Atkinson skated a season-low 13:32 in Tuesday's win over Carolina, but that was enough time for him to notch two assists, four shots and a plus-3 rating.
There's no clear reason for the decline in ice time, but it's probably just an anomaly due to the Jackets having this game pretty well in hand by its midpoint. Atkinson is now precisely on a point-per-game pace through his 43 contests this season, leaving him just 10 shy of last season's career-high 53 points. He's a star, and that's all there is to it.
Atkinson scored his 20th goal of the year just 1:08 into Tuesday's 5-3 loss against Carolina.
The 1-0 lead he created lasted more than a full period, but the Jackets weren't able to hold on. Nonetheless, Atkinson now has his fourth consecutive campaign of 20 goals and 40 points -- including a league-leading 20 power-play points -- and there are still 42 games left on the schedule. The 27-year-old winger has developed into a true star, and it's worth making note of another player of similar stature (that is to say, small) who developed into a top-end scorer at the same age: Martin St. Louis.
Atkinson now sits tied for sixth in goals in the NHL after notching two in the Jackets' 4-2 win over the Wild on Saturday. The second goal stood as the winner, as the Jackets tied the second-longest winning streak in the NHL (15 games).
The little guy is tied with Alexander Ovechkin and Wayne Simmonds on the goal list. And he's also tied with Patrick Kane for eighth in league scoring with 37 points. Atkinson is finally fulfilling the promise he's teased us with for several seasons. Apply liberally and enjoy the heat.
Atkinson picked up a power-play assist during Friday's 2-1 win over Montreal.
Atkinson can't seem to stay off the scoresheet, earning points in a ridiculous nine straight games. A foot injury may have scared some owners, but it doesn't seem to bother the 27-year-old as he continues his stellar play this season. There's arguably no hotter player in the NHL at the moment.
He wasn't even a sure bet to play Thursday due to a swollen foot, but Atkinson not only suited up, he extended his scoring streak to eight games with his 15th goal of the campaign, and seventh with the man advantage. The diminutive winger is on pace for a career season, and he's starting to draw comparisons to another undersized sniper who was coached by John Tortorella during his best years -- former Lightning star Martin St. Louis.