With the NHL season roughly a quarter of the way complete, now would be a great time to look at the 25 hottest players right now.
There will be some familiar names in this list, some new and a few surprises. Let's be honest, how many of these players would you have had on your list as one of the NHL's 25 hottest?
Taking into consideration their teams' play—and the fact that their team likely would be struggling without them—these players are providing real-time benefits for their teams.
Early season struggles seem to be a thing of the pass for Fleury.
Over his last six starts, Fleury has reeled off six straight wins and has only allowed nine goals.
Getting goal support from his teammates is helping, but be reminded that Fleury has faced 193 shots over those games which translates into a .953 save percentage.
It should be to no one's surprise that Crosby would be battling with the other elite players in the NHL for the scoring lead, but maybe this season it should be chronicled on just how he could do it.
Over the last three weeks, Crosby has been on fire and continues to be.
In his last four games, Crosby has two power-play goals, a shorthanded goal, 16 shots on goal, plus-2 and seven points on four goals and three assists.
Consider this, Crosby is one of seven skaters to register 100 shots this season.
Teammate Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Sharp, Jeff Carter, Bobby Ryan and Brian Gionta all have 100-or-more shots on goal, but Crosby has the most goals, with 18, and power play goals, with seven, amongst that group.
Carey Price continues to be one of the hottest players in the NHL.
Price is forging a career-best season.
Over his last nine starts, Price only trails Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury in wins (eight to Price's seven) while posting a 1.23 GAA.
Facing the second most shots over that time frame (Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff has seen 326 shots to Price's 306), Price leads the league with a .967 save percentage.
Continued great play by Price will give the Canadiens a chance every game.
Stamkos leads the NHL in goals with 21 and what is most interesting is that he has done it on only 91 shots.
Ten of those goals were scored on the power play.
In his last four games, Stamkos has two goals and three assists on 16 shots.
Playing with Martin St. Louis, Stamkos is developing into a constant threat to score every time he hits the ice.
Looking over his last 11 games, he has 10 goals along with seven assists, and five goals on the power play. Only Sidney Crosby has been hotter over the last 10-plus games.
Ondrej has had quite the season so far.
After scaring the entire hockey world when he passed out during a game early in the season, Pavelec has bounced back and is quietly becoming the back-stopper that the Thrashers brass had hoped for.
Over his last six games, Pavelec is 5-1 with two shutouts, allowing just five goals during that stretch.
During that time his GAA was 0.86 and he has improved his season average to 1.62.
Rick Nash has been on fire and so have the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus is currently sitting in the fifth spot in the tight Western Conference, only two points behind Chicago with five games in hand.
Over Rick's last eight games, he has posted eight goals.
Nash has 13 goals on the season and four game-winners.
Big Buf is hot, there isn't any other way to say it.
Like him or not (how could you not like him), Byfuglien has really ramped up his play of late with the surging Atlanta Thrashers.
One of the main components to a re-built Thrashers club, Dustin has posted some great numbers as the Thrash continue to play with confidence.
Currently 14th overall in the NHL in scoring with nine goals and 16 assists, Dustin has a healthy 29 PIM's to go with his four power-play goals.
We have seen a few highlight-reel goals from Byfuglien, but he has displayed good defensive patience with a plus-four on the season.
In his last three games, Big Buf has two goals and four assists, contributing with 17 shots on goal.
Byfuglien has 12 points in his last 10 games, a plus-nine and 45 shots during this time. Byfuglien ranks ninth overall in scoring during the last 10 games.
Eric Staal is on fire at the right time for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Known for his goal-scoring, Staal is getting it done right now by dishing off the puck to teammates.
Over his last nine games, Staal has 11 assists and added five goals. Add his three power play goals to his plus-three rating and Staal is doing what he can to help the Hurricanes win games.
Don't worry about his goals. Staal has 13 shots in his last three games and has 94 on the season.
Staal is currently seventh in league scoring and has 12 goals and 28 points.
The video might just explain it all.
Alexander Semin has been consistent all season in the goal-scoring department.
Currently fourth in the league in scoring with 18 goals and 12 assists, Semim has six power-play goals and has 21 shots on goal in his last four games.
Semin has nine goals and six assists in his last 11 games and has added 12 PIM's.
Backstrom, who is eighth overall in league scoring, has nine goals and 18 helpers with a plus-nine rating and has been hot as well, posting 13 points in 11 games with a plus-seven rating.
While Alex Ovechkin hasn't been scoring the big goals lately for the Washington Capitals, Ovechkin is doing his part to help the team win.
Scoreless over his last four games, Ovechkin has provided six assists and leads all NHL players in assists over the last four games.
Scoring only two goals in his last 11 games, Ovechkin has added 12 assists, tying him with Sidney Crosby for second most assists during that time. Only Martin St. Louis has more, with 13 assists.
Ovechkin is third in the NHL in scoring with 10 goals and 22 assists. Alex is finding other ways to help the Capitals succeed.
Sharp continues to lead the Blackhawks in scoring through the end of November with 27 points and 107 shots on goal. Sharp has been Mr. Everything for this year's version of the Hawks.
In Sharp's last three games, he has three goals, two assists, 10 shots on goal and a plus-four rating.
Looking over his last six games, Sharp has five goals and eight points with a plus-five rating, not to mention another shorthanded goal which now gives Sharp two on the season.
Kevin Shattenkirk has four goals and seven assists in his last 13 games this season.
To put that into perspective, Shattenkirk has been great for the injury-riddled Avalanche. The former Boston University standout has made a smooth transition to the NHL.
Check out the rookie's first NHL goal in the video.
Martin Havlat might be finally feeling comfortable in Minnesota. The Wild certainly need a healthy and productive Havlat to help their cause.
The Wild are currently just three points out of a playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference.
In the Wild's last nine games, Havlat has 13 points on four goals and nine assists adding a plus-four rating.
Named the Atlanta Thrashers captain this season, Andrew Ladd is leading a determined team.
Ladd is second in Thrashers scoring with 24 points and has four goals and eight assists in his last 11 games. He also added 32 shots on goal.
Atlanta is 7-3 in the last 10 games and has now won six straight.
Thomas Vanek is back and it's about time. After players like Derek Roy carried the Sabres, it's good to see Vanek back in the fold.
This video of his overtime winner is vintage Vanek.
In his last 10 games, Vanek has five goal, six assists for 11 points including three power play goals.
Brad Richards has been in the spotlight lately and for good reason. Subject to daily trade rumors, Richards is one of the reasons the Dallas Stars are enjoying success.
The Stars center is playing great two-way hockey for a team quietly moving up the Western Conference standings.
Richards has added six goals and six assists over his last 10 games for the Dallas Stars, with four points coming in his last four games.
The Sedins have both posted seven points in their last six games for the Canucks, but Daniel has five assists compared to Henrik's seven assists.
Together, they are getting things done for the Vancouver Canucks, both notching 27 points in 22 games.
Only 12 players have more points in the NHL than Henrik has assists (25). Daniel has contributed 13 goals and six power-play markers.
Marty St. Louis is playing some great hockey right now and the Tampa Bay Lightning are glad he is.
With injuries to Vincent Lecavalier, St. Louis and Steven Stamkos are filling that void the best they can.
Forming a powerful duo with Steven Stamkos, St.Louis has 15 points in his last 11 games. He has 13 assists during that span.
RJ Umbeger can play it any way you want to.
Right now, Umberger is contributing on the score sheet with five points in his last four games.
Umberger has 17 points in 22 games this season, with two shorthanded goals.
Young Matt Duchene is leading a very banged up crew in Colorado.
With all the injuries this club has faced and the recent trades made by GM Greg Sherman, Duchene is leading the way, with Chris Stewart out of the lineup with a wrist injury.
Over Duchene's last eight games, he has five goals and four assists and a plus-six rating.
Duchene has added four of those goals in his last four games alone, helping the injury-riddled squad.
While trade rumors swirl around Iginla, he exploded out of his slump by putting up 10 points in his last 10 games, including seven goals with two power-play markers.
Iginla fired 32 shots on goal during this span.
In his last seven games, Iginla added six goals and a plus-three rating.
Heatley might be "heating" it up just at the right time for the Sharks.
With five goals in his last four games, Heatley leads the Sharks in scoring with 25 points in 22 games this season.
The Flyers are sitting two points behind the Washington Capitals for the Eastern Conference lead and are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games thanks in part to the play of Richards and Claude Giroux.
Mike Richards has a plus-six rating over his last eight games while adding nine points (three goals and six assists) to spark the Flyers attack.
Giroux has 12 goals and six power-play goals so far this season in 25 games.
The Canadiens captain is on a roll after an early-season slump.
Gionta has 11 points in his last 10 games, adding five goals.
Playing on a line with Andre Kostitsyn and Tomas Plekanec, Gionta found his groove and the line has been hot over the last 10 games for the Canadiens.
Kostitsyn has three goals and five assists with three power-play goals. Plekanec is even hotter, posting three goals and nine assists in the Habs last 10 games.
Kari Lehtonen has reeled off three wins in his last three games while going 5-1 over his last six starts to forge the Dallas Stars forward in the Western Conference standings.
Tied with Sergei Bobrovsky and Michal Neuvirth with 12 wins on the season, it has been Lehtonen's play of late that has him moving up the win column.
Mathieu Garon: Helped the Blue Jackets rebound and has a 6-1 record with three shutouts.
Sergei Bobrovsky: Talented rookie with 12 wins on the season proves to be a solid goalie.
Martin Gerber: Yes, that Martin Gerber. Played spirited game beating former club and is 2-0 since recall.
Milan Hejduk: Ageless wonder. Nine points in last seven games.
Ryane Clowe: 11 points in last 10 games for the Sharks.
Pavel Datsuyk: Consistent all season.
Peter Budaj: 9-5-1 in last 15 games gives Avalanche a chance to win.
Teddy Purcell: Eight points over last seven games.
John-Michael Liles: From dog house to star. Ten points in last seven games.