Last time we checked in on the Carolina Hurricanes captain he was a very mediocre 11-25-36. As one of the highest plaid players in  the NHL, that’s not what the team or his fans are expecting of him. Since then he’s had 6 games with a 5-3-8 line. He’s also rocketed from a league worst -23 to a staggering -18 that has him 6th from the bottom of the entire NHL.

What looked like a run away scoring winner among rookies in November and December has tightened up considerably. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has suffered two shoulder injuries from legal hits, and Adam Henrique has had a couple issues keep him out of games as well. The two injuries to Nugent-Hopkins give a lot of credence to the early and preseason arguments that perhaps another year in juniors putting on some muscle might be in his best interest. With or without him the Oilers are a lottery team, and now if that shoulder fails to heal it could have repercussions that span his entire career. One wonders if the close scoring race among the forwards will lend itself to a defensemen or goalie picking up the award in Vegas.

Forwards:

  • Adam Henrique has wrested the scoring lead away from Nugent-Hopkins. In piling up the lead 19% of his points on the season have come shorthanded, 65% have come at even strength leaving the balance on the powerplay. He’s also got 30 takeaways to just 17 giveaways on the year.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins over 51% of his points have come on the powerplay this season. Despite all the time missed with injuries, he’s still on pace to break twenty goals on the year. While neither his home nor road number crosses 40%, it is interesting to note that his road faceoff percentage is higher than home.
  • Matt Read, the Philadelphia Flyers were probably expecting their other rookie forward to be at or near the top of the Calder discussion. But the small and undrafted Read has climbed the scoring ranks all season with other players out of the lineup. Like Henrique he gets a lot of short handed time, and a good amount of his points a man down.

Goalies:

 

  • Thomas Greiss of the San Jose Sharks has eight of his 12 games played, a .926sv% and 2.06GAA.
  • Jhonas Enroth of the Sabres has been on the crazy train with the rest of the team 8-9-3 in 23 appearances.
  • Richard Bachman has piled up a record of 6-3-1 .912sv% GAA 2.72.

Defensemen:

  • Jake Gardinier of the Leafs leads all rookie blueliners in points. 21:07 TOI/G
  • Raphael Diaz has climbed into second with 16 points, and has 91 blocked shots for the Montreal Canadiens.
  • Jared Cowen has 155 hits, 63 blocked shots 14 points and is loggging almost twenty minutes a night for the Senators while fourth in scoring for rookie defensemen.
  • Adam Larsson’s injury has allowed other defenders to catch up to him in scoring, but few are close to his 21:48.
  • Justin Faulk of the Hurricanes leads all the newbie defenders in average time on ice with 23:38. His 74 hits, 54 blocks and 24 takeaways to just 13 giveaways show he’s earning that time too.

About Puck Sage

PuckSage.com is a hockey site focusing on the NHL, the playing style of teams and players with analysis and the occasional predictions. If it doesn't involve what happens on ice, I won't be writing about it. About Me: Writer! Here and at HockeyThisWeek.com I write hockey. I can be found on Twitter @PuckSage on Google+ and my Facebook Page is handily listed on the main page here. Hockey lover, cognac drinker, lover of good steak, good music, and things that make me laugh. I hate cats, cat people, sloppy hockey and vegans.

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