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.
Jaromir Jagr shows no signs of slowing down
No doubt hockey fans are savoring every moment of Jaromir Jagr's greatness. While we are nearing the end of the 44-year-old's hockey career, the man himself has not stopped making history. Saturday, Jagr cemented his place as the No. 3 all-time goal scorer in the NHL, passing Brett Hull with career tally 742 in the Panthers 3-1 win over the Jets.
Jagr now joins the ranks of Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe atop the league's best goal scorers. Gretzky's record of 894 will in all likelihood remain untouchable for years to come, but Howe's 801 is an interesting marker. Jagr's latest goal puts him at 20 for the year, and in 56 games played that puts the Panthers forward at a 29 goal pace on the season.
Two more seasons on that pace and Jagr could hit that milestone, but he'd be 46 years old by the time that plays out. Howe was 52 when he played his last NHL game, so it's not a stretch to say Jagr could play well into his late 40s, but everyone's body is different. That being said, the well-oiled machine that is Jaromir Jagr looks quite unstoppable this season as the Panthers leading goal scorer.
At 44 years, 5 days, Jagr is the oldest player in NHL history at time of 20th goal of a season #pixiedust— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) February 21, 2016
Blues, Ducks making plays for their divisions
The two hottest teams in the league right now are the Blues and Ducks, who coming into Sunday were on a five-game and four-game win streak respectively. For St. Louis, who have been lost in the deadly Central behind the Stars and Blackhawks, are now just two points out of tying Chicago for the top spot in the division. A recent strong offensive output in front of stellar numbers from goaltender Jake Allen have St. Louis playing some of their best hockey of the season.
Thanks to the surge, the Blues have crept up behind the Blackhawks and Stars and could overtake Dallas' 80 points as early as Monday.
Elliott is two wins from being 4th goalie with 100 Blues wins. His 92.5 save % and 2.01 GAA are best ever for Blues. Yet role uncertain.— St Louis Game Time (@StLouisGameTime) February 21, 2016
The Ducks, meanwhile, have left their abysmal start in the rearview mirror. Where once we were questioning their ability to make the playoffs, Anaheim has lost just two of their last 13 games dating back to last month. Their recent stretch of five straight wins has them two points back of the Kings for first in the Pacific, with the Kings, Ducks and Sharks all separated by five points at the top of the division.
On Christmas Day, the Ducks were 12-15-6 and looking for answers. They've since gone 18-4-2, best record in the NHL in that stretch.— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) February 19, 2016
Stadium Series kicks off with a bang in Minnesota
You thought you escaped outdoor games back on New Year's Day? Not so fast! The NHL's Stadium Series — a ploy to pull in more dough thanks to the success of the Winter Classic — kicked off this weekend with the Minnesota Wild hosting the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. We'll see the Avalanche and the Red Wings play on Saturday at Coors Field in Denver, but Minnesota held some wonderful sights and sounds in the Wild's 6-1 drubbing of the Blackhawks.
LET'S PLAY HOCKEY! #StadiumSeries #HDIA pic.twitter.com/YHFkicQFyF— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) February 21, 2016
The State of Hockey gets LOUD early on in the #StadiumSeries.https://t.co/DRefDwayAE— NHL (@NHL) February 21, 2016
Today's #StadiumSeries attendance: 50,426.— NHL (@NHL) February 21, 2016
Way to go, State of Hockey. pic.twitter.com/f7xj2GKa91
Steven Stamkos taken off the trade block
This year's NHL trade deadline might be a slow one, as the league's biggest catch has been taken off the market. Steven Stamkos won't be traded at the deadline, according to Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. Not a surprise, as Stamkos and the Lightning are in the midst of a climb up the Atlantic Division into a playoff spot.
As such, the NHL's biggest name when it came to trade rumors this season will be off the block until the start of free agency on July 1. There was no way Stamkos was leaving Tampa Bay even without the announcement, as it made no sense for the Lightning to deal him at such a crucial time in the season.
Don't despair, fans! There are still big names out there that could be dealt. And we've got all the latest rumors right here.
You know who might be on the market? P.K. Subban!
The Canadiens have truly hit rock bottom if rumors have emerged that say Montreal is "gauging the market" on their best player. The rumors came to light after Subban was benched for losing an edge against the Avalanche and causing the game-winning goal with his late turnover to Jarome Iginla.
Head coach Michel Therrien then threw Subban under the bus for the loss, causing Twitter to — rightly — jump all over him for blaming their best player for the failings of the coach himself.
"An individualistic play that cost us the game tonight"--Michel Therrien on Subban's turnover via @JFChaumontJDM https://t.co/DQ89O0g6vA— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) February 18, 2016
It's clear, however, that the people of Montreal have spoken, and they want Therrien out.
Dennis Wideman suspension upheld by a text message
There was no surprise when Gary Bettman said he would uphold the 20 game suspension for Dennis Wideman after the Flames defenseman cross-checked a linesman in the head three weeks ago. What is surprising is why. Text messages are the culprit here, and this one from Wideman — obtained by a subpoena — is what did him in.
The text Dennis Wideman sent to his teammate: "(t)he only problem and the only reason I'm here is cause the stupid refs and stupid media."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 17, 2016
Wideman took the NHL to arbitration, which in and of itself is its own version of a court, so the league was able to ask for his texts with no resistance.
Since the hit, linesman Don Henderson hasn't officiated a game thanks to concussion symptoms.
Linesman Don Henderson, injured in the Wideman case, hasn't worked a game since the incident. Continuing to follow concussion protocol.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 18, 2016