Daniel Spevak is a writer for The Checking Line - Flyers Edition. This is a part of a multi-part series breaking down the potential finalists for the NHL's annual awards.
The Hart Trophy is awarded to the player deemed to be the most valuable each season.
While a lot of players fit the bill of being good and are capable of putting up statistics, only a handful fit the description of being the most valuable to their respective teams. Here are the players that have been keys to their club’s success.
Phil Kessel - Toronto Maple Leafs
Kessel has had quite the season. He’s tied for fifth in the league with 80 points, and has a career-hi...
After a flat performance on Sunday against the Predators, the Hawks came out with a purpose and put away a 4-2 win against a Dallas Stars team desperate for points as the playoff race continues. Corey Crawford was sharp in the win with 25 saves.
The buzz around the UC was that Teuvo Teravainen would be making his NHL debut. He would get a cheer from the crowd on his first shift, and while he didn’t earn any points in his debut, he made a c...
Wayne Simmonds is making the trade from three years ago pay in full.
Simmonds scored two more goals, his second proving to be the decider in a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday. The goals were his 22nd and 23rd of the season, putting him second to Claude Giroux for the team lead in goals and points.
It was the fourth straight win for the Flyers, who are now 11-2-1 since Feb. 1.
The Islanders play the 3rd of their 6 game road trip tonight in Dallas against the Stars coming off a 2-1 overtime win on Friday night in Colorado. This is the second and final meeting between the two teams this season as the Islanders defeated the Stars 7-3 last Monday night at Nassau Coliseum.
For the past five years, the Blackhawks have wrapped up their circus trip with a Thanksgiving weekend swing through California. This year the pattern changed, and they're ending the trip with back-to-back games in Dallas and Phoenix.
Dallas and Chicago last faced each other three weeks ago on November 9 in Dallas. The Blackhawks won that game 5-2 and hope to repeat the performance on Friday night.
The Blackhawks currently sit atop the league with 40 points. The Stars are last in the Central with 26 points, and sit 8 points out of a playoff position in the West. Were they in the Metropolitan Division, they'd be comfortably in second place, ahead of the Rangers...
In a crucial week, the Philadelphia Flyers came up short, earning no points against Eastern Conference Stanley Cup contenders, losing to the Boston Bruins 3-0. It was the Flyers' third straight loss.
A game with a largely defensive identity took seven minutes to get the first shot on goal. Danny Briere let a weak shot fly to open the shooting stat. That opened the floodgates of scoring—for the other side.
The 2013 NHL season is no longer an 82 game marathon, but instead is a 48 game dash to the finish line.
Will teams that had multiple players skating in Europe fair better? Will veteran squads win because they will have fresh legs all season long? Only the next few months will tell.
Here are my Eastern Conference power rankings.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins – A healthyEvgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will lead Pittsburgh deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs. The addition of veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun gives Coach Dan Bylsma a solid option if Marc-Andre Fleury falters.