This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes JT on a roll, Laine scoring at a record clip, EK65 settling in, several big name players sidelined long-term and Hellebuyck scuffling.
First Liners (Risers)
John Tavares, C, TOR – Picking up the slack for the injured Auston Matthews and absent William Nylander, Tavares fired home his 15th goal of the season Saturday, putting him on pace for 50-plus goals. Add in 13 assists and Tavares is averaging over a point per game. If he can stay healthy, Tavares could exceed the 86 points he scored in the 2014-15 campaign.
Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, CLM – Dubois was a hot "sleeper" candidate coming into the season. A mildly slow start likely cooled the ardor of some and resulted in Dubois getting dropped in shallower leagues. Those savvy owners who snatched up Columbus' top center are reaping the benefits now, as Dubois is up to 12 goals and 10 assists in 24 games while skating on a line with Artemi Panarin and the red-hot Cam Atkinson.
Patrik Laine, RW, WPG – Five goals in a game pretty much automatically nets you a spot on this side of the ledger. Laine potted that many lamp-lighters Saturday against the Blues. With that quintet of tallies, the Finnish winger now has a league-leading 19 for the season. Laine became just the fifth player since the 1996-97 season to have a five-goal game and the 14th in the modern era to score at least three hat tricks