Stock up, stock down: Ehrhoff saving Canucks' D; Kovalev missing in Pittsburgh
Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars: Benn had a goal and an assist in the Stars' 5-0 rout against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night to stretch his points streak to nine games. The 129th pick in the 2007 draft has eight goals over that span and has stepped up nicely since the trade of James Neal to Pittsburgh in advance of the Feb. 28 trade deadline. The Stars, meanwhile, continue to impress. Their win over Chicago moved them into a tie with the defending Stanley Cup champs for sixth place in the Western Conference.
Christian Ehrhoff, Vancouver Canucks: When you think of the Canucks' blue line, you think injuries instead of point production. That's a function of having dynamic scorers up front like Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who are vying for Hart Trophy consideration, and Ryan Kesler, who will likely be a Frank J. Selke Trophy finalist. But Ehrhoff has helped stabilize a blue line that has been ravaged by injuries this season, regularly logging more than 25 minutes a night in ice time in recent weeks. The former San Jose Shark has eight points (all assists) in his past seven games. The Canucks also have taken a stranglehold on the top seed in the Western Conference, as well as the Presidents' Trophy race.
Jussi Jokinen, Carolina Hurricanes: If the youthful Hurricanes are going to reassert themselves as a playoff team in the final three weeks of the regular season, they are going to need to get offense from more than just captain Eric Staal. That means veteran forward Jokinen, always a bit of a streaky producer, will need to get back on track -- and soon. The forward has just two points in his past eight games and has not scored a goal over that period of time. The Canes have just one win in their past six outings and were in ninth overall in the East.
Alexei Kovalev, Pittsburgh Penguins: Hey, we know the Penguins didn't acquire the veteran scorer to put up points in relatively meaningless regular-season games, which we guess is good since Kovalev has managed to score just once and add two assists in nine games since coming over from Ottawa. The big winger has managed only 14 shots with the Pens and has had three shots in one game just once. None of this means anything if Kovalev can somehow find the range come playoff time, but it is mildly troubling given he is regularly averaging more than 17 minutes a night in ice time. Maybe he's just saving up.