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BDCi TV NHL Slap Shot Snap Shot 4-14-13

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LOS ANGELES, CA (BDCi) – The NHL is coming down to its final few weeks and teams are jockeying for playoff spots. We have several teams and players who have been red hot and are doing their best to be able to play hockey into the months of May and June. Which teams have great odds of making it there and which ones don’t? Read ahead to find out!

Brian Elliot rediscovers his game

Last season the St. Louis Blues were one of the toughest hockey teams to score on as the goaltending duo of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot were practically unbeatable. This season however the two have struggled, especially Elliot who was sent down to the AHL to do a conditioning assignment to see if he could rediscover his form that made him so dominant last season. Elliot has seemed to re-discover that form as he has won three straight games, all via the shutout. In the past week he has beaten the Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, and Minnesota Wild.

Wide Open West

 There are only two weeks remaining in the regular season and in the Western conference you still have 11 teams in contention for the eight playoff spots. Right now the Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Phoenix Coyotes are all on the outside looking in, but each one still has a chance to get in. This is in contrast to the Eastern conference where it is down to about nine teams fighting for eight playoff spots.  

Red Hot Washington Capitals 

The Washington Capitals have been one of the most fun teams to watch the past several seasons with superstar forward Alexander Ovechkin consistently lighting the lamp. But they have looked much different last year and the first half of this season as they haven’t had too much punch on offense. Lately though the Capitals have turned it around, and Ovechkin has been red hot as he has a chance to lead the league in goals and the Capitals have now won seven games in a row.

 3 Stars of the Week (4/7 – 4/14) 

Phil Kessel (Toronto Maple Leafs) – Kessel has been much maligned since he joined Toronto as a restricted free agent several years ago, not seeming to have lived up to the multiple drafts picks given away to acquire him, however in the past week Kessel has been on fire as he scored five goals and recorded two assists in the past four games. 

Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings) – “Drewwwwwwwww” as the Kings fans refer to him has seemed to have rediscovered that play that made him one of the top players in the NHL playoffs last season and a former Norris trophy finalist as he scored three goals and one assist last week in his four games of work.

 Brian Elliot (St. Louis Blues) – Elliot was perfect on the week as he went 3-0 with three shutouts on the week.  

League Leaders (As of 4/14/2013) 

Goals – Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) – 27 

Assists – Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins), Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning) – 41 

+/- – Chris Kunitz (Pittsburgh Penguins) – +29 

Wins – Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins) – 21 

GAA – Craig Anderson (Ottawa Senators) – 1.52 

Save Percentage – Craig Anderson (Ottawa Senators) – .949 

Shutouts – Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators), Mike Smith (Phoenix Coyotes), Cory Schneider (Vancouver Canucks) – 5

Brazil Player Watch 

Robyn Regehr 

Regehr had a busy week as he played in four games, struggling in a loss against the Dallas Stars where he suffered a minus 3 rating. However in his other three games he was a +1 as the Los Angeles Kings went 2-2 on the week.

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