This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes "Stepan up" in Arizona, the Breadman producing in Columbus, St. Louis' captain on a major roll, Big D's starting goalie sidelined and a struggling center in Anaheim.
First Liners (Risers)
Derek Stepan, C, ARI – Stepan has scored at least 44 points in every season since his debut in 2010-11, and this year is no different. By notching at least a point in seven of his last nine games, the former Ranger is now quietly up to 47 points on the season. One of the negatives on his ledger, besides his lack of foot speed, is Stepan's drop in goal-scoring, as he fell from 22 to 17 tallies last season and is at just 12 this year. The flip side of that is that Stepan may post 40 assists for just the second time in his career.
Logan Couture, C, SJ – With Joe Thornton on the tail end of his career and Joe Pavelski aging, Couture could be the future face of the Sharks. Couture has posted 54 points in 68 contests and continues to be a key power-play contributor, tallying 19 points with the man advantage. He reached the 30-goal plateau Tuesday and has an outside shot at 60 points this season.
Dustin Brown, RW, LA – Brown's production had fallen off dramatically since he tallied 54 points in 2011-12. Seasons of 29 points in 46 games, then 27, 27 and 28, had many suggesting that L.A. buy out the remainder