NHL Weekly Stock Up, Stock Down: 4/16-4/21by Christopher Gallagher April 23, 2022 0 comments
Just over one week remains in the 2021-2022 NHL regular season. The first round of the playoffs is set to commence on May 2. Post-season races around the league continue to take shape as teams battle for the last playoff seeds in each conference. The Dallas Stars hold a narrow two-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for the second Wild Card spot in the West. Along with this, the Tampa Bay Lightning are holding a narrow three-point edge on the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division.
Back with our penultimate stock up, stock down article for the year, the St Louis Blues have remained the hottest team in the NHL. They have earned points in nine of their last 10 games as they look deadlocked for a first-round matchup against their divisional rival, the Minnesota Wild. Furthermore, the Calgary Flames are also rolling as they look to close out their schedule on a high note. The team has now eight of their last 10 contests as they look to close in on their second-highest single-season point total in franchise history.
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Stock Up: St Louis Blues
St. Louis is fresh off a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. The Blues have won four of their last five and nine of their last 10. Home to one of the best trio of centers in the game, Robert Thomas has enjoyed a phenomenal second half. He has been playing alongside Vladimir Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich on the team’s first line. The Aurora, Ontario native has racked up 22 points in the month to tie Buchnevich for the league lead. Finally solidifying their blue line with the acquisition of Nick Leddy at the trade deadline, Craig Berube‘s group is both big and physical while heaving the size and scoring ability to make a run deep in the postseason.
Stock Down: Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas is currently on the outside looking in on the Western Conference playoff picture. The team was disappointingly shut out by the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday before falling to the lowly New Jersey Devils on Monday night. Unable to get production out of their star players, Jack Eichel has struggled mightily for the team down the stretch. The former second overall pick has recorded just one point over his last four games. Along with this, Mark Stone has been held pointless in his last six contests.
Receiving more bad news on Friday, it was revealed that top netminder Robin Lehner would undergo season-ending knee surgery, forcing the franchise to turn the net over to backup Logan Thompson. With a massive clash set for next Tuesday against the Stars, Jared Bednar’s group will likely need to win out to avoid a disastrous season.
Stock Up: Calgary Flames
With their first Pacific Division title since 2018 already locked up, the Flames are continuing to play good hockey as the regular season winds down. Fresh off a back and forth 4-2 victory over Dallas on Thursday night, the team has earned a point in eight of their last 10 matchups. Led by the play of their top line, Matthew Tkachuk is enjoying the best season of his six-year NHL career. Already breaking the 100-point mark for the first time, the 6’2″ winger has amassed 40 goals in 78 contests to lead the team. Furthermore, Calgary’s defensive core has also begun to step up their play of late. Noah Hanifin is riding a four-game point streak while Rasmus Andersson is coming off a two-point performance.
Stock Down: San Jose Sharks
San Jose was lauded as a group that many expected to take a leap forward this year. The team was once in a good spot. They were sitting at 17-15-1 as the unofficial second half of the season began in January. However, the last few months have not been kind to Bob Boughner‘s group. Recently snapping a 10-game losing streak with a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, the Sharks have amassed just one win in the month of April. They have fallen to seventh place in the Pacific Division. Struggling to get production out of their goaltending tandem of James Reimer and Kaapo Kahkonen, the former has lost his last seven starts while the latter has seen his season goals-against average rise to 3.08.
Stock Up: New York Rangers
New York is in a battle with the Carolina Hurricanes for the top spot in the Metropolitan division. Able to knock off their rival in the New York Islanders on Thursday, forward Andrew Copp achieved a rare feat. The former fourth-round pick achieved a natural hat trick by scoring three straight times in the first period. This saw his season goal total rise to 21, a new career-high. Full of offensive firepower up and down their lineup, the Rangers have scored 33 goals in ten games this month.
Igor Shesterkin has also remained brilliant for the team in goal. With his sights set on locking up his first Vezina Trophy as the game’s top netminder, the 26-year-old is also staking his claim for the Hart Trophy as league MVP. Coming off back-to-back shutout performances this week, he is top five in the NHL in wins, save percentage, and goals-against average.
Stock Down: Montreal Canadiens
Receiving some positive news amidst a disastrous 2021-2022 season, Carey Price returned to the team on April 15. He went 282 days since his last start in the Stanley Cup Finals. The 34-year-old stepped away to enter the player assistance program in the fall. Providing their star net minder with no goal support in front of him, the Canadiens have scored just eight goals in their last five games. This has led the team to fall to 31st in the NHL in goals per game, with just 2.53 averaged per night. With games left against the Bruins, Ottawa Senators, and the Florida Panthers to close out the regular season, Martin St. Louis’ group is limping to the finish line.
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