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NHL Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: No Mercy From Mercer

Goalies Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins, Filip Gustavsson of the Minnesota Wild and Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders all made return trips to the “Who’s Hot” list as they continue to make life difficult for opposing forwards.

Up front, Dawson Mercer of the New Jersey Devils continues his torrid scoring pace and that has been mentioned just a few times when it comes to recent NHL news.

Linus Ullmark #35 of the Boston Bruins - Mike Ehrmann/AFP
Linus Ullmark #35 of the Boston Bruins - Mike Ehrmann/AFP

The Bruins continue to lead the way at +375 in the odds to win the Stanley Cup title, according to the Las Vegas odds.

There are some surprising names on the Who’s Not list this week. Keep reading for information on the hottest forwards, defensemen and goaltenders in the NHL, as well as those players recently struggling.

Who’s Hot

Forwards

  • Jared McCann, Seattle Kraken:
    Seattle was more than happy to scoop up McCann when the Toronto Maple Leafs left him exposed in the 2021 NHL expansion draft.
    He has 60 goals over the last two seasons after scoring 66 in his first six seasons.
    He has points in 12 of his last 14 games. In five games played in March, he has six goals and three assists. Two of the goals came on the power play and another short-handed as he has a career-high 33 goals.
  • Dawson Mercer, New Jersey Devils:
    Mercer has points in each of his last 11 games after recording a goal and an assist in a win over Washington on Thursday. He has 11 goals and eight assists during that span. Only Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers has more points since Mercer’s point streak began.
    Mercer had a run of eight straight games with a goal and that followed a stretch of five games in a row without any goals or any assists.

New Jersey is 6-1-1 in the last eight games when Mercer has at least one goal as the Devils are putting pressure on the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division.

  • Jason Robertson, Dallas Stars:
    Robertson is no stranger to this list.
    He had three assists and nine shots on goal as Dallas set a franchise record with 10 goals in Thursday’s win over Buffalo.
    Robertson has three goals and seven assists to go with a +4 rating in five games played in the month of March. Dallas is 4-1 in those games to remain in first place in the Central Division. Robertson is on pace for 48 goals and 57 assists and that would make him the 14th American-born player with at least 100 points in a season.

Defensemen

  • Mattias Ekholm, Edmonton Oilers:
    Ekholm is fitting in pretty well with his new team.
    After spending his first 13 seasons with the Nashville Predators, Ekholm was recently traded to the Edmonton Oilers. He has two assists in his first five games with the Oilers. However, the more impressive number is a +7 defensive rating since joining the Oilers.
    Dating back to his final few games in Nashville, Ekholm has gone 10 straight games without a negative plus/minus number.
    Edmonton is 4-1 since Ekholm’s arrival after handing the NHL-leading Boston Bruins just their third regulation loss at home this season.
  • J.J. Moser, Arizona Coyotes:
    The second-year defenseman has struggled a bit in the plus/minus department as a result of playing for the defensively challenged Coyotes.
    However, he has a +7 rating over the last six games. Moser has assists in wins against St. Louis and Nashville as the Coyotes snapped a three-game losing streak.
    Moser has four assists in five games played in March.
  • Rasmus Sandin, Washington Capitals:
    Add Sandin to the defensemen thriving with his new team.
    The former first-round pick had solid numbers with the Toronto Maple Leafs with 16 assists, 20 points and a +10 rating in 52 games. Since joining the Capitals, he has a goal and four assists in three games.
    After averaging less than 18 minutes in his last two months with Toronto, his ice time has jumped to 25:34 with Washington.

— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 10, 2023

Goalies

  • Filip Gustavsson, Minnesota Wild:
    Gustavsson is back on the list. He is 4-0-2 over the last six games with a .961 save percentage and 1.13 goals-against average as Minnesota has moved into second place in the Central Division.
    He has stopped all 57 shots he has faced (not counting shootouts) in two games in March. However, Minnesota split the two games against Calgary, winning 3-0 and then falling 1-0 in a shootout. Teammate Marc-Andre Fleury is 4-0-0 with a 1.23 GAA and .964 save percentage over that stretch.
    He is a major reason why only Winnipeg and Colorado have seen fewer games go under the Las Vegas hockey odds total than Minnesota’s mark of 24.
  • Ilya Sorokin, New York Islanders:
    Sorokin also makes a return visit to this list.
    He is 5-1-1 over his last seven games with a goals-against average of 1.84 while stopping 202 of 214 shots as the Islanders are firmly in playoff position.
    Sorokin has won each of his last three starts, all coming against teams fighting to get into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

  • Linus Ullmark, Boston Bruins:
    Ullmark has been a regular on the “Who’s Hot” list.
    He is 4-0-0 with a .950 save percentage and goals-against average of 1.72 in his last four as the Bruins continue to lead the NHL in wins and points.
    He has allowed two goals or less in six of his last seven games. The lone exception came when he set a franchise record with 54 saves (on 57 shots) in a win over Calgary.
    Ullmark continues to show why he is the front-runner in the odds to win the Vezina Trophy according to the NHL picks.
    Ullmark continues to lead the NHL in wins (32), save percentage (.938) and goals-against average (1.89).

Who’s Not

Forwards

  • Barclay Goodrow, New York Rangers:
    Goodrow has one goal and no assists over his last 15 games.
    Goodrow has seen his ice time drop from 15:30 in the month of December to 13:55 in the first four games in March due to his struggles and the additions of Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko.
  • Anton Lundell, Florida Panthers:
    It has been a bit of a grind in Lundell’s second NHL season as he has nine goals in 56 games after scoring 18 in 65 games as a rookie.
    Lundell has one goal and no assists over the last seven games. He has four multi-point games this season after recording 11 of them as a rookie. The Panthers came into the season with lofty expectations according to the NHL predictions. Lundell is just one of the players struggling along with the Florida team.
  • Andrew Mangiapane, Calgary Flames:
    Expectations were pretty high for Mangiapane after scoring a career-best 35 goals last season. He is on pace to finish with 16 and it might be hard to even get to that point.
    Mangiapane has no goals and no assists over the last seven games. He has been held to one shot or less in three of the four games he has played in during the month of March.
    The good news is Calgary has won back-to-back games after a five-game losing streak. Still, when it comes to the NHL betting lines, Calgary (+4000) is 16th in the odds to win the Stanley Cup.

Defensemen

  • Adam Fox, New York Rangers:
    It has been a tough stretch for one of the NHL’s best defensemen as Fox is -2, -2 and -3 over the last three games.
    Fox does have two assists in those two games. However, he has gone 18 games without a goal . The Rangers are 3-5-1 over the last nine games with Fox -8 during that stretch.
  • Henri Jokiharju, Buffalo Sabres:
    Like many of his teammates, he had a rough outing in Thursday’s 10-4 loss to Dallas with a -3 defensive rating.
    Jokiharju has no goals and no assists over his last seven games and is -6 over that stretch.
  • Josh Morrissey, Winnipeg Jets:
    Morrissey is second only to Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks among points by defensemen this season. However, in his last four games, he has a -8 defensive rating.
    Even when he had two goals and an assist in a recent game against Edmonton, he was -1 as the Jets have allowed 18 goals over the last four games.

Goalies

  • Kaapo Kahkonen, San Jose Sharks:
    Kahkonen has lost his last seven games for a Sharks team that has fallen into last place in the Pacific Division standings.
    In his last three games, he has allowed 17 goals on 84 shots as he has a 7.19 goals-against average.
    He is just 8-16-5 with a 3.82 GAA after enjoying a solid first season in San Jose.
  • Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers:
    Like many of his teammates, there have been disappointing results in recent action.
    One of the Vezina Trophy favorites according to the NHL predictions coming into the season, Shesterkin has allowed at least four goals in five of his last eight games, with the Rangers going 2-3 in those contests.
  • Vitek Vanecek, New Jersey Devils:
    Vanecek has played a major role in the Devils’ surprising season with 27 wins and a 2.55 goals-against average.
    It has been a bit of a struggle in recent outings as Vanecek has given up at least four goals in four of his last five games. In three games in March, he has two wins despite a 4.88 GAA and .822 save percentage.

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