild in playoff contention.
Victor Olofsson, LW, BUF – OIofsson posted two power-play goals and a pair of assists in a six-game taste of NHL action last season. That small sample was an indication of what was to come this year. OIofsson started the season hot, and after a mild bump in the road, has been extremely productive. In his last 19 games, the second-year winger has eight goals and 21 points, benefitting from skating alongside the red-hot Jack Eichel.
Jake Guentzel, RW, PIT – Guentzel exploded with 40 goals and 36 assists last season after tallying 33 and 48 points, respectively, his first two campaigns in the league. Selected