NHL 3 Stars of The Week
Canadian NHL Stars of the Week
Third Star – G Robin Lehner
Perhaps the least expected result before the all-star break was Buffalo’s pair of shutouts before the all-star break, avoiding the basement with a pair of wins over western Canadian clubs. Robin prevented the Oilers and Canucks from bulging the twine, posting back-to-back blank sheets. This helped Buffalo earn their first three-game winning streak in eleven months.
Edmonton directed 33 shots against Lehner, while the Vancouver Canucks couldn’t sneak any of their 30 shots past the latest Swedish goaltending sensation. Lehner holds down the starting goaltender spot for the Buffalo Sabres, earning a 11-18-6 record, along with a .912 SV% and a 2.87 GAA. This mini-streak could signal a defensive shift for the young Sabres.
Second Star – C Jack Eichel
Jack had himself quite the week, scoring a goal and notching two assists in his first, but likely not last, all-star game appearance. Eichel engineering the Sabres streak before the weekend, scoring two goals and a trio of helpers over his last three games, lifting his total to 20 goals and 29 assists in 49 games.
He scored the overtime winner against the Calgary Flames, before sweeping Alberta with a four-point night against the Edmonton Oilers. Despite a rough start to the 2017-18 regular season, Eichel’s rounded into a point-per-game pace, morphing into the type of on-ice leader the Sabres need to eventually complete their rebuild.
First Star – RW Brock Boeser
Boeser’s enjoying a fine rookie campaign, scoring 24 goals and 19 assists in his first 46 games. He added to his Calder resume by winning the MVP prize at the all-star game as the only first-year participant in the event. The only other player to win all-star MVP as a rookie was Mario Lemieux, placing Brock in exclusive company.
Before travelling to Tampa Bay, Brock sniped a pair against the Los Angeles Kings to help the Canucks earn a vital Pacific Division win. Appropriately, Boeser emerged as the victor in the accuracy contest, requiring 11.1 seconds to destroy five targets. Vancouver will need Boeser and Bo Horvat to maintain a high level of play to finish the season strong.
Three Stars Canadian Honorable Mentions:
C – Nazem Kadri – Toronto Maple Leafs
After scoring a single goal in his last 20 games, Leafs center Nazem Kadri broke out of his slump during a crucial road back-to-back against the Chicago Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars. Toronto collected a pair of wins partly because of Nazem’s trio of goals, including a two-goal outburst against the Stars.
C – Jonathan Drouin – Montreal Canadiens
Jonathan Drouin shows signs of rounding into a consistent producer for the Montreal Canadiens. Drouin scored the winner and added two assists against the Avalanche, finishing with four points in two games before the break. He’s averaged a point per game over his last eight appearances.
G – Mike Smith – Calgary Flames
Making yet another appearance in the three-star listings, Mike Smith continued his elite netminding for the Calgary Flames before playing in the all-star game. He stopped 56 of 60 shots to earn a point in two consecutive overtime losses, lifting his save percentage to .926 – his best since posting a .930 SV% during his first year in Arizona.
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