The Philadelphia Flyers
caused a big stir this summer when they dealt two of the NHL's top centers, Mike Richards
and Jeff Carter
. One reason they could afford to make those moves was Claude Giroux
The Flyers' first-round pick in 2006 just continues to get better. He piled up seven points in Philadelphia's three games last week and has climbed to second in the scoring race with 27 points overall, one behind Toronto's Phil Kessel
. He's had 11 points in seven games this month and 16 in his last 10 games overall.
Five up — Five players who are playing well:
Right Wing - PHI
GOALS: 11 | ASST: 15 | PTS: 26
SOG: 55 | +/-: 3
-- After some early-season struggles, Montreal's No. 1 goaltender is on a roll. He blanked Carolina 4-0 on Wednesday and did the same against the New York Rangers
on Saturday. For the week, he went 2-0-1 and stopped 72 of 74 shots.
-- The No. 1 pick in last June's NHL Draft had a night to remember on Saturday with five assists in Edmonton's 9-2 win against Chicago. The performance made him the first 18-year-old in NHL history with five assists in a single game, and only the fourth 18-year-old ever to have a five-point game. He leads all rookies with 19 points.
-- Florida's No. 1 center had a pair of three-point nights last week. He also had one of the best two-way games in recent memory as the Panthers beat Pittsburgh on Saturday: Weiss set up his team's first two goals, scored the game-winner, went 15-7 on faceoffs and blocked a game-high five shots.
-- Unlike Giroux, his Philadelphia teammate, Read had to play his way onto the Flyers as an undrafted free agent. The Flyers are glad they kept him: Read leads all rookies with eight goals and has scored in each of Philadelphia's last four games, including a pair on Saturday.
-- Playing with Phil Kessel
has been a boon for Lupul, as has been the ability to stay healthy. He had a goal and three assists on Saturday, is third in the League with 24 points and is having his best season since 2008-09.
Five down — Five players who are struggling:
-- The 39-year-old forward is among several Washington Capitals
who've gone cold. Knuble hasn't found the back of the net since Oct. 29 and hasn't had so much as a point in his last seven games.
-- Colorado brought in Varlamov to be its No. 1 goaltender, but six straight losses have persuaded coach Joe Sacco to give backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere
more playing time.
-- Lehtonen was been the biggest reason the Dallas Stars
started with 11 wins in 14 games. He's lost his last three while allowing 11 goals -- though to be fair, he's also seen 106 shots in those games.
-- After scoring the Islanders' first goal of the season, he hasn't had a point in New York's next 15 games despite averaging well over 20 minutes of ice time.
-- At least Ovi is shooting again (13 in his last two games). But Washington's big gun has been silent for most of the season. He's gone pointless in his last four games and is just 7-7-14 -- numbers that would put him on pace for career lows of 31 goals and 62 points.
Injuries, news and notes
Left Wing - WSH
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 14
SOG: 67 | +/-: -6
— The Sidney Crosby
watch continues. The Pittsburgh Penguins
captain continues to work out at practice, but the team has not set a date for his return from the concussion that has sidelined him since early January.
-- Maple Leafs are dropping like flies. Toronto lost defenseman Mike Komisarek
(broken arm) and forward Matt Lombardi (upper body) on Thursday -- two days after losing center Mikhail Grabovski
(upper body) and Clarke MacArthur
(lower body). Toronto announced Saturday that Komisarek has a broken arm that will require surgery and that he'll miss at least two months. … Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr
played only 1:22 on Thursday before leaving with a lower-body injury and didn't travel to Winnipeg for Saturday's game. … Dallas forward Adam Burish
went on IR after breaking a bone in his left hand. … Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov
left Thursday's game with a groin injury and is out indefinitely. Fellow goaltender Al Montoya
missed Saturday's game with a hamstring injury. … Detroit defenseman Ian White
missed the week with a fractured cheekbone that landed him on IR. … Florida forward Marcel Goc
missed games Thursday and Saturday after suffering an upper-body injury on Tuesday. Goaltender Scott Clemmensen
sat out Saturday's game with soreness. … Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo
sat out Saturday with a lower-body injury. … Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo
hasn't played since Sunday due to an upper-body injury. … David Moss
missed both of Calgary's games last week with an injured foot that landed him on IR. … Edmonton defenseman Andy Sutton
will miss at least a week after leaving Friday's game with a groin injury. Another Oilers defenseman, Cam Barker
, will miss at least three months after injuring his ankle; he'll need surgery.
-- Dallas forward Steve Ott
returned Friday after a hip injury that cost him six games. … Islanders rookie Nino Niederreiter
made his season debut on Tuesday after missing five weeks with a lower-body injury. … Detroit's Todd Bertuzzi
played Saturday in Los Angeles after missing six games with a sinus infection. … Forward Eric Fehr
made his debut for the Winnipeg Jets
on Saturday after missing the first six weeks of the season following offseason shoulder surgery.
-- Flyers forward Brayden Schenn
practiced last week for the first time since going down with a broken foot on Oct. 26. … Los Angeles put forward Dustin Penner
(hand) on IR; coach Terry Murray
says he's weeks from returning. Alex Martinez also went on IR with an upper-body injury. … Penguins forward Dustin Jeffrey
will be idled for another week or two as he tries to regain strength in his surgically repaired knee. … San Jose's James Sheppard
participated in a practice last week for the first time since injuring his knee in an ATV accident in September 2010. … Phoenix center Daymond Langkow
has missed five games due to the death of his mother on Nov. 8. … Edmonton defenseman Ryan Whitney
skated last week and hopes to be back in the lineup this week. He's been sidelined since Oct. 25 with a knee injury. … Colorado placed Peter Mueller
(concussion) on IR; he's skating at practiced by hasn't played since Oct. 12. … Washington defenseman Mike Green
hasn't skated since injuring his groin on Nov. 12.
The week ahead
-- The Thanksgiving holiday plays havoc with this week's schedule. Wednesday and Friday both include 13 games, sandwiched around a dark day on the holiday, and there are 11 more games on Saturday's schedule. In all, half of the League's 30 teams play four times. U.S. fans have a little extra to be thankful for: All but three games from Nov. 21-27 will be played south of the 49th parallel.
Games to watch:
Boston at Montreal (Nov. 21, Versus/TSN/RDS)
-- The Bruins come to Montreal for the first time since being swept by the Habs in a home-and-home last month.
Philadelphia at New York Islanders (Nov. 23)
-- The Islanders, who've beaten the Flyers just once since April 2007, hope that the debut of their new third jerseys will bring them a change in fortune.
Detroit at Boston (Nov. 25, NBC/TSN)
-- The Wings come to Boston for the Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown at 1 p.m. ET.
New York Rangers at Washington (Nov. 25, NHL Network-US)
-- After the Bruins and Wings finish, the Rangers visit Washington for the first time since the Caps bounced them out of the playoffs last spring.
Chicago at Los Angeles (Nov. 26)
-- The Hawks wrap up their Circus Trip with a stop in Los Angeles, their third game in four days.
Tough week ahead:
-- Having spent last week visiting Western Canada, the Hawks will spend the holiday in California; they are in San Jose on Wednesday before spending the weekend in Southern California.
-- After spending an easy (two games) week at home, the Flames get a tough seven-day stretch on the road, playing four games on a tour of the Midwest.
-- Like their Alberta rivals, the Oilers spent last week at home and hit the road this week for four games -- but unlike the Flames, who have a day off between each game, Edmonton plays a pair of back-to-backs sandwiched around a two-day break.
Easy week ahead:
-- The Avs, who began an eight-game homestand Friday night, spend the holiday week in Denver while playing only twice -- Vancouver and Edmonton come to the Pepsi Center.
-- The Wild continue a homestand that began Thursday and keeps them in St. Paul through the holiday as Nashville, Edmonton and Calgary come to the Xcel Energy Center.
San Jose Sharks
-- After games in Dallas on Saturday and Denver on Sunday, the Sharks get to spend the week at home, with visits from Chicago on Wednesday and on Saturday (after Vancouver plays at Phoenix on Friday).