This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes a speedy Vegas forward, a hot young winger in Music City, a pair of backup goalies rolling, Colorado's top center down and Detroit's No. 1 goalie in a slump.
First Liners (Risers)
Erik Haula, C, vgk – Las Vegas' success this season is due to the collective whole being greater than the sum of the individual parts. Haula is an example of that. Coming over from Minnesota, Haula had a career high of 34 points set two years ago when he filled a third-line role. In Vegas, he has moved seamlessly onto the second line. A seventh-rounder in 2009, Haula posted a goal and added a helper Friday, raising his career-high mark to 39 points (20 goals, 19 assists) in just 47 games.
Logan Couture, C, SJ – Couture was shut out Sunday but he still has lit the lamp in four of his last six games. This recent hot streak has bumped the center's production to 22 goals along with 17 assists in 48 games. Injuries have cut short three of Couture's last four seasons, but when on the ice, he has been an effective offensive weapon. If San Jose is to remain in playoff contention, especially with Joe Thornton out, Couture will need to help lead the way.
Blake Wheeler, RW, WPG – Wheeler likely could be profiled weekly, but that just wouldn't be fair to others. His two assists Saturday give the Winnipeg captain 44 on the year to go