Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche
The Avalanche continue to lose key personnel at an alarming rate yet continue to score goals by the bushel (they lead the NHL in goals per game). As of Friday morning, the hard-luck Avs were riding a four-game winning streak, including back-to-back wins over the defending Stanley Cup champs from Chicago this week. Sophomore Matt Duchene has been doing yeoman work in the face of an injury-depleted forward corps with 15 points in his past 11 games. He has eight goals over that stretch.
Sergei Kostitsyn, Nashville Predators
The Preds are streaking once again with points in nine straight games (7-0-2). Surprisingly, it's the forgotten Kostitsyn who has picked up his game over this period. After being essentially ridden out of Montreal at the end of last season, the younger of the two Kostitsyns (brother Andrei is still with the Habs) is starting to find a comfort zone with the Preds, playing mostly with Martin Erat and Marcel Goc. Kostitsyn has points in seven straight games (nine points over that period), and the Predators have jumped back into the Western Conference playoff fray thanks in large part to the trio's play.
Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Once again, the bottom has fallen out on the former rookie of the year and Vezina Trophy nominee. Mason was shelled by Edmonton on Thursday night, allowing six goals on 27 shots through two periods. He was then yanked for the third time in four games. Mason has just one win in his past seven outings, and the Blue Jackets have fallen like a stone through the Western Conference standings as a result.
Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks
Wonder why the talent-laden Sharks are such a befuddling team, flirting with the lower end of the West playoff bracket? Well, take a look at former captain Patrick Marleau, who has somehow managed to amass a minus-17 rating. Yes, plus/minus is a sometimes misleading (if not meaningless) stat, but the fact Marleau has one assist in his past eight games isn't. It's just plain shocking. So is the fact he's managed to score just once in his past 12 games.