NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 08: Martin Erat #10 of the Nashville Predators shoots the puck past Jan Hejda #8 of the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena on March 8, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
It's been two weeks since our last left wing update, and you'll notice a lot of players have moved around quite a bit in our updated rankings -- none more noticeable than Gabriel Landeskog's rise from No. 36 two weeks ago to No. 23 this week.
Earlier this season, all the talk among rookies was about Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- deservedly so, as he had 35 points in his first 38 games prior to getting injured. However, Landeskog has stolen the show and has been red-hot since the start of February.
The No. 2 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Landeskog got off to a solid start with 7 points in 11 October games. He cooled off in November with just 1 goal and 4 points in 14 contests, but during December and January he started to show some consistency. He finished those two months with 9 and 7 points respectively and it appeared that Landeskog was showing what type of player he'd be like for most of the season -- that of a 40-point player.
Just when Matt Duchene was back and feeling comfortable, he'll be out again for the Colorado Avalanche.
The Avalanche announced Thursday that Duchene will be out three to four weeks with the ankle injury that he suffered in Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Wild.
Duchene was the Avalanche's leading scorer last season, but this season, he was sidelined with a knee injury that kept him out for 20 games.
He returned on Feb. 19 and had a goal and assist before being injured again.
The 19- year-old veteran was called upon several times during the pre-game festivities to accepted one award after another.
Sgarbossa was the team's Molson Cup three star and Industrial Alliance player of the month for February, which was a foregone conclusion
considering he won the Ontario Hockey
League player-of- the-week award twice, the Canadian Hockey
League player-of- the-week once and the
OHL player-of-the-month honours.
The Colorado Avalanche prospect extended his point-scoring streak to 19 games with a pair of assists, which catapulted him into sole possession of the league's scoring lead. He was two points ahead of Ottawa's Tyler Toffoli going into last night's action. Sgarbossa piled up 17 goals and 21 assists in that stretch, dating back to late January.
With the Vancouver Canucks’ next playoff run a month away, the City of Vancouver is planning a scaled-back celebration for 2012.
Perhaps the most-studied evening in Vancouver history, the Stanley Cup riot of June 15, 2011 has been subjected to four reviews, and city staff is wading through 129 recommendations as it plans for this spring’s NHL post-season.
"We all want to ensure a fun atmosphere during the playoffs, but obviously, it’s not going to be the same as last year," Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said.
"Over the past year, we’ve managed more big events like the Grey Cup and the Celebration of Light, and I’m confident given the amount of preparation, that our plans for this year’s playoffs will enable fans of all ages to have fun both safely and responsibly."
Alexander Ovechkin has been struggling to generate offence because he has not adapted his style of play, giving opposing coaches and players time to catch up to a forward who was once unstoppable, according to one former opponent.
Bobby Holik, who retired from the National Hockey League three years ago after playing in more than 1,300 games, said it was only a matter of time before the pace and the grind caught up with the Russian star. Ovechkin, a two-time Hart Trophy winner, was 53rd on the NHL’s scoring list Thursday and has been benched by both men who have coached the Washington Capitals this season.
"I think he was always predictable," Holik said. "I played quite a few games against him, but at that time, it was new to everyone. He was just so physically dominating that he was unstoppable on most nights. You just tried to contain him."