Hockey Players Whose Olympic Hot Streaks Will Continue When the NHL Resumes

James OnuskoContributor IIIFebruary 24, 2014

Hockey Players Whose Olympic Hot Streaks Will Continue When the NHL Resumes

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    Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

    When the NHL resumes play next week, there are several players who are good bets to continue their Olympic hot streaks. 

    The Sochi Games had some great moments, and most of the players on this list were instrumental in helping to create many of those great plays. 

    Expect these players to pick up right where they left off and be key players as their respective teams attempt to make a push for a playoff spot this spring.

     

    All stats can be found on iihf.com unless otherwise noted.

     

James van Riemsdyk, F, United States

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    James van Riemsdyk was one of the best players for the United States during the Olympics. He had seven points and also ended up with a plus-seven rating for the talented American squad.

    While the team fell short of a medal, it wasn't because of the big winger's play. JVR, along with Phil Kessel and Joe Pavelski, formed one of the most potent offensive lines in the tournament.

    The Maple Leafs winger was having a very good season before the Olympics, and this hot streak in Sochi should continue for the last quarter of the NHL season.

Ales Hemsky, F, Czech Republic

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    Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

    Ales Hemsky did not get a lot of minutes for the Czech Republic, but he earned four points in five games, including three goals.

    Hemsky still has a lot to give, and while it might not be with the Edmonton Oilers, it would not be surprising to see him to continue this hot play when the NHL resumes.

    The veteran right wing has exceptional one-on-one moves and continues to play solid two-way hockey. This boost from his Olympic play should see him have a good stretch run.

Henrik Lundqvist, G, Sweden

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Henrik Lundqvist is not heading home from the Olympics with the colour of medal he would have hoped for, but it was not because he was average in Sochi.

    He might not have been the hottest goalie in Russia, but he was a close second to Carey Price from Team Canada. Lundqvist had a .934 save percentage and a 1.50 goals-against average.

    The New York Rangers need Lundqvist to continue his hot play if they want to be playing playoff hockey in the spring.

Teemu Selanne, F, Finland

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Teemu Selanne continues to defy the odds with his outstanding play despite his 40th birthday being well in the rearview mirror.

    Selanne helped lead Team Finland to another Olympic medal in Sochi. He tallied six points in six games and was once again one of the fastest wingers in the tournament.

    While the Anaheim Ducks don't need him to be a world-beater when NHL play resumes, expect him to continue this hot streak.

    The chance to go on another long playoff run should be all the Finnish Flash needs to keep him at the top of his game. 

Drew Doughty, D, Canada

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Drew Doughty was Canada's best offensive defenceman. He was second only to Erik Karlsson in scoring among defencemen in Sochi.

    Doughty earned six points on Team Canada's second pairing and also played exceptional defensive hockey. The Los Angeles Kings are in the toughest division in the NHL and need Doughty to continue his hot play.

    If the Kings hope to challenge for the Stanley Cup this spring, Doughty will need to be a key part of that.

Phil Kessel, F, United States

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    Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

    Phil Kessel played some of the best hockey of his career in Sochi. He had eight points in six games to lead the United States in scoring. This total also tied him for the leading point total in the tournament.

    The club came up short in bringing a medal back to the U.S., but Kessel did everything he could to bring about a different result.

    Kessel was the most dynamic forward at the tournament, and the Toronto Maple Leafs need him to continue playing at this high level in March and early April to secure a playoff spot.

Shea Weber, D, Canada

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    Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

    Shea Weber was a beast in Sochi. He logged the most minutes for Team Canada on what was the most dominant defensive team in the Olympic tournament.

    Weber was excellent at both ends of the rink. He had six points in Russia and played against all of the other team's top players.

    It's been a challenging season in Nashville, but Weber should return with his confidence at an all-time high following this exemplary performance. Nashville fans are in for a treat with Weber playing some of the best hockey of his career.

Erik Karlsson, D, Sweden

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    No player looked more comfortable on the international-sized rink than Sweden's Erik Karlsson. The Ottawa Senators rearguard tied for the tournament points race with eight points. 

    Karlsson skated miles in Russia and was one of the biggest factors in Sweden's run to silver. While Karlsson may not be a stalwart in his own end, he has the puck so much in the offensive zone that it doesn't matter.

    He is one of the elite skaters in the game, and given the way he played in Sochi, expect him to be dynamite in Ottawa for the rest of the season.

Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens

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    Petr David Josek/Associated Press

    There were a lot of great stories in the men's hockey competition in Sochi. The battle for control of Canada's net created all kinds of media speculation well before the tournament even started.

    In the end, the Montreal Canadiens' Cary Price won the battled and led Team Canada to gold. Price was superior in his rebound control and the ability to stay focused despite not facing a lot of shots in some of his games.

    He posted back-to-back shutouts against the United States and Sweden to end the tournament. The Montreal Canadiens need him to continue this stellar netminding in the coming weeks.

    Don't be shocked if he's one of the top goaltenders in the NHL moving forward.