|ESPN.com: Cross Checks||[Print without images]|
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks: Most of the attention in Anaheim lately has gone to Corey Perry (13 goals in his past 10 games and firmly in the thick of Hart Trophy discussion) or netminder Ray Emery, who has resurrected his career. But let's not overlook the play of Perry's longtime linemate, center Ryan Getzlaf. It's no coincidence Getzlaf is adding assists the way Perry is collecting goals -- he has two goals and 14 helpers in his past 10 games. The Ducks, meanwhile, look like a sure bet to qualify for the postseason with 12 wins in their past 15 contests.
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins: Zdeno Chara's play of late has been overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the big defenseman's hit on Montreal's Max Pacioretty. Yet, in the absence of a clear-cut Norris Trophy favorite, the former winner has put himself back in the conversation with terrific play down the stretch. Only Anaheim's Lubomir Visnovsky, another dark horse Norris candidate, has more than Chara's nine points in the past three weeks. The Bruins captain continues to average 25:31 a night in ice time (sixth in the NHL), and Boston remains the top defensive club in the Eastern Conference and second only to Vancouver overall.
Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames: Always dangerous to blame a goaltender when a team hits the wall as the Calgary Flames have. Still, Kiprusoff's 2-4-0 record over the past couple of weeks of must-win games for the Flames just doesn't cut it. Over that span, he has turned in an .864 save percentage and 3.74 goals-against average. Those kinds of numbers spell an early tee time once again for the Flames.
Jarret Stoll, Los Angeles Kings: With Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar on the shelf with serious injuries, the Kings are going to be looking for some of their veteran players to pick up the slack if they're going to first hold on to a playoff spot and make a move in the postseason. That would mean guys like Stoll, who has 19 goals this season but has managed to dent the twine just once in his past 13 games. That's not going to get it done come playoff time, that's for sure.