Week 14: January 1 – 7, 2018

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Photo sources: CBC.ca, pastemagazine.com


Trading block

The Montreal Canadiens turned heads this week as they make both literal and theoretical moves, trading back-up goalie Al Montoya to the Oilers in exchange for a conditional fourth-round 2018 draft pick, and allowing rumors of a Max Pacioretty trade to spread ravenous around the league. Their captain has become unpopular with much of the team’s fanbase despite his best efforts to lead an all-around lacking team that’s currently eight points out of a playoff position. Prospective teams in the mix for the winger’s near future have included the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames, and even the Nashville Predators (side-eye emoji).

The struggling Anthony Duclair has formally requested a trade from the equally struggling Arizona Coyotes this week. The forward is hoping to regain the offensive prosperity of his 44-point sophomore campaign seeing as poor numbers are becoming a gruesome routine in the desert – Duclair has only managed to tally 13 points on the season thusfar, and his potential with Arizona appears to be exhausted.

Injury report

Chris Kreider (NYR) – A tragic case of “out indefinitely” infects the Rangers line-up as the forward is sidelined after undergoing surgery for a blood clot in his arm. The closest thing given in terms of a timeline for Kreider’s return is that recovery could keep him out until March. When taking into consideration the winger’s 22 points in his first 37 games of the season, this could certainly have an impact on the Ranger’s scoresheet.

Let’s go streaking

This week, several teams across the league are tallying game after game in the win column for some – in certain instances, unexpected – point streaks. The Winnipeg Jetsextended to a five-game point streak following their win against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. As seventh in the league in points, Blake Wheeler no doubt contributes to the team’s streaking campaign, posting five goals and three assists throughout.

The Detroit Red Wings are up to a four-game victory streak, with a huge thanks to Jimmy Howard’s goaltending.  He saved 38 shots in the contest against the Florida Panthers and has a .952 save percentage across the past six games. Putting the cherry on top is Henrik Zetterberg‘s long pass to Gustav Nyquist for the game’s final goal in the third, which was recorded as his 600th NHL career assist.

Racking up a hefty seven goals against the Minnesota Wild are the Colorado Avalanche as they tack on their fifth consecutive win. Nathan MacKinnon, one of two Avs who had a three-point night along with Mikko Rantanen, noted in his post-game, “that was a playoff environment. We haven’t had that in a long time.”

O Captain, My Captain

The divisional captains have been declared for the 2018 All-Star game and, all things considered, it’s nothing surprising. The fans voted Connor McDavid, PK Subban, Alex Ovechkin, and Steven Stamkos to lead their respective divisions in the three-on-three tournament and skills showcase to take place in Tampa at the end of the month. Coaches Jon Cooper (TBL), Gerard Gallant (VGK), Peter Laviolette (NSH), and Barry Trotz (WSH) will be behind the benches, as their teams hold the highest points percentages at this point in the regular season.

League Leaders (Pts.)

Players

  1. Nikita Kucherov, TBL (58)
  2. Nathan MacKinnon, COL (52)
  3. Claude Giroux, PHI (51)
  4. John Tavares, NYI (50)
  5. Steven Stamkos, TBL (50)
  6. Josh Bailey, NYI (50)
  7. Blake Wheeler, WPG (49)
  8. Jakub Voracek, PHI (49)
  9. Connor McDavid (47)
  10. Johnny Gaudreau, CGY (46)

Teams

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning (61)
  2. Vegas Golden Knights (58)
  3. Winnipeg Jets (55)
  4. Nashville Predators (54)
  5. St. Louis Blues (54)
  6. Washington Capitals (53)
  7. Los Angeles Kings (53)
  8. Boston Bruins (52)
  9. New Jersey Devils (52)
  10. Toronto Maple Leafs (52)

What you may have missed on Puck It Up:

2018 World Junior Championship: Team Canada Snubs
Chicago Blackhawks on the Rise
The Islanders are Coming Home


Check back every Sunday to catch up on the week’s happenings around the league. Catch up on past Weekend Updates here. Follow us on Twitter: @puckitupblog.

-Alyssa O’Brenski

Email: alyssaobrenski@gmail.com
Twitter: @alyssaacorrine
Instagram: alyssaobrenski

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