February was the month of numerous bye weeks, hot streaks, point streaks, milestones, and the trade deadline.
The bye week was not a good friend to many teams in February. Teams were 16-12-2 in games before their respective bye week. Coming off of the 5-6 day break they were 10-16-4. Due to the week off, many times have to play with a condensed schedule causing fatigue. Even getting refreshed from the week off, getting back in the grove of the schedule can be tough on any player. The bye week will be up for discussion at the GM meeting this week.
2/2- Patrick Marleau (SJS) became the 45th player in league history to score 500 Goals
2/11- Henrik Lundqvist (NYR) becomes the 12th goalie in history to reach 400 wins.
2/11- Nicolas Backstrom (WSH) reaches 700 points
2/14- Jamie Benn (DAL) reaches 500 points
2/15- Jarmoir Jagr (FLA) reaches 1,900 points
2/16- Sidney Crosby (PIT) becomes the 86th player to reach 1,000 career points
2/18- Jonathan Toews (CHI) reaches 600 career points
2/19- Patrick Kane (CHI) becomes the first American born player to score 20 or more goals in his first 10 seasons
2/26- Duncan Keith (CHI) reaches 500 career points
2/27- Radim Vrbata (ARZ) reaches 600 career points
1. Jonathan Toews (CHI) After a slow start to the season, he lead all players in February with 7 goals and 11 assists in 10 games. A highlight of the hot streak is his 5-point game against the Wild, leading Chicago to a win.
2. Filip Forsberg (NSH) He lead the Predators with 11 goals and 6 assists. He also helped Nashville get to 3rd place in the central division.
3. Mikael Granlund (MIN) The Finnish Wild forward helped them stay in first place in the Central Division posting 9 goals and 7 assists.
What seemed to be a quiet March 1st, there was still plenty of trades to go around. While there were many minor trades, these are some of the major trades.
1. Patrick Eaves to Anaheim Ducks. Ducks add the Stars point leader to their line up. Ducks are looking for a long playoff run again.
2. Ben Bishop to LA Kings. Kings load up on the back end with Quick and Bishop, looking to get back into a playoff spot.
3. Martin Hanzal to Minnesota Wild. Minnesota adds a veteran forward to their lineup. Wild are in first place in the Central Division and are looking for the veteran to help them stay there.
4. Kevin Shattenkirk to Washington Capitals. The Capitals look to solidify their back end with Shattenkirk who has 44 points this season. They are heading into the playoffs with their head held high, hopeful that they can finally make it to the finals.
1. Washington Capitals. During February they continued their franchise record home game win streak, winning every single game at home during the month. The team also had a 6-game win streak before the bye week and then losing 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings. They ended February by taking 6 of 10 points in 5 games.
2. Minnesota Wild. The team continues to impress everyone in the league by taking 16 of 24 points available in February. The Wild were only 1 of 10 teams to win coming off their bye week, helping them open the gap in the Central Division race.
3. Chicago Blackhawks. They came into February with a 5-game win streak but it ended coming off their bye week with a loss to Edmonton. But the team continues to dominate as they have won 12 of their last 13 games. They have a 6 game win streak and also have won a franchise record 8 straight road games.
The end of the season is coming up soon. All teams have less then 20 games left in the season. Only a couple of points are separating teams in the East for the final wild card spot. It will be an interesting end to the season and a great push into the playoffs.