Welcome to the NHL Star Power Index: A weekly gauge of the players who are controlling substantial buzz around the league. When a player is included on this list it may not be a good thing -- it means that they are capturing a large amount of the hockey world's attention.
These players are in no particular order when it comes to the amount of buzz that they're creating. We'll revisit the Star Power Index every week throughout the regular season.
In a season full of injuries for the Colorado Avalanche, Nathan MacKinnon has proved to be one of the true constants for the defending Stanley Cup champions. Cale Makar, Gabriel Landeskog, and even MacKinnon himself have missed significant time, but MacKinnon has been on fire in recent weeks.
In fact, MacKinnon has scored a goal in seven of his last eight games for the team.He's registered at least six shots-on-goal in four of those eight contests. MacKinnon recorded a goal and an assist in the Avalanche's 6-0 win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
Just doing his dancey dance.#GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/sMREPBVRP8— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) March 8, 2023
MacKinnon also earned a secondary assist on a Nichushkin goal in the second period.
The two-point performance is just the latest in a string of multi-point games for the Avalanche center. MacKinnon has recorded multi-point games in eight of his last 12 contests while also scoring four goals in his last four games. MacKinnon is getting hot at the right time, as the Avalanche have climbed into the third playoff spot in the Central Division after spending the majority of the season as a Wild Card contender.
The Boston Bruins made a few big moves at the trade deadline, including one for Dmitry Orlov. He has proved to be a huge source of offensive production since arriving in Boston. In four games over the past week, Orlov has registered three goals and six assists. The veteran defenseman has recorded multiple points in four of his five games since being traded to the Bruins.
His most recent showing came when he tallied a goal and two assists in a 7-1 Bruins win over the Buffalo Sabres. In doing so, Orlov helped the Bruins become the fastest team in NHL history to reach the 100-point mark in a season.
With his nine points in his first five games with the Bruins, Orlov joined some very elite company. The only two defenseman in NHL history that registered more points in their first five contests with a new team were Harry Cameron (15 points, 1917-18 Toronto Arenas) and Paul Coffey (10 points, 1992-93 Detroit Red Wings).
SCORE-LOV IS TAKING OVER. pic.twitter.com/Awl2tgwsDp— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 3, 2023
The Bruins were already a force to be reckoned with, considering that goalie Linus Ullmark has been a brick wall throughout the 2022-23 season. However, now Orlov helps to form an extremely talented top defensive pairing with Charlie McAvoy and really has stabilized the team's blue line.
If Orlov can continue to produce at anywhere close to this level offensively, the Bruins may have become even more dangerous than anyone thought was possible.
Jared McCann played for three NHL franchises before landing with the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft. He's found a home. For the second consecutive season, McCann has recorded at least 50 points after having no such seasons like that in his previous six campaigns as a member of the Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks.
McCann, 26, is on fire right now having tallied a goal in four of his last five games with three multi-point performances during that span.
With his most recent two-point performance in a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, McCann made some history: he became the first Kraken player to record 100 career points with the team. It helped lead the Kraken to their fifth consecutive victory.
NO ONE CAN SLOW THIS (MC)MAN DOWN pic.twitter.com/bf2ASq8fWT— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) March 8, 2023
McCann is currently on pace for 67 points (42 goals, 25 assists) during the 2022-23 season. That would surpass his previous career-high of 50 points that he set just last season.
The Kraken continue to make a push for the postseason and McCann's stellar goal-scoring ability on the top line has been a huge reason for the team's success.
It's been an up-and-down season for Sergei Bobrovsky in between the pipes, but the veteran netminder is enjoying a very strong stretch. Over his last four starts, the Florida Panthers goaltender has a 3-1-0 record, a 1.25 goals-against-average and a .957 save percentage. Bobrovsky has allowed a grand total of five goals, including just one goal in three of those outings.
Sergei Bobrovsky led the way. 🚫@pepsi Goalies of the Week pic.twitter.com/bmTE36jt8Z— NHL (@NHL) March 7, 2023
It was expected to be a timeshare between Bobrovsky and 21-year-old keeper Spencer Knight in net this season. However, Knight has dealt with injuries and is currently in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.
In Knight's absence, Bobrovsky has provided stability in the crease. After having a goals-against-average of at least 3.06 in three of the first four months of the 2022-23 season, Bobrovsky has bounced back in a big way.
Most recently, Bobrovsky turned aside 31 of the 32 shots that he faced in a 2-1 Panthers' win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. With just a quarter of the season to go, Bobrovsky's calming demeanor in the crease is going to be needed if the Panthers want to make a charge towards the postseason.