Stock up, stock down: The Cleary factor
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning: It’s hard to ignore the wild and woolly affair that was the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 8-7 come-from-behind road victory over the Flyers on Thursday night. True, Steven Stamkos collected three goals and two assists, but let’s not forget St. Louis’ five-assist performance. The former NHL MVP is on a seven-game points streak with three goals and 10 assists over that period. He ranks third in points in the NHL, and we’ll soon have to start wondering aloud whether he and Stamkos are in danger of splitting Hart Trophy votes come April.
Daniel Cleary, Detroit Red Wings: Holy red-hot, Batman. After collecting just one goal in his first 10 games, the pride of Carbonear, Newfoundland, is on a tear with a six-game goal-scoring streak and an eight-game points streak heading into Friday’s tilt with Minnesota. We talked to Cleary during training camp and he was stoked about getting back into the groove after an injury-plagued 2009-10 campaign. Good to see one of the game’s good guys has finally gotten there. The Red Wings are thankful, too, as they have won six of seven heading into Friday.
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils: Any hopes that the woeful Devils were going to turn their season around may have jetted home with the Hall of Fame-bound netminder Thursday night. Brodeur started the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but reinjured his right elbow and Johan Hedberg took over in net in the third en route to a 3-1 loss. Even when healthy, Brodeur has been, like the rest of the Devils, under siege. He has a 4-10-1 record and an un-Brodeur-like .901 save percentage and 2.74 GAA. Now it looks like Brodeur will rest the elbow while the Devils’ season continues to spin out of control.
David Booth, Florida Panthers: It’s been an up-and-down season so far for the retooling Florida Panthers, but it looks to be a lot more “down” than “up” moving forward if top scorer David Booth continues to struggle. The former 30-goal man who lost most of last season to a concussion (thanks to a Mike Richards blindside hit) has fallen off the map offensively with just one goal in his past eight games. He is riding a six-game goalless drought after the Panthers were shut out by Boston on Thursday. Booth has zero points over that span as the Panthers have sunk to 13th in the Eastern Conference as of Friday morning.