NHL

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NHL 142 43 The Hockey News: Norris Trophy Watch 25943008 Big Z comes up big Big+Z+comes+up+big NHL

GAME OF THE MONTH: Zdeno Chara became the fourth B’s blueliner in franchise history to record a hat trick when he popped three against Carolina on Jan. 17. The other three were Bobby Orr (of course), Ray Bourque (of course) and Glen Wesley. At that point, Chara had put up six goals over his past nine games.

RISING: Brent Burns has missed 58 games combined the previous two seasons, but the 25-year-old – who happens to be 6-foot-5 and 219 pounds – is on track for a career-high 23 goals this year. The only time he’s missed this year was while serving a two-game suspension.

FALLING: Hard times in Atlanta have coincided with a decline in Dustin Byfuglien’s production.

— Ryan Dixon, The Hockey News

Steve Babineau - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/17/GYI0063089775_20110117150500387_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/17/GYI0063089775_20110117150500387_107_80.JPG
NHL 142 43 The Hockey News: Norris Trophy Watch 25943010 Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings Nicklas+Lidstrom%2C+Detroit+Red+Wings NHL

His 26 points on the power play lead all blueliners.
 

Justin K. Aller - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/18/GYI0063102866_20110118221313528_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/18/GYI0063102866_20110118221313528_107_80.JPG
NHL 142 43 The Hockey News: Norris Trophy Watch 25943011 Tobias Enstrom, Atlanta Thrashers Tobias+Enstrom%2C+Atlanta+Thrashers NHL

Outside of his countryman Nick Lidstrom, I'm not sure if any other rearguard makes better decisions with the puck.
 

Glenn James - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/16/GYI0063059212_20110116001344482_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/16/GYI0063059212_20110116001344482_107_80.JPG
NHL 142 43 The Hockey News: Norris Trophy Watch 25939036 Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers Boston+Bruins+v+Florida+Panthers NHL

When you can be plus-19 playing more than 26 minutes a night, you’re doing well.
 

Eliot J. Schechter - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/12/27/GYI0062902280_201012272222363_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/12/27/GYI0062902280_201012272222363_107_80.JPG
NHL 142 43 The Hockey News: Norris Trophy Watch 25943012 Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins Kris+Letang%2C+Pittsburgh+Penguins NHL

He's getting his points everywhere: 21 at home, 19 on the road.
 

Justin K. Aller - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/18/GYI0063102856_20110118221118520_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/18/GYI0063102856_20110118221118520_107_80.JPG
NHL 142 43 The Hockey News: Norris Trophy Watch 25941002 Dustin Byfuglien, Atlanta Thrashers Dustin+Byfuglien%2C+Atlanta+Thrashers NHL

He scored no points in the seven games heading into the weekend, and the big guy isn’t exactly known for his air-tight defense just yet, so he slips a bit.
 

Scott Cunningham - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/08/GYI0062972803_20110108040545420_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/08/GYI0062972803_20110108040545420_107_80.JPG
NHL 142 43 The Hockey News: Norris Trophy Watch 25939037 Lubomir Visnovsky, Anaheim Ducks Lubomir+Visnovsky%2C+Anaheim+Ducks NHL

He entered the weekend within two points of Nick Lidstrom for the lead in defenseman scoring.
 

Jeff Gross - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/17/GYI0063077135_20110117031228353_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/17/GYI0063077135_20110117031228353_107_80.JPG
NHL 142 43 The Hockey News: Norris Trophy Watch 25939038 Brent Burns, Minnesota Wild Brent+Burns%2C+Minnesota+Wild NHL

Finally healthy, Burns’ 13 goals trail only Dustin Byfuglien’s 16 among D-men, and the Wild are hanging tough.
 

Bruce Kluckhohn - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/14/GYI0063040578_20110114215721393_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/14/GYI0063040578_20110114215721393_107_80.JPG
NHL 142 43 The Hockey News: Norris Trophy Watch 25939039 Shea Weber, Nashville Predators Shea+Weber%2C+Nashville+Predators NHL

Weber's numbers aren’t overwhelming, but he’s strong as an ox and does everything well.
 

Norm Hall - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/18/GYI0063103842_20110118231331682_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/18/GYI0063103842_20110118231331682_107_80.JPG
NHL 142 43 The Hockey News: Norris Trophy Watch 25939040 Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes Keith+Yandle%2C+Phoenix+Coyotes NHL

Yandle is eligible to become a restricted free agent in July; his cap hit is about to rise dramatically from $1.2 million.
 

Norm Hall - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/17/GYI0063091040_20110117191247972_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/17/GYI0063091040_20110117191247972_107_80.JPG
NHL 142 43 The Hockey News: Norris Trophy Watch 25939041 Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks Dan+Boyle%2C+San+Jose+Sharks NHL

Boyle averages more ice time per game than anybody in the league at 27:03.

Ezra Shaw - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/08/GYI0062977845_20110108214905427_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/01/08/GYI0062977845_20110108214905427_107_80.JPG
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