Around the NHL: It’s Shark Month in California

Through the first quarter of the season, San Jose was an up and down team. Following a loss to Calgary on November 26th, the Sharks were sitting at 10-10-4 on the year. Since then, they have been one of the hottest teams in the league. San Jose is 9-1-0 in the ten games since then and has climbed to second in the Pacific Division.

The Sharks have beaten some good teams during the stretch. They have victories over Anaheim, Boston, Minnesota, Nashville and St. Louis. They are currently on a five game winning streak following Saturday's win over the Blues.

Joe Thornton and Logan Couture lead the way for the Sharks. Thornton, 8 goals and 21 assists, and Couture, 13 goals and 16 assists, are tied for the team lead with 29 points. Joe Pavelski paces the team with 15 goals and is third on the team with 28 points.

Antti Niemi has put together another good season to this point as well. Niemi is 14-7-3 with a 2.42 goals against average, a .917 save percentage with 2 shutouts. 

Regular season success is nothing new to the Sharks. They have been one of the better teams in the Western Conference during the regular season for some time. That success has not translated to playoff success.

Rangers Rolling    

Since losing back to back games to Tampa and Detroit back on December 6th and 7th, the New York Rangers have managed to win their last six games and find themselves in third place in the Metropolitan Division. 

Rick Nash has led the way all season for the Blueshirts. He is first on the team with 20 goals and 33 points. Derick  Brassard is second in scoring with 8 goals and his 16 assists leads the team.

In net, Henrik Lundqvist has been Henrik Lundqvist. The Ranger netminder is 14-7-3 with a 2.46 goals against average, .912 save percentage and 5 shutouts. Backup goaltender Cam Talbot is 3-3-1 with all three wins being shutouts.

Red Wings slide

About three weeks ago the Detroit Red Wings had been playing some of the best hockey in the NHL. They had climbed all the way to the top of the Atlantic Division. They now find themselves looking up at Tampa Bay and Montreal following a current six game winless streak.

Detroit is 0-2-4 during the streak scoring just six total goals in those games. Luckily for Detroit they are getting points as they have made it to overtime four times in the six games.

Another thing that is helping the Wings is the fact the rest of the division is also struggling right now. Four of the eight teams are below .500 in the last ten games. Toronto was charging but has now lost three straight .

The Atlantic Division figured to be tight this season and so far it is. The top four teams are separated by just three points in the standings. While Detroit has not earned two points in a game during this stretch, they are at least getting one most nights. 

League Leaders through 12/21/2014

Goals – Seguin (25)

Assists – Voracek, Giroux (30)

Points – Voracek (44)

Plus/Minus – Forsberg (+24)

Wins – Rinne (21)

Shutouts – Fleury (6)

Bill Minchin is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow Bill on Twitter @wtfd103074