MVP: Sidney Crosby -- He's out with a concussion for at least a week, but nobody was better in the first half of the 2010-11 season. Nobody was particularly close.
Top Defenseman: Dustin Byfuglien -- Making the transition to full-time blue-liner, he's the league's No. 13 scorer among all players. Byfuglien cannot have a dropoff if the Thrashers are to qualify for the playoffs.
Top Goaltender: Tim Thomas -- The Bruin leads the NHL in GAA (1.84) and save percentage (.944). While Boston has struggled to score, Thomas has had to be the best player in most of his 18 wins and six overtime/shootout losses.
Top Coach: Alain Vigneault -- Doesn't get a lot of press because he doesn't put himself ahead of the crest, but Vigneault has led the Canucks to the best record in the league. He may have plenty of talent, but his role in developing much of it should be recognized.
Top Executive: Steve Yzerman -- The Lightning general manager made several offseason moves to re-tool his team on the fly. Most of them have worked, as Tampa Bay's 26-12-5 record illustrates.
THIS WEEK'S HOT SEAT
Bryan Murray: The Ottawa Senators are mediocre and, worse, boring. There have been more headlines lately about the chain of command in Senators management than there have about victories. It's on Bryan Murray, a good man and solid hockey person for three decades, to figure something out ... soon.
OUR PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tobias Enstrom: The Thrashers defenseman scored one goal and had seven assists over four games this week -- two wins, one overtime loss and one regulation loss. While teammate Dustin Byfuglien is justifiably getting most of the press for his play on the Atlanta blueline, the underrated Enstrom (38) is third in points by NHL defenseman behind Byfuglien (41) and Niklas Lidstrom (39).
STANDOUT PERFORMANCES OF THE WEEK
1. Ryan Kesler, Vancouver vs. Edmonton, Friday: In the Canucks' 6-1 victory over the Oilers, the captain scored one goal in the first period and two in the third for his second hat trick of the season.
2. Jeff Skinner, Carolina at Florida, Friday: The 18-year-old, who leads all NHL rookies in scoring this season, was clutch in the Hurricanes' 5-3 win over the Panthers. He scored two third period goals to tie the game and assisted on Erik Cole's goal in the third.
3. Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay, Wednesday: In an 8-1 blowout over the Lightning in which Sidney Crosby only had an assist, Kunitz had a hat trick. Secondary scoring, indeed.
BEST IN GOALTENDING
Dwayne Roloson, Tampa Bay at Washington, Tuesday: In his debut after joining the Lightining in a trade on New Year's Day, Roloson made 34 saves in Tampa Bay's 1-0 overtime victory on the road in a battle of the top teams in the Sputheast Division.
BEST PLAYS OF THE WEEK
1. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings: The second-year goalie played out of his mind on Saturday night in Vancouver making 34 saves. This was his best of the night. The beauty of this play is if Howard didn't make the save the goal would have been worthy of some love as well. How about that 170-foot slap pass off the boards? Thanks to Howard, it wasn't meant to be...
2. Mats Zuccarello, New York Ranger: Size isn't everything in the new NHL, and 5-foot-8 Mats Zuccarello is off to a nice start with the New York Rangers. Here's his first NHL goal, an overtime game-winner against the Carolina Hurricanes.
3.Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars: The Stars forward scored a pair of goals in his teams 4-0 win against Minnesota on Sunday, including this one that saw him dangle around Wild defenseman Cam Barker.