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NHL Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Saros One Busy Goalie

A new name makes it into the Who’s Hot list as winger Travis Konecny leads the way for the suddenly resurgent Philadelphia Flyers. Familiar faces Alexander Ovechkin and Erik Gustafsson of the Washington Capitals and Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins join him.

Ullmark continues his pursuit for the goaltending triple crown as the Bruins remain the top team in the NHL. Fellow goalie Juuse Saros is on the list after a 64-save performance against a Carolina team that had won 11 of its previous 12 games.

Travis Konecny #11 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates with the puck during the first period against the Arizona Coyotes
Tim Nwachukwu - Getty Images - AFP

There was the temptation to include Connor Bedard, who had nine goals and 14 assists to lead Canada to the World Junior title. However, he will have to wait until next season to make this list.

Boston (+550) moved ahead of defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado in the odds to win the Stanley Cup title, according to the NHL Las Vegas odds.

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

Let’s check the latest NHL picks, stats, injury reports, and NHL predictions. We’ve plenty of NHL expert picks for you to consider.

Who’s Hot

Forwards

  • Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers: It has been a tough season for the Flyers, but when Konecny has been on the ice, he has done everything he can to try to reverse the team’s losing ways.

He has eight goals and seven assists over his last games and is also +8 during that time, hitting the 20-goal mark for the fourth time in his career.

With Konecny leading the way, the Flyers are 5-2 over those seven games with a +10 goal differential.

  • Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals: The Great Eight returns to the list after scoring nine goals and 13 points over his last eight games. Seven of his goals have come at even strength. He is also +9 as the Capitals have moved into playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

The sportsbook lists Ovechkin at +750 in the odds to win the Rocket Richard Trophy as the top goal scorer in the NHL.

  • Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights: Stone has points in each of his last seven games, with five goals and eight assists during that stretch for the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights.

Stone has a plus rating in six of his last eight games as Vegas is starting to open up some space between the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division. He has three power-play goals and another while killing a penalty during that stretch.

Defensemen

  • Rasmus Andersson, Calgary Flames: There has been an adjustment period for Calgary as stars Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau were among the offseason departures. Andersson has been one of the constants.

Not only does Andersson have a goal and six assists over his last seven games, but he has been on the ice for an NHL-best 17 even-strength goals over the last eight contests. Andersson has been on the ice for a +12 goal differential at even strength during that stretch, which also leads the NHL.

Andersson has also matched his NHL career-high with five goals this season.

  • Vince Dunn, Seattle Kraken: What a difference a year makes. The former St. Louis Blues blue liner had a -21 defensive rating in Seattle’s debut NHL season. He is at +15 this season, including a +11 mark over the last eight games.

Dunn has a goal and seven assists over his last eight games. He has multi-point efforts in two of his last three games and is +7 over his last three contests as Seattle is in third place in the Pacific Division.

  • Erik Gustafsson, Washington Capitals: The Capitals picking up Gustafsson is turning into one of the best moves in the offseason. His six goals are the most for him since the 2019-20 season. He has three goals and seven assists over the last eight games.

Gustafsson is +11 over those eight games to move to +9 this season, his best mark since his rookie season in 2015-16 with Chicago.

Goalies

  • Jake Oettinger, Dallas Stars: Oettinger saw his four-game winning streak come to an end despite stopping 32 of 35 shots in his last outing against the Los Angeles Kings.

Oettinger allowed just seven goals on 114 shots in the previous four contests.

  • Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators: Saros is 5-1-1 with a .934 save percentage over his last six games.

Saros made 64, yes 64, saves in a 5-3 win over Carolina the last time out. It was the third time over the last nine games that he has made at least 40 saves for a Nashville team that isn’t protecting its goalie as well as it has in past years.

Linus Ullmark, Boston Bruins: Ullmark continues to lead the NHL in wins, goals-against average, and save percentage. He doesn’t have a regulation loss since Nov. 5 and is 4-0-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average and save percentage of .942 over the last four games.

While Jeremy Swayman is also a solid goalie, Ullmark has taken over as the clear No. 1 netminder and is one of the main reasons why Boston has the best record in the NHL.

The NHL betting lines have Ullmark (+200) as the front-runner to win the Vezina Trophy.

Who’s Not

Forwards

  • Anthony Cirelli, Tampa Bay Lightning: Cirelli has averaged 18 goals over 82 games in his last four seasons with Tampa Bay. However, after starting the season on injured reserve, he has one goal in 14 games.

Cirelli has no goals and no assists in his last seven games and is also -3 over that stretch.

  • Alex Newhook, Colorado Avalanche: This was supposed to be the breakthrough season for the former first-round pick. However, Newhook has no goals and just one assist over his last eight games.

With seven goals and six assists, he is on pace to top his goal count from a season ago but fall short in the points department. He also has a -3 defensive rating.

Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues: Mr. Reliability, O’Reilly has at least 20 goals in seven of his last eight seasons while playing for three different teams. He has one goal and no assist over his last six games with a -7 defensive rating for a St. Louis team that is two points out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.

O’Reilly is on track for another 20-goal season. However, his 13-assist pace is about three times less than what he usually contributes.

Defensemen

  • Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche: The former No. 1 overall pick has at least 20 points in six of his last nine seasons with the Avalanche. It might take some work to get there in 2022-23.

Johnson has no goals and one assist over his last eight games with a -8 defensive rating. He has been on the ice for nine even-strength goals against and just three scored by Colorado.

Johnson has no goals and seven assists over 37 games this season.

  • John Klingberg, Anaheim Ducks: Klingberg came to Anaheim to help provide some offense from the blue line but has no goals and no assists over his last seven games. He was -8 in the first six of those games before posting a +1 mark the last time out against the Dallas Stars franchise he played for over eight seasons.

Klingberg does have four goals and seven assists this season for a struggling Anaheim team.

  • Jan Rutta, Pittsburgh Penguins: Rutta returns to the Who’s Not list as he has no goals and no assists over the last eight games with a -8 defensive rating.

Rutta has gone 11 games in a row without a point and is -7 during the Penguins’ six-game losing streak.

Jan Rutta #44 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Seattle Kraken // Steph Chambers – Getty Images – AFP

Goalies

  • Jake Allen, Montreal Canadiens: Allen is 0-6-1 over his last seven starts and that includes allowing nine goals in a loss to the Washington Capitals.

Allen has a 4.15 goals-against average and a .877 save percentage during that span. He has better numbers than backup Sam Montembeault, so not all the blame falls on Allen.

  • Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida Panthers: Both Bobrovsky and fellow Florida goalie Spencer Knight could have made this list as the Panthers continue to underwhelm.

Bobrovsky is 1-3 with a 3.59 goals-against average and a .891 save percentage over his last four contests.

  • Ville Husso, Detroit Red Wings: The struggles continue for Husso, who is back on the Who’s Not list.

Husso has a 5.00 goals-against average and a .857 save percentage over his last four games. The good news is that he has just one regulation loss over that stretch thanks to Detroit’s goal support.

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