Trending Up, Trending Down: Rangers are hot, cramping Jagr is not

by
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports

Each week, theScore looks at the teams, players, and other hockey figures trending upward and taking a step back.

▲ Mike Condon

The Ottawa Senators have rallied around their goaltenders in light of the devastating cancer diagnosis regarding Craig Anderson's wife, Nicholle.

While Anderson has turned in some truly inspiring performances in the wake of the news, newly acquired backup Condon has been nearly perfect since a trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After posting a shutout in his Senators debut against the Vancouver Canucks, Condon turned in a second stellar outing with a 31 save effort in a 2-1 shootout win Wednesday over the Buffalo Sabres.

Factor in his perfect period with the Penguins, and the 26-year-old has an outrageous .041 GAA and .985 save percentage, albeit in a small sample size.

That aside, Condon has been a rock and - on a club managing just 2.31 goals per game - giving the team exactly what it needs.

▼ Avalanche's pitiful offense

While the hockey world continues to shame the lowly Vancouver Canucks, the Colorado Avalanche have flown largely under the radar of criticism despite a nearly identical start to the year.

The Avalanche sit in a three-way tie for the NHL's fewest points with 10, one less than Vancouver, albeit with two fewer games played. The club's biggest hindrance so far is that they can't score.

Through 12 games, Matt Duchene paces the club with six goals and 11 points, but no other player has more than three goals.

The team is averaging just two goals per game - tied for second worst in the NHL. The Avalanche have put just 24 pucks past opposing netminders, the fewest league-wide.

Meanwhile, the club has dropped four of their last five games with a total of five goals, scoring more than a single goal just once. Head coach Jared Bednar must address this, and fast.

▲ New York Rangers

Don't let a hiccup against the Canucks fool you, the Rangers are hot.

The club has won five of their last six games and - prior to Tuesday's contest - had netted at least five goals in five straight contests. The Rangers pace the league with 4.14 goals per game thanks to a well-balanced attack.

The club boasts eight players with double-digit points, while six have scored five goals or more.

The Broadway Blueshirts mean business.

▼ Jaromir Jagr

Don't let it end like this.

Jagr is off to a rough start in his 23rd season. The wizard has just one goal and five points through 13 games, a far cry from his 27-goal, 66-point output from a season ago.

To make things even more troubling is the fact he left last week's contest against the Washington Capitals with a groin cramp, and Monday's game with the same issue.

Sure coach Gerard Gallant made light of the situation, but given Jagr's age, it's hard to ignore the issue:

We all knew Jagr's storybook career would one day come to an end, but with downed production and cramps at least limiting his playing time, it would be a shame if Jagr's career fizzled out without a few more records and some more dazzle.