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Posted by Yahoo! Sports - NHL - Toronto Maple Leafs News on March 27, 2013 in nhl with No Comments


TORONTO -- The 2013 NHL rookie of the year race has settled into a familiar template: a few forwards and defensemen jockeying for position behind one forward leading the Calder Trophy field in points and another leading it in goals. [Also: Bruins in driver's seat in Jarome Iginla trade derby ] It was Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Read last season. It was Jeff Skinner and Michael Grabner in 2011. This year, it’s Cory Conacher of the Tampa Bay Lightning as the points leader at 23 in 32 games, and Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers leading in goals with 12 in 34 games. A torrid February – 6 goals, 3 assists and a rookie of the month honor – catapulted Huberdeau to the front of the pack for the Calder. But he’s been stuck on 12 goals for weeks: His last tally was on March 8 in an overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Huberdeau’s goal-less streak hit nine games in Tuesday night’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the longest drought of his young NHL career. “I’m not playing my best game. Gotta play better. Gotta have better thinking with the puck. I’m sure it’s going to come back, but it’s been a few hard games,” he said. “The third [period] was better. I’m going to build on that third.” Has the 19 year old hit the rookie wall? [Watch: It's time for the Flames to trade Jarome Iginla ] “You just gotta stay confident. It’s hard when you have a couple of games where you’re not as good," he said. "I don’t want to build a wall in front of me."


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