This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes a hot Cout, money in Labanc in San Jose, a pair of D-men who were first overall picks, a stud blueliner still sidelined and Minnesota's top center slumping.
First Liners (Risers)
Sean Couturier, C, PHI - Philly is flying, largely thanks to Carter Hart, but Couturier has played a big part in their recent revival. Couturier notched a goal and two assists Saturday, extending his goal streak to four games (during which he has posted four goals, three assists and a plus-5 rating) and point streak to six, collecting four goals and nine points during that span. After a slow start, the 2011 first-rounder is now up to 23 goals and 25 assists in 54 games, well off last year's 76-point output. But he has eight goals and 19 points in his last 17 games with an eye-popping plus-10 rating. Despite going scoreless with a minus-four rating Monday against the Penguins, Couturier is as hot as anyone in the league.
Carl Soderberg, C, COL - I profiled Soderberg a while ago, but his recent play deserves another mention. With the top line in Colorado scuffling lately, Soderberg has more than picked up the slack, though that has not resulted in wins for the Avalanche. Soderberg had a goal and two assists Saturday, giving him four multi-point games in his last 13 contests, during which he has posted seven goals and four helpers. His goal Saturday gave the 2004 second-rounder extended his career high