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Scott Cullen

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Nylander the latest Leafs rookie to step into the spotlight; Granlund, Crosby and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.

Maple Leafs RW William Nylander notched his first career hat trick in Saturday’s 6-5 win at Boston. He had two points (1 G, 1 A) in his previous seven games, but he moves up to fourth in rookie scoring with 34 points in 49 games. He’s been an elite power play scorer, with his 7.08 points/60 at 5-on-4 ranking fifth in the league.

As productive as Nylander has been, he has been overshadowed by Toronto’s other high-end rookies. Auston Matthews had three assists against the Bruins, and while he had no goals and one assist in his previous seven games, he’s still tied with Patrik Laine for the rookie goal-scoring lead with 23 in 50 games.

Matthews is two points behind the leading rookie scorer and that’s Maple Leafs RW Mitch Marner, who recorded two assists at Boston, giving him 15 points (3 G, 12 A) in the past 12 games. He has 44 points in 50 games to top the rookie scoring race.

Maple Leafs rookie RW Connor Brown scored a goal and added an assist at Boston. He had zero points in his previous seven games, but his 23 points in 50 games still has him in the Top 10 among rookie scorers.

 

ROOKIE SCORING LEADERS

 
PLAYER TEAM POS GP G A PTS
Mitch Marner Toronto RW 50 13 31 44
Patrik Laine Winnipeg RW 47 23 20 43
Auston Matthews Toronto C 50 23 19 42
William Nylander Toronto RW 49 13 21 34
Matthew Tkachuk Calgary LW 51 10 23 33
Sebastian Aho Carolina RW 51 16 15 31
Zach Werenski Columbus D 51 8 23 31
Anthony Mantha Detroit RW 37 12 14 26
Connor Brown Toronto RW 50 12 11 23
Devin Shore Dallas C 53 8 15 23
 

HEROES

Mikael Granlund – The Wild winger had a hat trick and added an assist in Saturday’s 6-3 win at Vancouver. He has 17 points (5 G, 12 A) during a 12-game point streak and his line, with Mikko Koivu and Jason Zucker has been on the ice for 32 goals for and eight against (80.0 GF%) during five-on-five play.

Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh’s superstar centre scored two goals and added an assist in Saturday’s 4-1 win at St. Louis. He has 14 points (4 G, 10 A) in the past 10 games and is now one point behind Connor McDavid for the scoring lead, despite playing 10 fewer games.

ZEROES

Nikita Tryamkin – Vancouver’s towering defenceman was rocked (6 for, 29 against, 17.1 CF%, 1-18 scoring chances) and on the ice for four goals against in Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Minnesota.

Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko and Kevin Shattenkirk – The Blues trio was on the ice for all four goals against in Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh.

Alec Martinez – The Kings blueliner was victimized, on the ice for four even-strength goals against in Sunday’s 5-0 loss at Washington.

Tuukka Rask – Boston’s netminder was pulled after allowing four goals on 14 shots in Saturday’s 6-5 loss to Toronto. In his past 14 games, he has a .862 save percentage.

VITAL SIGNS

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Good news for Nashville, as Roman Josi has returned to the lineup.

Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov – Florida got a shot in the proverbial arm for the stretch run with two first-line forwards returning from injuries. Huberdeau scored a goal against Anaheim Friday, his first game of the season after recovering from a torn Achilles.

Roman Josi – Nashville’s star blueliner returned to action against Detroit Saturday, after missing more than three weeks with a concussion.

Tyler Toffoli – The Kings right winger returned to action Saturday and Sunday, after missing six weeks with a lower-body injury.

Robby Fabbri - Bad news for the Blues, as they lost their second-year winger for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL.

Ondrej Palat – The Lightning left winger is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

Carl Hagelin – Pittsburgh’s speedy left winger was injured after taking a hit from Blues winger Alexander Steen Saturday.

Sami Vatanen – A lower-body injury has knocked the Ducks’ puck-moving defenceman out of the lineup.

Niklas Kronwall – Detroit’s veteran blueliner is out with a knee injury.

Frans Nielsen – An upper-body injury has knocked the Red Wings centre out of the lineup.

SHORT SHIFTS

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Phil Kessel has 50 points in 51 games for the Penguins. Seems like he's pretty good.

Penguins RW Phil Kessel scored a pair of goals and added an assist in Friday’s 4-3 overtime win against Columbus. He has eight points (4 G, 4 A) in the past seven games…Penguins D Kris Letang added a pair of assists against Columbus and scored a goal in Saturday’s 4-1 win vs. St. Louis, and has 11 points (3 G, 8 A) in his past 11 games…Islanders C John Tavares contributed a goal and an assist in Friday’s 5-4 loss at Detroit, and has 16 points (9 G, 7 A) in the past 11 games…Red Wings LW Tomas Tatar had a couple of assists in Friday’s 5-4 win over the Islanders and has seven points (3 G, 4 A) in the past eight games…Red Wings RW Anthony Mantha and C Henrik Zetterberg each had a goal and an assist against the Islanders and both had an assist in Saturday’s 1-0 win against Nashville. Mantha had one assist in his previous seven games and Zetterberg has seven points (2 G, 5 A) in the past five games…Panthers D Keith Yandle assisted on both goals in Friday’s 2-1 win over Anaheim, and has nine points (1 G, 8 A) in the past 11 games…Flames D T.J. Brodie recorded four assists in Friday’s 4-3 win at New Jersey. He had two assists in his previous 13 games…Flames LW Johnny Gaudreau added two assists at New Jersey Friday, and one more at the Rangers Saturday, giving him six points (1 G, 5 A) in the past four games…Devils rookie LW Miles Wood had two assists in the loss to Calgary; he has five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past six games.

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Max Pacioretty and Alexander Radulov are Montreal's dynamic duo.

Canadiens LW Max Pacioretty and RW Alexander Radulov both had a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Washington. Pacioretty has 29 points (20 G, 9 A) in the past 30 games and Radulov has nine points (3 G, 6 A) in the past eight games…Jets C Adam Lowry scored both goals in Saturday’s 5-2 loss at Colorado. He had gone 12 previous games without a point…Avalanche RW Matt Nieto scored a pair of goals in Saturday’s 5-2 victory over Winnipeg. He has five points (4 G, 1 A) in 11 games with the Avalanche after scoring two points in 16 games with San Jose…Avalanche C Matt Duchene recorded three assists against Winnipeg, giving him eight points (2 G, 6 A) in the past eight games…Avalanche RW Jarome Iginla added a goal and an assist; he had one goal and no assists in his previous nine games…Maple Leafs LW James van Riemsdyk scored a pair of goals in Saturday’s win at Boston, giving him 19 points (6 G, 13 A) in the past 16 games…Sabres C Jack Eichel had a pair of assists in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Ottawa; he has eight points (4 G, 4 A) in the past nine games…Lightning RW Nikita Kucherov earned a couple of assists in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win against Anaheim. He has five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past five games…Hurricanes D Ron Hainsey scored two goals, including the overtime winner, in Saturday’s 5-4 win at the Islanders. He had no goals and four assists in his previous 21 games, and he has one other two-goal game in his career, in December, 2008…Hurricanes RW Elias Lindholm added a pair of assists, and has 16 points (3 G, 13 A) in his past 14 games…Hurricanes C Jordan Staal also had a couple of helpers, giving him 14 points (4 G, 10 A) in the past 14 games…Islanders LW Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist against Carolina, and has 11 points (5 G, 6 A) in the past 11 games…Islanders RW Anders Lee also had a goal and an assist against the Hurricanes, giving him 11 points (4 G, 7 A) in the past nine games…Devils LW Taylor Hall scored a couple of goals in Saturday’s 5-1 win at Columbus. He has 10 points (4 G, 6 A) in his past 11 games…Devils C Adam Henrique added two assists, giving him six points (3 G, 3 A) in the past four games…Devils C Travis Zajac had a goal and an assist, snapping a seven-game scoring drought…Blackhawks C Artem Anisimov and RW Marian Hossa both contributed a couple of assists in Saturday’s 5-3 win at Dallas. Anisimov has four assists in the past four games and Hossa has eight points (3 G, 5 A) in the past eight games…Wild D Matt Dumba, D Jared Spurgeon and LW Jason Zucker each had two assists in Saturday’s 6-3 win at Vancouver. Dumba has nine points (2 G, 7 A) in his past 13 games, Spurgeon has 12 points (4 G, 8 A) in the past 18 games and Zucker has 21 points (10 G, 11 A) in the past 20 games…Wild C Mikko Koivu contributed a goal and an assist, giving him 20 points (8 G, 12 A) in the past 18 games…Canucks C Brandon Sutter scored a couple of goals in the loss to Minnesota. He had no goals and one assist in the previous seven games…Sharks C Logan Couture scored a goal and added an assist in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Arizona. He has nine points (4 G, 5 A) in the past eight games. Sharks LW Patrick Marleau added two assists, giving him 10 points (7 G, 3 A) during a six-game point streak.

Capitals LW Marcus Johansson and RW Brett Connolly both had a goal and an assist in Sunday’s 5-0 win against Los Angeles. Johansson had zero points in his previous seven games, and Connolly has seven points (4 G, 3 A) in the past 10 games…Flames C Mikael Backlund recorded two assists in Sunday’s 4-3 loss at the Rangers; he has 21 points (9 G, 12 A) in the past 20 games…Rangers RW Michael Grabner had a goal and an assist in the win over Calgary, giving him 12 points (9 G, 3 A) in the past 12 games...Rangers LW J.T. Miller added two assists, and has 18 points (7 G, 11 A) in the past 15 games.

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John Gibson has been a star for the Ducks.

Ducks G John Gibson stopped 35 of 37 shots in Friday’s 2-1 loss at Florida; he has a .947 save percentage in his past dozen games…Flyers G Michal Neuvirth stopped 27 of 28 shots in Saturday’s 1-0 overtime defeat against Los Angeles. He has a .928 save percentage in his past eight games…Kings G Peter Budaj posted a 17-save shutout in Saturday’s 1-0 overtime win at Philadelphia; he has a .946 save percentage in his past 10 games…Sabres G Robin Lehner turned away all 37 shots he faced in Saturday’s 4-0 win over his former team, the Ottawa Senators. He has a .927 save percentage in his past 14 games…Devils G Cory Schneider stopped 31 of 32 shots in Saturday’s 5-1 win at Columbus; he has a .928 save percentage in his past 10 games…Red Wings G Petr Mrazek recorded a 42-save shutout in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Nashville. He had a .872 save percentage in his previous dozen games…Coyotes G Mike Smith stopped 38 of 40 shots in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win at San Jose. He has a .929 save percentage in his past six starts…Oilers G Cam Talbot had a 22-save shutout in Sunday’s 1-0 shootout win at Montreal, and has a .941 save percentage in his past 10 games…Canadiens G Al Montoya stopped all 32 shots he faced in the loss; he has a .933 save percentage in his past seven games…Capitals G Philipp Grubauer had a 38-save shutout in Sunday’s 5-0 win against Los Angeles. He has a .933 save percentage in his past dozen games.

FIRSTS

Alex Tuch – Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2014, the 6-foot-4 winger made his NHL debut in Saturday’s 6-3 win at Vancouver. He had 22 points (11 G, 11 A) in 34 AHL games as a first-year pro to earn his promotion, and he’s been installed on the right side with Zach Parise and Eric Staal.

Brandon Montour – The Ducks defenceman scored his first NHL goal, in his sixth NHL game, Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss at Tampa Bay.

Seth Helgeson – The Devils blueliner notched his first NHL goal, in his 48th NHL game, Saturday’s 5-1 win at Columbus.

FANTASY FOCUS

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Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker have been crushing it for the Wild.

Players being added the most yet still available in more than half of TSN leagues:

Sebastian Aho – Carolina’s rookie winger has 20 points (13 G, 7 A) in the past 26 games. Owned: 30.1%

Jason Zucker – Enjoying a fine season on a line with Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund, Zucker has 21 points (10 G, 11 A) in the past 20 games. Owned: 45.5%

Dmitry Orlov – Washington’s defenceman is enjoying a breakout season, and has seven points (2 G, 5 A) in the past 10 games. Owned: 45.3%

Marian Gaborik – Production is starting to pick up from the veteran Kings winger, who has eight points (4 G, 4 A) in his past 12 games. Owned: 11.2%

Much of the data included comes from corsica.hockeystats.hockeyanalysis.com www.hockey-reference, www.naturalstattrick.com and www.datarink.com

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca