The First Line: Feb. 18, 2018

While many have been distracted by the shock and awe of the Winter Olympics, or the pageantry of NBA All-Star weekend, the NHL has continued to roll on through the latter half of its season.

Here are three forwards — one center, left wing and right wing — that fans should keep an eye on after their performance over the last week:

Nikita Kucherov, Right Wing: Since breaking into the league in the 2013-14, Kucherov has been money for the Lightning. His performance has gotten better and better each year in the league and this season is no different. Kucherov already has 31 goals (he scored 40 last year and has set a new career high in assists with 46. Yet over this past week the Russian born forward has been on fire picking up eight points through two goals and six assists.

Alex Ovechkin, Left Wing: It is just another season in the career for Ovechkin who has been on a hall of fame career path since he recorded 106 points in his first year in the NHL. This year Ovechkin has already recorded 65 points and is on pace to challenge his point total from 2014-15 (81) and maybe even 2010-11 (85). This week, Ovechkin has taken his anger over not being allowed to play in the Olympics out of opposing teams picking up two goals and five assists in just four games played.

Mark Scheifele-Center: In his second year of an eight year deal, the 24 year-old has helped Blake Wheeler give Winnipeg one of their best seasons in recent memory. With 23 games left to play the team currently sits three points behind the Knights in the Western Conference. The Jets played and won three games over this past week in large part thanks to the work of Scheifele who picked up two goals and five helpers. While the Ontario native isn’t having a career year, but weeks like this will keep him and his team as a contender in the playoff picture.






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