| Mon 19/03/2018 - 16:48 EDT

NHL 3 Stars of The Week

NHL 3 Stars of The Week

Canadian NHL Stars of the Week

Third Star – G Curtis McElhinney

Toronto Maple Leafs

After toiling outside of the spotlight in a support role, Curtis McElhinney was thrust into the bright lights when Frederik Andersen left the ice because of a collision. A consummate professional, Curtis was the perfect backup all week, winning three games to lift the Leafs into third place in the eastern conference standings.

McElhinney stepped in partway through the Maple Leafs comeback win over the Stars, saving 13 along with a pair of shootout attempts to secure the victory. He was between the pipes again the next day, beating the Sabres by rejecting 38 of 40 shot attempts. Curtis completed his three-win stretch with a 33-save shutout against the Montreal Canadiens, his third clean sheet of the campaign.

He enters the stretch run to the playoffs with a sparkling 2.09 GAA, .935 SV% and a 10-4-1 record, which is just about all a team can ask from a backup netminder. With Curtis offering steady netminding, the Leafs can afford to give Andersen extra time to heal and rest for the post season.

Second Star – C Nathan MacKinnon

Colorado Avalanche

MacKinnon continued his unstoppable play last week, scoring six goals and chipping in a pair of assists during a busy four-game week. After bulging the twine against the Wild, Nathan scored twice and threw in an assist against the Flames, notching the game-winning marker. He scored again against Nashville, and finished with another two-goal, three-point performance over the Red Wings.

Nathan now has 38 goals and 89 points in 64 appearances this season, leading the NHL with 1.39 points per game in 2017-18. There’s a good chance he’d have 100 points already if he didn’t deal with injury, a fact which won’t be ignored when Hart Trophy voting begins.

The Avalanche pulled off one the best turnarounds in NHL history this season, on track to earn 50 or more points than last year, landing back into the playoffs. Hockey’s a team game first and foremost, but there’s no denying that MacKinnon’s indispensable to the Avalanche.

First Star – D Alex Pietrangelo

St. Louis Blues

A defenseman leading the NHL in weekly scoring doesn’t happen very often, which makes Alex Pietrangelo’s nine-point week a remarkable achievement. Alex richly deserves the first star of the week after scoring three goals and six assists in four games, leading St. Louis to three wins, sustaining the Blues playoff push.

Alex had a pair of assists against the Ducks, scored two goals and an assist against the Rangers, and finished the week with three assists and four points during a 5-4 win over Chicago. This fantastic week from Pietrangelo lifted Alex to a tie for first among defensemen for goals with 15, and tenth in points with 50 in 68 games.

The Blues looked like they were out of the playoffs after trading Paul Stastny and enduring a mini-slump, but St. Louis managed to stay in the playoff bubble because of elite performances from Alex Pietrangelo, the undisputed leader of the Blues backline.

Three Stars Canadian Honorable Mentions

LW – James Van Riemsdyk – Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto needed their forward depth to step up and shine when Auston Matthews went down with injury. JVR ended up being the biggest contributor for the Leafs perfect week, netting a hat trick in a 6-5 win over Dallas and scoring twice against the Sabres during a 5-2 win over Buffalo. Van Riemsdyk now how 31 goals this season, leading Toronto’s fine fleet of forwards.

LW – Mike Hoffman – Ottawa Senators

Hoffman’s one of the most talented forwards on the Ottawa Senators roster, on pace for his fourth consecutive 25-goal season despite a slow year in Canada’s capital. Mike registered three consecutive multi-point games this week, scoring three goals and three assists during a trio of Ottawa Senators wins. If he isn’t shipped away during the offseason, he’ll continue to serve as one of Ottawa’s top goal-scoring threats.

RW – Patrik Laine – Winnipeg Jets

Laine has the longest point streak for any NHL teenager in history, extending his run to 15 games with a pair of goals over the Stars. He’s now tied for the Rocket Richard trophy alongside Alex Ovechkin with 43 goals. Patrik’s remarkable achievements don’t seem to attract the attention they deserve. If he keeps on scoring at this pace during the playoffs, Winnipeg will be nearly impossible to defeat in a seven-game series.

Results / FixturesNHL

Category : NHL News

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