NHL

NHL Star Power Index: Mikko Rantanen can’t be stopped, plus what’s up with Jacob Markstrom?

NHL Star Power Index: Mikko Rantanen can’t be stopped, plus what’s up with Jacob Markstrom?

Welcome to the NHL Star Power Index: A weekly indicator of the players who control the league’s substantial gap. When a player is included on this list it may not be a good thing, it means that they are getting a lot of attention from the hockey world.

These players are in no particular order in terms of how much buzz they’re creating. We’ll be reviewing the Star Power Index each week during the regular season.

The Colorado Devessall they have been forced to defend their Stanley Cup without a captain Gabriel Landeskog, who is expected to be out at least until January due to knee surgery. Fortunately for the Avalanche, the team has plenty of star playmakers they can turn to when they need offensive production.

One of them has recently been a star winger Mikko Rantanen.

Rantanen has been absolutely on fire over the last week, as he has just four goals and five assists in his last three games. The Finnish forward has recorded at least two points in each of those three contests, including a four-point performance (one goal and three assists) against the Carolina Hurricanes this past Saturday.

In total, Rantanen has recorded seven goals and seven assists in five games this month, including two multi-goalers. His recent offensive surge has elevated him among the top point producers in the league. The 26-year-old’s 25 points are tied for third in the NHL Connor McDavid (32) i Leon Draisaitl (28). Additionally, Rantanen’s 11 goals are currently tied for fourth in the league.

Almost a full calendar year after being traded by the Buffalo sabers, Jack Eichel got some revenge on his old team. In last Thursday’s 7-4 victory over the Sabres, the Vegas Golden Knights star recorded three goals and one assist against his former team. Eichel scored all three of his three goals in the final period.

The former Sabers star even made sure to taunt the crowd after scoring his first goal after being booed during pregame warmups and every time he touched the puck throughout the contest.

Eichel became the fifth former Sabers player to record a hat trick against Buffalo when he joined. Tyler Ennis (January 25, 2022), Ray Sheppard (November 26, 1996), Pierre Turgeon (January 6, 1996) and Tony McKegney (February 24, 1987). This was just Eichel’s second game against his former team since being traded to the Golden Knights last November.

Eichel’s triumphant performance against his former team was just the latest in a strong stretch for him. Over the past four games, Eichel has recorded five goals and one assist, including at least one goal in three of those four games. In addition, the 2015 No. 2 pick is enjoying a sensational month in which he has accumulated six goals and four assists.

Eichel has been the driving force behind a Golden Knights team that currently has the best record in the Western Conference.

The Devils of New Jersey they’ve easily been the most exciting story in the NHL this season. They are currently riding a 10-game winning streak, which is the third-longest in franchise history.

One of the main reasons for the team’s success has been the captain’s play Nico Hischier.

Hischier may not have the flashiest numbers of the season (8 goals and 9 assists), but he’s been very productive of late. The 2017 No. 1 pick has three goals and two assists in his last four games, including a two-goal performance in a 4-3 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators last thursday

Hischier also scored the winning goal in the final minute of extra time with a spot kick from the defender Dougie Hamilton. The entire play was made possible after Hischier won the faceoff against Ottawa Tyler Motte.

The Devils center has been extremely reliable in the faceoff circle through the first 16 games of the year, winning 190 faceoffs (58.5 percent), which is seventh most in the NHL. Hischier dealt with injuries early in his NHL career and didn’t develop as quickly as many expected. However, now the Devils’ top-line center is really hitting his stride and showing why he was one of the best.

It has been a difficult recent stretch for the Calgary Flames with the team losing seven of their last nine games. the doorman Jacob Markstrom he has also been at the forefront of these struggles.

Markstrom, who was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender last season, has amassed a 3.06 goals-against average and .889 save percentage so far this season. Both rank outside the top 30 among NHL goaltenders. Most recently, the Flames goalkeeper gave up five goals in a 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. In that contest, he stopped just 24 of the 29 shots he faced.

The 32-year-old has allowed two goals or fewer in just four of his 12 starts on the year so far. It’s a far cry from a goaltender who compiled a 37-15-0 record, 2.22 goals-against average and .922 save percentage during the 2021-22 campaign. For a goalie with Markstrom’s pedigree, that likely won’t continue all season, but it’s certainly concerning so far.





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