NHL Barometer: Risers & Fallers
NHL Barometer: Risers & Fallers

This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.

This week's article includes Ottawa benefitting from the acquisition of a second-line winger, a sniper returning to prior form, a young blueliner in Tampa Bay, Rask rolling and a former Hart trophy winner off to a slow start.

First Liners (Risers)

Anze Kopitar, C, LA – Kopitar suffered through a miserable season last year, tallying just 60 points in 81 points, down from 92 points in 2017-18. His strong start to the current campaign is making his production in 2018-19 look more like an aberration than the beginning of a negative trend. Kopitar potted a goal and an assist Saturday and an assist Sunday, giving the Slovenian center a pair of markers and six assists in just five games this season. That pace will slow, but Kopitar should cross the 70-point barrier once again. 

Patrik Laine, LW, WPG – Laine racked up 36 goals his rookie season and 44 his sophomore campaign. He started his third season in the NHL like he would obliterate both marks. But 12- and 15-game goal droughts resulted in Laine finishing the season with 30 tallies, half of which came on the power play. Signed to a two-year, bridge deal for $13.5 million just before the 2019-20 year started, 21-year-old has been on fire to start the year, collecting 11 points in the Jets' first seven games as he looks to show that he deserves a long-term contract.

James Neal, RW, EDM – Neal, mentioned last week in the others listing, gets

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan Levine
Levine covers baseball and hockey for RotoWire. He is responsible for the weekly NL FAAB column for baseball and the Barometer for hockey. In addition to his column writing, he is master of the NHL cheat sheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets and Rangers.
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