Roundtable: Top second-half NHL storylines to watch

nhl storylines
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What second-half NHL storyline will you be watching closely?

Sean Leahy, NHL writer: The goalie market will be interesting as there are teams who seem bound for the postseason but are currently dealing with inconsistent netminding. Are the Capitals happy with Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov? Will Tuukka Rask end up being a detriment to the Bruins? Marc-Andre Fleury would be an attractive addition if he’s willing to waive his no-move clause. Could Joonas Korpisalo or Alexandar Georgiev be the solution somewhere?

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content: The trade deadline, especially looking at Eastern Conference sellers. So many East teams are out of the mix already, meaning there could be more teams trying to offload assets than normal. How will that surplus of available players affect the market? It will be fascinating to watch.

Adam Gretz, NHL writer: The Pacific Division playoff race. Everybody there has been pretty evenly matched this season and it has created a situation where pretty much everybody outside of Seattle and probably Vancouver still has some reason to believe they can make the playoffs. Anaheim and Los Angeles have been very pleasant surprises, San Jose is trying to hang around, Edmonton is always chaotic, and Calgary is really starting to get rolling. Then you have Vegas at the top of the division still getting Jack Eichel back at some point.

James O’Brien, NHL writer: Could this be the year where a trade deadline finally shifts the balance in the playoffs? The world could use that extra dash of spice.

Michael Finewax, NBC Sports Edge Senior Hockey Writer/Editor: Can Ovechkin win the Rocket Richard or will Auston Matthews overtake everyone?

nhl roundtable
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Michael Finewax, NBC Sports Edge Senior Hockey Writer/Editor

Biggest surprise (player): Moritz Seider, Red Wings
Biggest disappointment (player): Alexander Radulov, Stars
Biggest surprise (team): Anaheim
Biggest disappointment (team): New York Islanders
Comeback player of the season so far: Sergei Bobrovsky, Panthers
Current non-playoff team that will make the postseason?: Edmonton
Current playoff team that will end up missing?: Los Angeles

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content

Biggest surprise (player): Troy Terry, Ducks
Biggest disappointment (player): Philipp Grubauer, Kraken
Biggest surprise (team): Nashville Predators
Biggest disappointment (team): Montreal Canadiens
Comeback player of the season so far: Jonathan Quick, Kings
Current non-playoff team that will make the postseason?: None
Current playoff team that will end up missing?: None

James O’Brien, NHL writer

Biggest surprise (player): Nazem Kadri, Avalanche
Biggest disappointment (player): Cole Caufield, Canadiens
Biggest surprise (team): Anaheim Ducks
Biggest disappointment (team): Philadelphia Flyers
Comeback player of the season so far: Matt Duchene, Predators
Current non-playoff team that will make the postseason?: Oilers
Current playoff team that will end up missing?: Ducks

Adam Gretz, NHL writer

Biggest surprise (player): Sergei Bobrovsky, Panthers
Biggest disappointment (player): Cole Caufield, Canadiens
Biggest surprise (team): Anaheim Ducks
Biggest disappointment (team): Montreal Canadiens
Comeback player of the season so far: Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues
Current non-playoff team that will make the postseason?: Stars
Current playoff team that will end up missing?: Ducks

Sean Leahy, NHL writer

Biggest surprise (player): Sergei Bobrovsky, Panthers
Biggest disappointment (player): Cole Caufield, Canadiens
Biggest surprise (team): Nashville Predators
Biggest disappointment (team): New York Islanders
Comeback player of the season so far: Matt Duchene, Predators
Current non-playoff team that will make the postseason?: None
Current playoff team that will end up missing?: None

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