Pressing questions for the stretch run

Updated: February 29, 2012, 12:56 PM ET
By Craig Custance

For the last month, the biggest questions in the NHL centered around the trade deadline. The trade rumors were passed from star player to star player, starting with Bobby Ryan and ending with Rick Nash.

At one point, I joked with Ryan Suter, suggesting that he should send Nash a thank you note for seizing the trade spotlight pressure away from Suter when word circulated that Nash might be on the move. Suter laughed, and then cracked, "Now, don't put it back on me."

In the midst of the frenzy, we missed some pretty good hockey. Like the Coyotes going on an 11-0-1 run during February. Or Evgeni Malkin putting up 10 goals and nine assists in 12 February games as he continues to carry the Penguins while they wait for more news on Sidney Crosby's recovery.

So on this bonus February day, we put the trade deadline behind us and look to the ice to examine the biggest question facing each divisional race during the stretch run:


Will Ilya Bryzgalov provide enough goaltending to keep the Flyers among the contenders?