NHL Barometer: Risers & Fallers

NHL Barometer: Risers & Fallers

This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.

This week's article includes a center finding the Fountain of Youth in the Steel City, a 2008 first overall pick on a roll, a Winged Wheel neophyte blueliner, the new top-man between the pipes in Toronto, Max Pac out six weeks and the future in net for Big D sent to the minors. 

First Liners (Risers)

Jeff Carter, C, PIT – Carter found the fountain of youth after coming to Pittsburgh last season. With both Sidney Crosby (wrist) and Evgeni Malkin (knee) out, Pittsburgh needed a few players to pick up the slack, and Carter has answered the bell. He notched the 400th goal of his career Thursday and has added three assists in the three contests while centering the top line. When Crosby returns, possibly this week, Carter will slide down a line, but he should continue to see major minutes, until at least Malkin returns. 

Anze Kopitar, C, LA – Kopitar finished with 13 goals and 37 helpers in 56 games last season, ending the campaign with exactly 1,000 points in his 15-year NHL career. He has been red-hot kicking off 2021-22, notching four goals and three helpers, along with 10 shots on net, in two games. Any concern that he might be slowing down has been alleviated — at least early on — by his start. Kopitar is still the No. 1 center both at even strength and on the man-advantage, which should remain the case even when Quinton Byfield returns from his injury.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan Levine
Levine covers baseball and hockey for RotoWire. He is responsible for the weekly NL FAAB column for baseball and the Barometer for hockey. In addition to his column writing, he is master of the NHL cheat sheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets and Rangers.
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