This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes the No. 1 pivotman in San Jose staying hot, a budding young winger in the U.S. capital, an unsung blueliner in Colorado, a backup netminder holding down the fort in Minnesota, Werenski down a month and Pittsburgh's goalie scuffling.
First Liners (Risers)
Logan Couture, C, SJ – Couture got off to a slow start in lighting the lamp, but he has rectified that weakness recently. His two markers Saturday gave San Jose's first-line center six lamplighters in his last six games — aided by a regression up to close to the mean in his shooting percentage — and eight overall on the season. Add in 20 assists and Couture is scoring a point-per-game after scoring a career-high 70 points last season.
John Tavares, C, TOR – Toronto's change in coaches from Mike Babcock to Sheldon Keefe has resulted in an uptick in Tavares' output. Whether due to causation or correlation, JT has six points, including four goals; in his last three games and his goal Saturday was the game winner. After posting a career-high 88 points his first season up North last year, Tavares is up to 20 points in 21 games despite missing seven games with a broken finger.
J.T. Miller, LW, VAN – Miller just continues to roll for the Orcas. His assist Saturday gave Miller four goals and three helpers in his last five games, including four power-play points and one while shorthanded. Miller's posted 27 points in as many