The NHL is too vast of a league to keep up with everything all at once. Hockey's landscape changes from week to week, and while it's impossible to watch every game unfold in its entirety over the course of a week, you can certainly read the most important narratives all in one place.
These are not your typical power rankings, but more of a trend of who's rising and who's falling, from players and teams to storylines and statistics. To get you ready for the week ahead, we'll catch you up on the week prior.
The second coming of Connor McDavid
Since returning from a collar bone injury earlier this month, McDavid has been all the Canadian media can talk about. Considering they might not ice a team in the playoffs this season, makes sense they're fixating on one of the only good things to come out of the 2015-16 season for the country.
McDavid mania has swept the league once again, and it's not hard to see why. Since returning, McDavid has put up 12 points in seven games, including five against Toronto earlier last week. When the No. 1 overall pick is putting up goals like these with just 20 games of NHL experience, of course people are going to break out The Great One comparisons.
ICYMI, @cmcdavid97 got things going early. #TORvsEDMhttps://t.co/f5sMLkATID— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 12, 2016
Toronto clears the decks after Dion Phaneuf trade
The legend of Shayne Gostisbehere grows
If Shayne Gostisbehere is just the first of Philadelphia's defensive prospects to make the NHL, I worry for the rest of the NHL if the others even come close to their expectations. The rookie defenseman has taken the Flyers, and the league, by storm with 30 points in 36 games this season, putting his hat into the ring for the Calder race.
An 11-game point streak is the longest by a rookie defenseman in NHL history.— NHL (@NHL) February 13, 2016
Shayne Gostisbehere has it.https://t.co/l5EBXISuuz
Nazem Kadri earns fine, and some strange press thanks to gesture
Hockey players are emotional beings on the ice. We've heard about times players cross the line in their verbal jabs, but this time Nazem Kadri was dinged with a fine after implying something of a much more dangerous nature. Kadri, after being roughed up by the Flames earlier last week, wasn't happy with the rough stuff from captain Mark Giordano and made a throat slashing gesture that cost him the maximum fine of $5,000 under the league's CBA.
Kadri's reaction to the hit from Giordano (s/t @Fan960Wills) pic.twitter.com/JjRETZZaxE— Stephanie (@myregularface) February 10, 2016
Kadri apologized and accepted the penalty, but the gesture gained some press that put this into one of the hottest takes of this century.
The worst opinion that has ever existed is right here: pic.twitter.com/jk2xx9ylff— Travis Hughes (@TravisSBN) February 11, 2016
Straight up fire.
Mike Yeo's time comes to an end in Minnesota
We won't be finding out how Wild head coach Mike Yeo gets himself out of a jam this time. The firing of Minnesota's head coach comes on the heels of the Wild losing 13 of their last 14 while sliding themselves out of playoff position. In each of Yeo's seasons with the Wild, the team has suffered some sort of slump. While in the past the team were able to dig themselves out of a hole without resorting to personnel changes, a change was most definitely needed this time.
Over the last month, the Wild were trending even lower than the Montreal Canadiens, who surely are at the rock bottom of the league in terms of performance. Yeo was never able to utilize the talent on the Wild roster to their full potential, something interim head coach John Torchetti from Minnesota's AHL club will have to do to get the team back into playoff position.
The Minnesota Wild have reportedly fired head coach Mike Yeo.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 14, 2016
Minnesota is 3-12-4 since Jan. 2, with an NHL-low 10 points in that span.
Gary Bettman's comments on NHL.com redesign sparks new river of hate
It's no secret that many hate the new NHL.com redesign. And for good reason, because it's quite a bad product that in fact may have been rushed because of pressure from higher-ups.
NHL.com has taken steps back on multiple fronts: information delivery, design, functionality. You name it, it's probably been screwed around with in the redesign. Commissioner Gary Bettman fought back on the criticism to try and stop the bleeding, but it may have made matters worse in the long run.
Gary Bettman's full answer when I asked him about https://t.co/83kUNx5pOG. #PlayWithIt pic.twitter.com/Do1zUyAOR5— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 11, 2016
Sadly, no matter how many times we "play with it," Bettman, the problems many have aren't going to fix themselves.