Top players since the Olympics/trade deadline

sedin.jpgI was reading over some of last night’s results and I thought: wow, Ryan Kesler’s putting up points again.

While I questioned his “elite” star power when I heard that the two-way center was named the NHL 2K11 cover star, it sure seems like he’s beginning to earn that status. He’s been on a hot streak lately and it got me to thinking: which players are on the biggest hot streaks since the trade deadline/Olympics finished?

Using Yahoo’s software to group the top players for the month of March, I think this will give an interesting (though overly simplistic) idea of some of the players who are achieving the most since the over-sized candles were blown out in Vancouver and players found a new home.

Top 10 skaters “overall”

  1. Daniel Sedin (apparently hits aren’t a big factor in Yahoo’s ratings)
  2. Paul Stastny
  3. Mikael Samuelsson (take that, whoever chose team Sweden!)
  4. Chris Stewart (Colorado’s under the radar power forward)
  5. Brooks Laich (not sure how he got on here with 9 points, but it’s hard not to “Laich” the choice. Hey-oh!)
  6. Peter Mueller
  7. Mike Richards
  8. Steven Stamkos
  9. Henrik Sedin (the twins can never be too far apart, can they?)
  10. Ryan Kesler

Top 5 goal scorers

  1. Mikael Samuelsson – 9
  2. Chris Stewart – 8
  3. Simon Gagne – 8
  4. Lee Stempniak – 7
  5. Steven Stamkos – 7

Top 5 assist leaders

  1. Daniel Sedin – 12
  2. Paul Stastny – 11
  3. Henrik Sedin – 11
  4. Bryan McCabe (!!!) – 10
  5. Patrick Kane – 10

Top 5 goalies (according to whatever Yahoo! looks at – probably GAA, save %, SO, wins)

  1. Ilya Bryzgalov
  2. Pekka Rinne
  3. Jose Theodore (time to get that contract, Theo!)
  4. Jaroslav Halak
  5. Craig Anderson

And, finally, the top 5 in points scored on the powerplay

  1. Nicklas Lidstrom – 7
  2. Paul Stastny – 7
  3. Mike Richards – 6
  4. Brad Richards – 6
  5. Brooks Laich – 6

(Weird side note: every stat category had a clear top 5. Every time I got to a sixth player, they had one point lower. The lack of ties strikes me as very unusual. Sorry, I know you don’t care … I’ll go back to the basement.)

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?