Each week I try to change up the blurbs that go along with the Power Rankings to make it a little fresh and provide you, the reader, with something else to take away from it other than a simple 1 through 30 listing of the teams. In the past I’ve focused on subjects ranging from prospects to various positional commentary, but this week’s official Puck Propaganda Power Rankings takes a more general statistical view, featuring a quick look at each team’s respective Hot and Cold players. The period of time selected for this was the past ten days, as it was easy to gather together from simply using NHL.com. In the future I may do similar Hot/Cold updates using a different basis.
Anyway, this companion blog entry will now provide some additional commentary on the hottest forward, defenseman, and goaltender respectively of the past ten days.
Kopitar has played well all season, even when the Kings weren’t doing much of anything. However, he’s been an absolute beast over the past five games, recording 2 goals and 7 assists to go along with a +6 rating and 62.4 FO%. He still doesn’t shoot enough for a player of his caliber (he averages less than 2 shots per game), but when you’re producing in almost every other area imaginable it doesn’t matter too much, especially if your team is winning.
Kronwall started the season very poorly, as did much of the Detroit’s defense, recording a -9 through the opening 13 games. Since then he’s managed to improve that substantially, in large part due to a decreased workload because of the improving health on Detroit’s blue line. Over the last five games he’s contributed 7 points to go along with a healthy +5 while averaging around 23 minutes per game, which is about what you’d want from Kronwall.
Crawford has better numbers over the past ten days, but I’m going with Holtby here due to the fact he’s playing behind a much, much worse team. Holtby turned his season around back when he pitched a shutout against the Panthers on February 9th and has only had two bad games out of eight since then. He’s been especially good in three of his last four starts, recording two shutouts and allowing only 1 goal in the other. He’ll need to try to eliminate the bad games completely, such as that one against Philadelphia last week, if he hopes to get the Capitals back to fighting for the Southeast Division crown.