1. The OEL OT factor
Oliver Ekman-Larsson delivered his third OT winner of the season on home ice last night, giving the Coyotes a much needed win in their own building against a very beatable opponent. OEL has received some justifiable criticism for play in his own end so far this season, but the young Swede continues to deliver in the offensive zone when needed. He also notched a power play goal in Saturday's shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild.
2. Devan Dubnyk
Coach Dave Tippett has recently resorted to playing the hot hand in net, and Dubnyk has risen to the occasion. While wins have been tough to come by, the 28-year-old former Oiler has played well enough to keep the Coyotes in games. Last night's 31-save performance was a breath of fresh air for a team that is allowing the fourth most goals per game in the NHL.
3. Christian Dvorak
In addition to youngster Max Domi, Dvorak is another exciting Yotes prospect playing extremely well for the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights. After 12 points in three games for the week ending Dec. 14, the 18-year-old was named OHL Player of the Week. Dvorak currently ranks fourth in the OHL in scoring.
The Maple Leafs are 10-1-1 in their last twelve games and, despite being outshot 42-27 by the Anaheim Ducks, won their sixth straight game last night. Phil Kessel was named the top star, recording two goals and an assist during the tilt.
5. Marathon shootout lovers
1. Yotes PK
The Coyotes' penalty kill numbers remain at the bottom of the league. Their 76.0% kill percentage ranks 28th of 30 NHL teams. This unit needs to improve if the Coyotes as a whole hope to improve this season.
2. Brandon Gormley
After battling a lower body injury and spending time on IR, Brandon Gormley was reassigned to the Portland Pirates after being reactivated. His trip to the AHL will most likely just be for conditioning purposes, and Gormley still undoubtedly hopes to reclaim his spot in the Coyotes' blue line rotation as soon as possible.
3. Mumps virus resistance
The mumps claimed their latest victims in the hockey world this week, with Penguins star Sidney Crosby being the most high profile player to suffer from the disease. Teams have been taking extra precautions to prevent further spread of the mumps, including postponing public appearances, scrubbing down locker rooms and throwing out water bottles. But because booster vaccinations cannot be compelled on the players, it isn't clear how effective these measures will be.
While the current state of the Arizona Coyotes is questionable at best, they still remain a solid step above the perpetually struggling Oilers, who dropped their fifth game in a row with .03 seconds left in overtime last night in Glendale. Coach Dallas Eakins was recently relieved of his duties amid the team's woes.
5. Kings pajama pants
The Los Angeles Kings recently revealed their Stadium Series uniforms, which feature white pants that conveniently aren't featured in the promo video below.