NHL Crush Spot – 12/7/18
By Eric Bokobza
Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets: Scheifele has asserted himself as one of the top centers in the game. He has tallied eight points (5 goals, 3 assists) in his last five games. He will look to keep that hot streak going against the St. Louis Blues who rank 24th in goals against per game this season (3.35). The Blues will be even more vulnerable as top defenseman and team captain Alex Pietrangelo is out with a hand injury and will be replaced by a call-up from the AHL.
Nikolaj Ehlers, Winnipeg Jets: The Jets are a team to load up on as they have a high powered offense against a weak defense and the NHL slate is relatively thin (only 4 games). Playing next to Mark Scheifele, Ehlers has picked up his play of late, scoring seven points in his last five games. He had a rough start to the season, putting up just four points his his first 13 games, but has turned it on recently. It will cost quite a bit to load up on both of these Jets, but it will likely be worth it.
Oscar Klefbom, Edmonton Oilers: Scoring seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in his last six games, Klefbom appears to finally be living up to his first round pedigree. At first glance, a matchup with the Minnesota Wild doesn’t seem attractive for Klefbom as they have solid defense and goaltending. However, the Wild will be playing the second night of a back to back and their third game in four days, all on the road. Minnesota should be sluggish, which can open up opportunities for Klefbom to continue his volume shooting pace of over four shots per game over his last seven.
John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks: Gibson has shined this season, showing he deserves to be the starter by posting a .929 save percentage. That ranks eighth among goalies this season. Next up on the docket is a date with the Carolina Hurricanes, one of most offensively challenged teams in the league. Carolina ranks just 29th in goals scored per game with 2.44. Additionally, the Hurricanes have won just 12 games this year, so there is a good chance Gibson will pick up a win in this one.