Although the St. Louis Blues initially underperformed, they are now starting to move up in the Central Division standings. The team’s recent success can be partly credited to center Jordan Kyrou’s outstanding performance.
Kyrou has been absolutely dominant in his last three games, to put it mildly. During the Blues’ current four-game winning streak, the 24-year-old has registered six goals and three assists.
The Blues’ three-game road journey across Western Canada was concluded with a 5-1 victory over the Canucks, which included Kyrou’s most dominant effort. Kyrou led the Blues in that game by scoring his first career hat trick and adding an assist.
The six goals scored by the 2016 second-round choice for the Blues during a three-game road trip set a record. The previous Blues’ best scorers were Brad Boyes (12 points) and Brett Hull (5 goals from February 12–17, 1991). (five goals from March 8-11, 2008).
Over the previous two seasons, Kyrou’s ascension has quickened. His 35-point performance in the 2020–21 season, his first in the NHL, was impressive (14 goals, 21 assists). The great forward then recorded a career-high 75 points last year (27 goals, 48 assists), which includes a four-point outing in the Winter Classic the previous year and his first appearance in the All-Star Game.
Due to an upper-body ailment, the Blues standout did miss Tuesday’s game against the Seattle Kraken. Kyrou is now on pace for 84 points this season, assuming he doesn’t lose too much time. It would be clear why the Blues signed him to an eight-year, $65 million contract extension in September if he set career highs in back-to-back seasons.
The Ottawa Senators swung for the fences throughout the summer in an effort to strengthen their squad after failing to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the previous five seasons. Mission fulfilled, as the team recruited forwards Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat to pair with a young, promising core of players.
Josh Norris, the Senators’ top-line center, has been out of the lineup for the majority of the 2022–23 campaign, but DeBrincat has stepped up and become a dependable playmaker.
DeBrincat has seven assists during Ottawa’s last four games, despite the fact that he hasn’t been lighting the lamp. The talented winger, who was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in a trade on draft night, has also recorded two distinct games with three assists.
DeBrincat had four shots on goal and three assists in 18:40 of ice time in the Detroit Red Wings’ 6-3 victory on Saturday. On two of those assists, the gifted forward even received the main assists.
DeBrincat is an incredibly talented playmaker overall, but his importance on the power play cannot be understated. Together with Quinn Hughes of the Canucks, the former second-round pick is presently tied for fourth place in power-play assists (14) with 14.
DeBrincat showed off his playmaking prowess against the Red Wings late in the first period. He had a chance to score during the man-advantage, but he missed it. DeBrincat was able to snag the errant puck, though, and quickly passed it to Thomas Chabot on the other side of the blue line. In the end, Chabot tied the score at 2-2 by launching a fierce one-timer past Red Wings goalie Ville Husso.
When DeBrincat is on the ice, it seems as though he is constantly one step ahead of the defense.
DeBrincat, 25, has scored less goals since moving to Ottawa than he did during his previous two full seasons with the Blackhawks, when he scored 73 goals. Claude Giroux, Brady Tkachuk, Drake Batherson, Tim Stutzle, and Shane Pinto have all scored double digit goals so far this season, demonstrating the Senators’ incredible depth in the scoring department.
DeBrincat’s facilitation abilities have been crucial for a Senators team that, after a difficult start, is now trying to move up in the Eastern Conference Wild Card standings.
The Boston Bruins have had an incredible season thus far, going 25-4-2. Linus Ullmark’s outstanding goaltending has been one of the main factors in that achievement.
Ullmark is tied for second in shutouts and leads the league in victories (18), goals against average (1.89), and save percentage (.937) as of Thursday (2). Only three goalies in the league have a goals-against average under 2.00, and Ullmark is one of them.
Ullmark has only given up more than three goals in one game all season, which gives you an idea of just how dominant he has been. The 29-year-old has compiled a 5-0-0 record, a 1.63 goals-against-average, and a.943 save percentage in December.
Additionally, earlier this month, Ullmark defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-0 while making 23 saves in a shutout.
Ullmark is having the time of his life throughout this run. He hasn’t suffered a start loss since Nov. 5, when the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated him 2-1 in overtime.
The Bruins have an embarrassment of options when it comes to goaltenders, even when Ullmark genuinely needs a timeout. When Ullmark needs a break, Boston can rely on backup Jeremy Swayman, who has a 2.30 goals-against-average over the course of his three-year NHL career.
If Ullmark doesn’t maintain this ridiculous pace for the whole of the season, it won’t come as a surprise. However, his outstanding performance thus far can’t be underestimated, even though he’s playing behind a club that ranks second in the NHL with 3.90 goals-per-game.
Elias Lindholm is starting to develop a habit of playing games with multiple points. On the other hand, one of his most recent performances was legendary.
During Sunday’s 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks, the Calgary Flames center had a memorable evening. In the opening 19 seconds of the third session, Lindholm ultimately scored two goals.
Nazem Kadri soon became aware of Jonathan Huberdeau approaching the offensive zone after the Flames won the face-off after Huberdeau had served a penalty and returned to the ice. After that, Huberdeau sent a picture-perfect pass to Lindholm across the ice, and Lindholm scored past Kaapo Kahkonen of the Sharks to put the Flames up 3-1.
19 seconds later, Lindholm received another pass that was placed directly on the stick tape. Rasmus Andersson made a gorgeous slap feed to Lindholm, who roofed the shot past Kahkonen after Calgary had the puck in the zone.
By scoring two goals in a matter of seconds, Lindholm equaled Bob Murray for the eighth-fastest two-goal stretch by a single player to start an NHL period. In the first 27 seconds of the first period on February 14, 2003, former Boston Bruins forward Mike Knuble became the most recent skater to score two quicker period-opening goals.
The Flames center has two goals and six points in his previous three games, including a three-assist outing in Tuesday’s 7-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks in the second game of a back-to-back.
Lindholm has improved recently after having a sluggish start to the season, registering 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in the month of December. The Flames have benefited from Lindholm’s presence as they attempt to reclaim first place in the Pacific Division.