It's nice when there are more Coyotes entries in the "Hot" category than "Not". Indeed, the Coyotes managed to win three of their last four games. But Arizona wasn't the only team worthy of consideration. Here are some of the players and performances that rocked, and the players and performances that fizzled.
1. OEL's range
Watch Oliver Ekman-Larsson embarrass Jonathan Bernier from center ice in Toronto last week:
2. Yotes goalies
Aside from a disappointing seven goal affair in Ottawa on Saturday, the current pair of Arizona netminders combined for three solid showings over the past four games. Starter Mike Smith stopped 30 of 31 shots last night against Columbus, and 24 of 25 last week against the Maple Leafs. Recent call-up Louis Domingue saved 18 of 20 against the Canadiens in his first NHL victory on Super Bowl Sunday.
3. Klutch Korpikoski
Louis Domingue's aforementioned first win came in dramatic fashion. After a slow start on behalf of the Coyotes, Lauri Korpikoski delivered timely powerplay goals in both the second and third periods to contribute to a 3-2 win.
4. Hutton spin-o-rama
Nashville Predators goaltender Carter Hutton adds some heroics to a 4-3 win last night with this save-of-the-year candidate:
5. The St. Louis Blues
9-0-1 in their last ten and currently on a six-game winning streak, the Blues have raced to a position only two points out of first in both their division and conference. They may have been outplayed by Tampa Bay last night, but Brian Elliot's monstrous performance between the pipes led them to a 2-1 victory.
1. Otta-what just happened?
The game may have not felt too uneven, but the final score certainly was. The third period of the Coyotes battle with the Ottawa Senators was particularly ugly, as they surrendered four goals en route to a 7-2 defeat.
2. The Toronto Maple Leafs
In addition to being on the wrong end of two of our "Hot" list highlights, the Leafs loss to the Predators last night put them at 0-9-1 in their last ten, and 12 points out of a wild card spot in the Eastern conference. Deadline trade rumors are swirling around the team, rumors that don't necessarily exclude fan-favorites and stars like Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf.
3. Super Bowl mirrors 2011 Stanley Cup Final
With a team from the Pacific Northwest facing off against a team from New England, Super Bowl XLIX ended poorly for Vancouver Canucks/Seattle Seahawks fans, which presumably share allegiances given their geography. Just a few years ago, the Canucks lost to the Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final by four goals, the same number of points by which the Seahawks fell to the New England Patriots.
4. Kings share presidential visit
Apparently in an effort to solidify hockey's reputation as a second-tier professional sport in the eyes of the public, the White House had the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings visit this week along with the LA Galaxy, current champions of Major League Soccer. The San Francisco Giants, Seattle Seahawks and San Antonio Spurs all received their own visits following championship victories in their own respective leagues.