Flames, Predators among the West Conference teams in range


Anaheim Ducks

Registration: 21-21-9, 51 points, fifth place in the Pacific

MVP: John Gibson – The goalkeeper is the biggest reason why the Ducks are still competing for a place in the playoffs of the Stanley Cup, despite a 12-game losing streak (0-8-4) between Dec. 18 and Jan. 15. He has 17- 16-8 record, 2.74 counter-average goals and 919 save percentage for a team at or near the bottom of the NHL in goals (30), shots per game (31) and shooting attempts (29).

Unknown Hero: Jakob Silfverberg– The striker is in the injured reserve with a lower-body injury, but his 12 goals make it to Anaheim and he's on pace to reach 20 for the third time in four seasons.

Player to watch: Daniel Sprong– The forward has 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in 22 games for the ducks after he was acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for defense Marcus Pettersson on 3 December. The seven-point 21-year-old (four goals, three assists) takes Anaheim to the January 10 games and he is on the right wing in the second row with the left back. Nick Ritchie and center Adam Henrique.

Prognosis of the second half: The ducks started a recast in January by acquiring forwards Devin Shoredefense Michael Del Zotto and center Derek Grant in separate exchanges, and reminding attackers Troy Terry and Max Jones of San Diego's American Hockey League. The new blood could give a team devastated by injuries, and it surpassed 8-1 in consecutive defeats, an increase in the rhythm.

Arizona Coyotes

Record: 23-23-4, 50 points, sixth in the Pacific

MVP: Clayton Keller –The center leads the Coyotes in scoring with 35 points (11 goals, 24 assists), nine more than the second best scorer Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The score of .70 per 20-year-old is the best among those who have played a full season in Arizona.

Unknown Hero: Darcy Kuemper He assumed the position of goalkeeper number 1 with Antti Raanta (lower body) probably out of season. Kuemper missed his first four starts and six of seven after returning from a lower body contusion on Dec. 11 but is 6-0-2 with an average of 2.07 goals against, 928 of savings and a shutout in his eight previous matches. one of three goalkeepers without a loss of regulation since New Year's Day, along with Tuukka Rask the Boston Bruins and David Rittich of the Calgary Flames.

Player to watch: Conor Garland The forward has 12 points (nine goals, three assists) in 16 games after none in the top seven of his NHL career. The 22-year-old is the sixth rookie in Coyotes / Winnipeg Jets history to score at least four consecutive games and the first since Teemu Selanne set the record for nine consecutive games from March 14 to April 1, 1993.

Prognosis of the second half: Arizona started their six-game losing streak in nine games (6-2-1) and is two points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card in the Western Conference playoffs. But numerous injuries, the uncertain status of Ekman-Larsson (lower body) and lack of offense will present challenges to make the postseason for the first time since 2011-12.

Video: PIT @ ARI: Keller makes PPG for 100th career point

Calgary Flames

Record: 33-13-5, 71 points, first place in the Pacific

MVP: Johnny Gaudreau – His 73 points (29 goals, 44 assists) are tied with the Edmonton Oilers Center Connor McDavid for the third in the NHL. The forward reached 70 points in 48 games, the third fastest in Calgary / Atlanta Flames history, behind Kent Nilsson (46 in 1980-81) and Bob MacMillan (47 in 1978-79).

Unknown Hero: David Rittich – The 26-year-old emerged as a viable NHL goalkeeper who stood out when Mike Smith had an undisclosed injury and saw his playing time increase. He is 8-0-2 with 2.77 GAA and 0.909 save percentage in his last 10 games.

Player to watch: Mark Giordano – The 35-year-old has a 52-point Norris Trophy caliber season (11 goals, 41 assists) and a high NHL rating of 29 in 49 games, and could be a finalist for the first time for the top NHL.

Prognosis of the second half: The Flames are 8-0-1 in their last nine games and are aiming for the advantage of playing at home in the West with Bill Peters working wonders in his first season as a coach. Questions remain in the goal, where Rittich must continue to prove that he is real when the games increase in magnitude.

Chicago Blackhawks

Registration: 18-24-9, 45 points, seventh place in the Central

MVP: Patrick Kane – The striker (71 points, 29 goals, 42 assists) has been a bright spot for the Blackhawks in a season that included the dismissal of coach Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6 and two losses from eight games (Oct. 27-Nov. 12) . November 27 to December 11). Kane is 23 points ahead of Chicago's second-best scorer, center Jonathan Toewsand has at least 20 deciding points for the sixth consecutive season and for the ninth time in his NHL career.

Unknown hero: Collin Delia – The 24-year-old won 3-1-3 with a 2.70 GAA and 0.932 in the first seven games after recovering from AHL's Rockford on December 17, the day after the first goalkeeper Corey Crawford suffered a concussion. Crawford's return remains uncertain, so the Blackhawks will have to ride timeshare with Delia and veterans Cam Ward.

Player to watch: Alex DeBrincat The 21-year-old is three goals from the 28 goals scored in his debut season in 2017-18. The striker is the third player aged 21 years or less to score 25 goals in the first 50 games this season along with McDavid and Winnipeg Jets Patrik Laine.

Prognosis of the second half: Kane lifted Chicago within a distance of the playoff final before a series of defeats for five games (0-3-2) fell short in the bottom of the NHL standings. The Blackhawks can approach because of the inconsistency of the teams above them, but they have little defense and lack of offense behind Kane, Toews and DeBrincat to make a serious run.

Colorado Avalanche

Registration: 22-20-8, 52 points, fifth place in the Central

MVP: Nathan MacKinnon – The most dominant line in the NHL is undoubtedly Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, each of whom represented the Avalanche in the 2019 NHL All-Star Game and deserves consideration in this category. MacKinnon is tied for fifth in the league with 71 points (27 goals, 44 assists) in 50 games, although he lost the All-Star Game because of a bruised foot.

Unknown Hero: Tyson Barrie –– He leads the Avalanche defenders with 39 points (six goals, 33 assists), including eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 11 defense games Nikita Zadorov lost with an injury.

Player to watch: Mikko Rantanen – The Colorado scorer with 74 points (23 goals and 51 assists) continues with his push for Art Ross Trophy and potentially the Hart Trophy. The striker needed 47 games to get at least 50 assists, tied with Peter Stastny and Peter Forsberg for the second fastest in Avalanche / Quebec Nordiques history, behind Stastny's 46 games in 1981-82. He is second in the NHL in scoring, four points behind Tampa Bay Lightning front Nikita Kucherov.

Prognosis of the second half: The Avalanche reached the break with three losses in four games and 12 in the last 15 (3-10-2). The returns from Zadorov and Mark Barberio extend the defense, but Colorado need more goalkeepers Semyon Varlamov and Philipp Grubauerand his offense beyond the upper line.

Video: COL @ OTT: MacKinnon snipe shot by Nilsson for PPG

Edmonton Oilers

Record: 23-24-3, 49 points, seventh place in the Pacific

MVP: Connor McDavid – The center and captain have five streaks of at least five games, including a run of eight games (11 points, six goals, five assists) from October 23 to November. 5. He was part of 11 of 13 goals that Edmonton scored to start the season (four goals, seven assists) and scored 13 of 15 games (24 points, 10 goals, 14 assists) in the break. He is tied for third in the NHL in scoring, behind Kucherov and Rantanen, with 73 points (29 goals, 44 assists).

Unknown hero: Oscar Klefbom – The Oilers were in a 7-1-0 race that began on Nov. 27, a week after Ken Hitchcock replaced Todd McLellan as coach when the defender injured his hand in the second half of the season against the Avalanche in December. 11. They are 6-12-1 without him, allowing 76 goals, most in the NHL during that stretch, and were exceeded 663-498. Klefbom leads Edmonton with an average of 25:25 ice time per game and is expected back after the break.

Player to watch: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins –– The Oilers need to score from someone other than McDavid and the center Leon Draisaitl. The production of the podium forward and No. 1 in the 2011 NHL Draft, whose 46 points (16 goals, 30 assists) are in third place, behind McDavid and Draisaitl, will be crucial in the stretch.

Prognosis of the second half: The Oilers fired McLellan and general manager Peter Chiarelli this season despite continuing in the playoffs. Despite all their talent, the question of why they have not taken the next step since the race for Game 7 of the second round of the Western Conference 2017 remains.

Los Angeles Kings

Record: 20-26-4, 44 points, eighth in the Pacific

MVP: Drew Doughty – The defender leads the Kings with 23 assists and the NHL in average time of ice (26:41). He may be the first to lead the NHL in time on the ice in consecutive seasons since the Minnesota Wild team. Ryan Suter from 2012 to 2013 to 2014-15.

Unknown Hero: Jake Muzzin – The 29-year-old is second behind Doughty in points (21) and time on ice (21:32) among defending kings and takes all Los Angeles players into more-less (over-10) hits ) and blocked shots (92).

Player to watch: Ilya Kovalchuk – It has been a difficult first season in the NHL for the 35-year-old striker who has lost 10 games after doing an ankle bursectomy. Before that, coach John Stevens was fired and Kovalchuk was pulled out of the top-flight power division, out of the top six and tied for the third time against the Oilers on Nov. 25. He scored twice on his comeback on December 22 before resisting. a dry of 10 games.

Prognosis of the second half: The Kings are desperate for help in attack and in the power game, which Kovalchuk should help improve. It may be time to hit the reset button in Los Angeles trying to negotiate with Kovalchuk and see what's out there Tyler Toffoli (three goals in the last 32 games) and center Adrian Kempe (no goals in the last 18).

Minnesota Wild

Registration: 26-21-3, 55 points, third place in the Central

MVP: Zach Parise – The forward returned to sixth place after returning to surgery in October 2017 to lead Minnesota with 20 goals and 44 points in 49 games, having received 15 and 24 in 42 games last season. The 34-year-old kept the inconsistent Wild in the playoff race despite 4-8-1 December, finding chemistry with the center Charlie Coyle and forwarding Luke Kunin since they were united on December 27.

Unknown Hero: Ryan Suter – The reliable defender continues to eat big minutes (26:37 per game) with Minnesota without defense Matt Dumba (torn pectoral muscle). Suter has been a believer this season after recovering from a broken right fibula suffered on March 31.

Player to watch: Eric Staal – The team was returning from its 76-76 season in 2017-18 before entering the break with three consecutive points (six points, three goals, three assists) and six of eight (10 points, four goals, six assists). How much the 34-year-old left will affect Wild's chances of playoff.

Prognosis of the second half: Minnesota, 10-15-1 in a 26 game play after a start of 12-5-2, shook his core by negotiating forward Nino Niederreiter for hurricanes Carolina to the front Victor Rask on January 17 and began to break the winners of three straight and four out of five. They are expecting a change of scenery for Rask to ignite the low-cost center Staal, Coyle, Mikko Koivu and forward Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker.

Video: MIN @ TOR: Coyle Roofing Parasite's feed to put Wild ahead

Nashville Predators

Record: 30-18-4, 64 points, second place in the Central

MVP: Ryan Johansen – The center leads the Predators with 43 points (nine goals, 34 assists) in 50 games, having played with countless skaters before their regular line-ups. Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg returned after losing a combined 41 games with injuries. Johansen is on his way to his fifth season of 60 NHL points and can take his game to new heights after the break.

Unknown Hero: Pekka Rinne – The goalkeeper and winner of the Vezina Trophy was the backbone of the Predators when they were ravaged by injuries and the 36-year-old helped keep them competing in first place in the Central Division. He is 18-12-3 with a GAA of 2.47 and .915 saves percentage in 36 games (35 matches) this season.

Player to watch: Filip Forsberg – The striker has seven points (four goals, three assists) in nine games after losing 17 with a hand injury, and his 18 goals are one behind Arvidsson for the Nashville leader. His return allowed others to return to more familiar roles for the Predators, who went 8-7-2 without him.

Prognosis of the second half: Injuries and adversities could prove to be a blessing in disguise for Nashville, who have never lost more than two straight games to win 53 games and the Presidents' Trophy last season before a seven-game loss to Winnipeg Jets at the Western Conference Round Two .

San Jose Sharks

Record: 29-16-7, 65 points, second place in the Pacific

MVP: Brent Burns – The defender, with 55 points (nine goals, 46 assists, is on his way to overtaking his NHL career in points (76), when he won the Norris Trophy in 2016-17. Sharks are 17-6-2 since December 2 with Burns receiving 28 points (six goals, 22 assists).

Unknown Hero: Timo Meier – The striker has used a run of nine games (eight goals, five assists) from October 9 to 30, scored 11 goals in the first 14 games of the season and has highs in the NHL career in assists (27) and points (46). every second between the sharks to the front behind the center Logan Couture.

Player to watch: Martin Jones –– The goalkeeper has won eight straight from December 27 to January. 15 tied his NHL career from Dec. 3-21, 2013, until he dropped a set of 17 goals in his three final matches before the break. Jones started at least 60 games in each of the past three seasons and will once again be considered the rock of San Jose during another push in the playoffs. He is 23-10-4 with a 2.98 GAA and 0.895 save percentage at 38 starts this season.

Prognosis of the second half: The road is hard for the Sharks, with 14 of the last 30 games out of the SAP Center where they are 17-4-4. Defenders Erik Karlsson (not disclosed) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (shoulder) are expected for the stretch, and given how Karlsson fit in after a slow start, San Jose should be in search of the best record in the West.

St. Louis Blues

Registration: 22-22-5, 49 points, sixth in the Central

MVP: Ryan O'Reilly – The centerpiece of the trade with the Buffalo Sabers on July 1 gave a sequence of six games (eight points, two goals, six assists) in the range and their January numbers (15 points, three goals, 15 assists, plus -8) helped St. Louis revive its season. He leads the Blues with 50 points (18 goals, 32 assists) in 49 games.

Unknown Hero: Jordan Binnington – The rookie keeper was 3-1-0 with a 1.55 GAA and .937 save percentage in his first four NHL starts after he was called San Antonio from AHL on January 5, and the 25-year-old is 5- 1 -1 with a 1.84 GAA and .924 save percentage in its first seven decisions.

Player to watch: Vladimir Tarasenko – The Blues need the striker who was the top scorer in the last four seasons and entered the break with 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 11 games, instead of the player who scored two goals on Dec. 13 and was part of the team. The St. Louis free fall to the NHL fund.

Prognosis of the second half: The road to the playoffs is open to the Blues after their low 9-13-4 on December 5. They have not won three consecutive times until January 10-14 and expect to use a 7-4-1 stretch. since the beginning of 2019 as a springboard for a post-season return. They also need to be better at the Enterprise Center (12-13-2), where they play seven of the last 10 regular season games.

Vancouver Canucks

Registration: 23-22-6, 52 points, fourth place in the Pacific

MVP: Elias Pettersson – The center leads all rookies with 45 points (23 goals, 22 assists) in 40 games. The 20-year-old was the NHL rookie of the month of December, selected for the All-Star Game and is on his way to becoming the first Sweden-born striker to win the Calder Trophy as the best NHL rookie since Landeskog in 2012.

Unknown Hero: Alexander Edler – The defender is enjoying a rebirth season (20 points, five goals, 15 assists, plus-3 in 36 games) after having minus -20 and under-18 in the previous two. The 32-year-old, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, leads the Canucks at 11:30 p.m. and is on pace for his most productive season since 2011-12, when he scored 49 points goals, 38 assists).

Player to watch: Jacob Markstrom – He has been Vancouver's best goalkeeper after 8-9-3 with a 3.31 GAA and a 0.887 reduction in his first 20 games. At some point, the Canucks will want an extended look at rookie Thatcher Demko, but Markstrom is on track for his best season in the NHL and consistency will be decisive in the final stretch; he is 19-13-5 with a 2.84 GAA and .908 save percentage this season.

Prognosis of the second half: The Canucks are on the hunt for the playoffs at the West's open conference and are eyeing their first appearance in the postseason since 2015. Pettersson gives Vancouver three big with attackers Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser, but they are in the middle of the road offensively and need a lot more in power play (16.8 percent, tied for 22nd in the NHL).

Video: EDM @ VAN: Pettersson sits on PPG's first shelf

Golden Riders of Vegas

Record: 29-19-4, 62 points, third in the Pacific

MVP: Marc-Andre Fleury – The goalkeeper is one of the main winners of the Vezina Trophy tournament, having spent 12 straight games without a 9-0-3 loss from 9 December to 9 January. 8. The 34-year-old leads the NHL in wins (27), starts (45) and stops (six), to keep up with 2.49 GAA and 0.911%.

Unknown Hero: Nate Schmidt – Vegas was 8-11-1 during the suspension of Schmidt's 20 games for violating the terms of the NHL / NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. The Golden Knights are 21-8-3 since he came back to stabilize the back end. He has 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 32 games and has signed a six-year contract (annual average value of $ 5.95 million) on October 24.

Player to watch: Alex Tuch – The Wild 18 in the 2014 NHL Draft was traded with Golden Knights on June 21, 2017 and is the team's top scorer with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 44 games. Tuch's nine-game sequence (11 points, three goals, eight assists), which ended Jan. 15, was the NHL's second longest race behind the Blues. David Perron (13).

Prognosis of the second half: The Golden Knights proved that their Cinderella in the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season was no accident. Center William Karlsson and forward Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith and Max Pacioretty each still has to play their best hockey, so expect Vegas to find other equipment and challenge the supremacy of Flames for Western Conference.


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