Who doesn't love a good 7-furlong slugfest between topnotch horses? That's exactly what the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint provides in addition to returning some generous prices such as 2017 winner Bar of Gold's $135.40 payout for every $2 wagered. I'm not sure we can catch that kind of lightening in a bottle this year, but the future bets do look juicy.
NHL 3 Stars of The Week
Canadian NHL Stars of the Week
Third Star – G Devan Dubnyk
After earning points in eight of their last ten games, the Minnesota Wild find themselves in the driver’s seat on the road to the playoffs. The fantastic goaltending of Devan Dubnyk backstopped Minnesota to their current wild card position, helping the Wild earn a 30-19-6 record as the final third of the season approaches.
Dubnyk pitched a sparkling 44-save shutout against the Blackhawks, stopped 35 shots during a 6-2 win over the Blues, and made 36 saves during an OT match against the Coyotes. Devan’s clean sheet against Chicago was his second 40-plus save shut out of the year.
His performance improved his record to 22-10-4, with a 2.60 GAA, .919 SV% and 4 shutouts. Looks like he’s worked through injury and small slumps during the first half of the season, rounding into form as the playoffs approach.
Second Star – LW Johnny Gaudreau
Johnny Hockey lived up to his moniker in a big way last week, helping the Flames win three out of four games during a busy week on the road. Gaudreau notched a goal and a pair of assists to edge Chicago 3-2 at the start of the week. Johnny proceeded to score a goal and an assist during a 3-2 win over the Devils, finishing the week with an assist against both New York franchises.
The Flames superstar should garner Hart consideration this season. Without Gaudreau, Calgary would struggle to create any semblance of offense on a nightly basis. Johnny’s also one of the best at drawing penalties while remaining out of the box, creating additional power plays for Calgary.
A seven-point week earned Gaudreau the second star of the week, also vaulting him into second place in the scoring race. Johnny has 18 goals and 48 assists over 56 games this season, which means he’s been responsible for 41.5% of 159 goals the Flames scored in 2017-18.
First Star – C Claude Giroux
Claude Giroux has been enjoying a renaissance year with the Philadelphia Flyers, earning first star of the week for his six-point outburst. Giroux tallied a goal and two assists to lift Philly over Montreal, netted a marker against the Coyotes during an overtime victory, and finished with two points in a dominant, 4-1 win over the west-best Golden Knights.
As a result, Philadelphia enjoyed a four-win week, rising to third in the Metro Division, pushing the Devils to the wild card position. Impressively, the Flyers now remain a single point behind the Penguins for second place, with a game in hand.
Most didn’t expect Giroux to explode this season, after finishing 2016-17 with 58 points in 82 games. After 56 games in 2017-18, Claude has amassed 46 assists and 64 points, tied with Voracek, Stamkos and McDavid for fourth place in the scoring race.
Three Stars Canadian Honorable Mentions:
C – Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers
McDavid reminded the hockey world of his all-universe talent by scoring four goals against the Tampa Bay Lightning, currently atop the standings for the Presidents’ Trophy. Try as he might, he couldn’t prevent Edmonton from losing the next three games, despite Connor contributing a total of five goals and three assists during the week. Without McDavid, the Edmonton Oilers would be the worst team in the NHL by a wide margin.
C – Sean Monahan – Calgary Flames
Sean Monahan continues his breakout season with the Calgary Flames by scoring three goals and a pair of assists last week, complimenting Johnny Hockey on his race to catch Nikita Kucherov for the Art Ross trophy. Monahan already has 27 goals and 23 points for this campaign. Soon, he’ll eclipse his personal bests of 63 points and 31 goals in a single season.
G – Mitch Marner – Toronto Maple Leafs
Mitch endures ups and downs, but his five-point night against the Ottawa Senators shows why the Toronto Maple Leafs will continue to remain patient with his development. When he’s on and fully engaged, Mitch can dominate an entire game with his speed, handles and lightning-quick playmaking. He earned three goals and three assists during Toronto’s perfect 3-0 week.
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