NHL 3 Stars of The Week
Canadian NHL Stars of the Week
Third Star – RW Josh Bailey
New York Islanders
Josh Bailey was named as the third star of the week by putting up four goals and four helpers in a quartet of games for the New York Islanders. This boosted his assist total to second in the NHL, also boosting his point total to 40 – sixth best in the league.
Josh was unstoppable against the Blue Jackets, scoring a hat trick in a losing effort against Columbus. He was instrumental in avoiding a losing slide by contributing a goal and an assist for a 4-3 overtime victory against the Los Angeles Kings.
Part of the Islanders resurgence as one of the most exciting teams in the league revolves around a fantastic group of forwards, including long-time Islanders like Bailey and Tavares.
Second Star – G Brian Elliott
Tough to say where the Philadelphia Flyers would be without the sudden excellence of Brian Elliott. Brian earned his second consecutive appearance on the NHL three stars of the week. Last week, he was declared the third best player of the week, and he climbed to number two this week.
Elliott’s goaltending was front and center during another three-win week for Philly. These six performances took place after the Flyers lost ten in a row, appearing ready to bow out for the rest of the regular season.
Instead, Elliott earned a sparkling .943 save percentage and a 1.31 goals against average against the Maple Leafs, Sabres and Stars, increasing Philadelphia’s win streak to six. This raised the team back into the playoff conversation in the hyper-competitive Metropolitan Division.
First Star – RW Patrick Kane
Patty Kane’s still one of the best scorers in the NHL, leading the Blackhawks attack on the Central Division, the best group of teams in the league. Prior to Chicago’s three-win week, the Blackhawks looked like they were close to drifting away from contention. Kane stepped up to drag Chicago back into the conversation.
His week began with an overtime winner against the Florida Panthers. He contributed a goal and an assist during a 5-1 thrashing of the division-rival Jets, and finished off his fantastic week with a pair of markers against the Wild.
This three-win week, powered by Kane, lifted Chicago above the Dallas Stars for fourth place in the Central with one game in hand. Prior to the start of the week, the Blackhawks weren’t even in a Wild Card spot. As long as Patrick continues leading the attack, Chicago will once again compete for a Stanley Cup this season.
Three Stars Canadian Honorable Mentions:
C - Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid continues to be the main sparkplug as the Oilers slowly climb out of the basement of the Pacific Division. He didn’t have the flashy numbers of Bailey or Kane last week, but he did lead the Oilers to a massive win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Connor picked apart one of the best defenses and goaltenders, chasing Bobrovsky from the net by contributing a goal and three assists. He’d add another helped to help Edmonton to win three of their last four games.
G - Connor Hellebuyck – Winnipeg Jets
After nearly shutting out the Canucks on December 11th, Hellebuyck was shelled for a five-spot against the Chicago Blackhawks. Instead of sulking, Connor picked himself up and pitched a shutout against the St. Louis Blues to help the Jets maintain pace with the top of the Central Division. Prior to Connor’s shutout, the Blues shut Winnipeg out with a miraculous 48-save game from Carter Hutton, making Hellebuyck’s performance vital to maintaining their spot in the western conference.
G - Craig Anderson – Ottawa Senators
Prior to this week, Craig Anderson was on the receiving end of negative speculation regarding his position as Ottawa’s number one goalie. This, after his teammate allowed the Sharks to rain 50 shots on goal against Anderson. Instead of complaining about Condon’s playing time and his teammates terrible defending, Craig let his goaltending do the talking, helping the Senators put together their first two-game win streak in over a month. He allowed a pair against the Rangers before shutting Montreal out during the NHL 100 Classic.
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