NHL Barometer: Risers & Fallers

NHL Barometer: Risers & Fallers

This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.

This week's article includes a hot Backstrom, Zucker on a roll, a former No. 1 pick helping in Colorado, Helly hot in the 'Peg, JvR possibly done for the season and Rinne riding the pine. 

First Liners (Risers)

Nicklas Backstrom, C, WAS – Backstrom looks like he will fall well shy of scoring 70 points as he had done the last six seasons, impacted by the eight games he missed from late November into early December. But that doesn't mean he is having an unsuccessful campaign. Backstrom's goal Saturday was the first time he lit the lamp since Feb. 13, ending a 10-game drought, but he has still been productive lately with nine points in his last nine contests. This season, the 32-year-old has 12 goals and 54 points through 61 games.

Tanner Pearson, LW, VAN – Pearson set a career high in points with 45 by tallying an empty-net goal Friday. That marker was Pearson's fourth in his last seven games. Pearson is now up to 21 goals this season, leaving him three shy of the 24 he tallied in 2016-17 with the Kings. He is skating on the top line and second power play unit in Vancouver, which should enable him to remain productive down the stretch. 

Matthew Tkachuk, LW, CGY – Tkachuk is unlikely to match the 77 points he tallied last year but he is still having a solid season. His three assists Friday and goal Sunday moved Tkachuk up to put him

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan Levine
Levine covers baseball and hockey for RotoWire. He is responsible for the weekly NL FAAB column for baseball and the Barometer for hockey. In addition to his column writing, he is master of the NHL cheat sheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets and Rangers.
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