NHL Energy Rankings: MVP race check-in version

We’re nearing the midway level of the 2021-22 NHL season, which implies awards chatter will quickly begin to warmth up.

This 12 months, very like elements of final season, it’s troublesome to match groups for the aim of an influence rankings – whereas the standings inform us rather a lot, they don’t share the complete story. A sequence of COVID-19 outbreaks means there are main discrepancies between golf equipment’ video games performed. The group to have performed the fewest matchups to this point, the New York Islanders, have suited up 28 occasions whereas the busiest groups (Vegas and Anaheim) have performed 39.

This additionally makes the MVP race troublesome to evaluate, although we’ve definitely received some fascinating instances to be made.

This week’s NHL Energy Rankings give attention to every group’s most respected participant as we test in on the race nearing the midway level of the season.

1. Carolina Hurricanes (24-7-2)
Frederik Andersen’s dominant run is aware of no finish. Individually, he’s gone greater than a month with out dropping a sport whereas his season totals – 1.97 goals-against common, .929 save proportion – are profession highs by a protracted shot.

2. Florida Panthers (24-7-5)
Florida is firing on all cylinders this season, and the identical may be stated concerning the group’s prime scorer. Jonathan Huberdeau’s 47 factors via 36 video games are fifth league-wide and, with a six-game level streak that’s introduced a whopping 14 factors, the MVP chatter received’t be slowing down any time quickly.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning (24-9-5)
Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy backstopped the Lighting to back-to-back Stanley Cups, and is taking part in like he’s poised for a 3rd. Scary good things.

4. Colorado Avalanche (22-8-3)
Actually? Deliver out the Oprah meme as a result of we’re handing out the MVP trophies throughout this roster. Take your decide – this group’s filled with top-tier candidates. You need factors chief Nazem Kadri? Nice. How concerning the always-dazzling Cale Makar? Positive. Nathan MacKinnon is a couple of video games behind however is again and racking up the factors at an ever-elite degree. There’s a purpose Colorado is averaging 4.30 targets a sport.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs (23-9-3)
Auston Matthews is again to his standard otherworldly methods. With 24 targets via 32 video games – second-most within the league, alongside Alex Ovechkin – the centreman is on tempo for his best season but.

6. Pittsburgh Penguins (21-9-5)
Crosby and Malkin? Nope, it’s Jake Guentzel and Evan Rodrigues you’ll discover atop the Penguins’ stat sheet this season. The 2 forwards have stuffed the scoring void admirably as Crosby and Malkin missed time. Nonetheless, it’s Tristan Jarry, he of an unbelievable 1.91 goals-against common and .932 save proportion, who will get the MVP nod right here.

7. New York Rangers (23-10-4)
This one’s powerful. You may’t ignore the blazing velocity with which Chris Kreider (?!?) continues to rack up targets – 21 and counting – and possibly we’re simply spoiled at this level in terms of watching Artemi Panarin work his magic night time in and night time out. Adam Fox continues to play just like the Norris winner he’s … however it’s the person within the blue paint who needs to be getting MVP love. In his second full-time NHL season, Igor Shesterkin has reached one other degree. In simply 21 appearances, he’s received 15 wins – one shy of his rookie complete in 35 video games – and is the spine of this proficient group.

8. Washington Capitals (20-8-9)
As we speak’s sport options so many younger playmakers and up-and-coming goal-scorers, and but right here’s 36-year-old Alex Ovechkin nonetheless placing on a goal-scoring clinic on a near-nightly foundation and incomes each little bit of his MVP consideration. His 24 targets and 52 factors via 37 video games locations him second and third league-wide, respectively. Actually, simply create a complete new award in his honour.

9. Nashville Predators (24-11-2)
The league’s busiest goalie can also be its finest. With a 20-9-1 document, a pointy 2.27 goals-against common and .928 save proportion, there’s actually no query that Juuse Saros deserves Smashville’s MVP crown.

10. Minnesota Wild (21-10-2)
“You thought final 12 months was enjoyable? Watch this.” – Kirill Kaprizov, most likely.

11. St. Louis Blues (21-10-5)
Eight factors in his first 4 video games this season had us pondering breakout for Jordan Kyrou, who posted 14 targets and 35 factors in 55 video games as a rookie final 12 months. Now, with 14 targets and 36 factors via 32 video games – together with 5 targets and 11 factors in a five-game streak since coming back from an prolonged vacation break – we’re wanting on the second-year NHLer as our St. Louis MVP.

12. Vegas Golden Knights (23-14-2)
Jonathan Marchessault is main the Golden Knights’ goal-scoring cost with 18 – good for tenth within the NHL – and is on tempo for his finest statistical season but.

13. Boston Bruins (20-11-2)
For those who weren’t fairly positive whether or not Bruins scoring chief Brad Marchand was, actually, worthy of Boston’s MVP honours, Wednesday night time’s three targets – his third straight multi-goal sport! – ought to do the trick.

14. Anaheim Geese (19-13-7)
Breakout star? Nah, Troy Terry goes straight for the MVP. His team-leading 22 targets on the season – 13 greater than second-ranked Trevor Zegras – has him sitting fifth league-wide.

15. Dallas Stars (18-13-2)
Final 12 months’s runner-up for rookie of the 12 months, Jason Robertson, is as soon as once more – or moderately, nonetheless – lighting the lamp rather a lot within the Lone Star State.

16. Winnipeg Jets (16-12-5)
With a team-leading 19 targets and 35 assists, Kyle Connor is on tempo to surpass his surprise numbers of 2019-20.

17. Edmonton Oilers (18-14-2)
Ah, sure. This once more. There continues to be no mistaken reply in Edmonton’s MVP dialog between Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The 2 share the league lead in complete factors (53) however we’ll give the sting to Draisaitl contemplating he additionally holds the NHL lead in targets (26).

18. Calgary Flames (17-10-6)
Although the Flames’ momentum has cooled a bit, the group’s main scorer has not. Johnny Gaudreau has scored in 4 of 5 video games since Calgary’s return from an prolonged vacation break attributable to COVID-19, registering eight factors throughout that point. That type of scoring price is nothing new for Johnny Hockey this season – he’s piling up factors at a tempo that almost matches that of his unbelievable 99-point marketing campaign in 2018-19.

19. Vancouver Canucks (16-16-3)
Let’s be actual: The true MVP right here is Bruce Boudreau … however the play of Thatcher Demko? Yeah, that’s been fairly nice too. Whereas his season totals don’t fairly bounce off the web page contemplating the Canucks’ woes within the fall are nonetheless dragging down some numbers, Demko has backstopped these surging Canucks to a powerful turnaround and has climbed to ninth league-wide – and rising.

20. San Jose Sharks (20-16-1)
Timo Meier opened the brand new calendar 12 months with a five-game, eight-point streak, persevering with what’s wanting like a profession 12 months for the ahead. His manufacturing – plus the well-timed rebound 12 months for Tomas Hertl – is a serious driving pressure within the Sharks’ resurgence within the Pacific this season.

21. Los Angeles Kings (18-13-5)
Proper on schedule – aka Olympic 12 months! – Drew Doughty is taking part in a few of his finest hockey. And whereas we received’t get to see him on the massive ice this February, we will take pleasure in the truth that the veteran d-man is wanting like his previous self in L.A. The truth is, his present factors per sport tempo (1.06) is his finest but.

22. Columbus Blue Jackets (16-17-1)
Zach Werenski persistently logs the most important minutes in Columbus and is undoubtedly the center and soul of this no-quit membership’s blue line. Plus, he does stuff like this:

23. Detroit Pink Wings (16-16-5)
Rookies are the highest story in Detroit, however Dylan Larkin’s point-per-game marketing campaign via 32 video games provides the captain our MVP nod.

24. New Jersey Devils (14-17-5)
He’s appeared in simply over half of the Devils’ video games this season after an early harm sidelined him, however Jack Hughes remains to be proper within the combine for the Devils’ goal-scoring lead. With 20 factors in 19 video games, we will safely name this his breakout 12 months. Hughes has arrived.

25. Chicago Blackhawks (13-18-5)
One have a look at the Blackhawks’ goal-scoring leaders, and there’s no query Alex DeBrincat is it: His 23 targets provides him 15 greater than the following Blackhawk (Brandon Hagel, with eight). DeBrincat has six targets in 2022 alone, and his season complete – simply three shy of Leon Draisaitl’s league-leading mark – has him sitting fourth within the NHL within the class.

26. Philadelphia Flyers (13-15-7)
Stuff you like to see: Flyers captain Claude Giroux again in 2018 kind.

27. Buffalo Sabres (10-19-6)
Rasmus Dahlin’s offensive sport might not measure as much as projections simply but, however his type of play – “fearless,” as head coach Don Granato put it final week – is what makes this younger expertise one of the crucial valued items of Buffalo’s future.

28. Ottawa Senators (9-18-2)
Amid the stoppages and struggles of this 2021-22 Senators season, Drake Batherson is quietly placing up a career-high in assists (19 via 24 video games) whereas registering greater than a degree per sport.

29. New York Islanders (10-12-6)
Mathew Barzal scoring at practically a point-per-game tempo is the one factor resembling normalcy on this misplaced Islanders season.

30. Seattle Kraken (10-21-4)
Seattle’s first NHL season hasn’t introduced plenty of success within the standings, however success is measured in another way once you’re simply beginning out (and also you’re not named the Golden Knights). Mark Giordano has been the locker-room chief the Kraken want, and whereas he received’t be successful any MVP awards, he seemingly will be the membership’s Most Useful Participant – as in, commerce worth. He is seemingly the Kraken’s finest shot at touchdown probably the most worth on the commerce market that can assist the constructing group transfer ahead.

31. Arizona Coyotes (8-23-3)
One other troublesome season in Arizona brings a vibrant spot within the type of Clayton Keller’s sport. The Coyotes’ chief in targets (12) and factors (26) is changing into a extra full, well-rounded participant proper earlier than our eyes.

32. Montreal Canadiens (7-24-4)
Vivid spots are few and much between in Montreal proper now, however seeing Nick Suzuki proceed to progress right into a lead centreman for the membership is one among them.

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