Nicklas Backstrom, Brad Marchand, and Brock McGinn have been named the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week.
Backstrom had three goals and 10 points in four games as the Capitals continued their nine-game winning streak. He has 13 points on that winning streak, and is currently on a six-game point streak. Backstrom is 10th in NHL scoring with 42 points in 43 games.
Marchand had the second-most points in the last week (behind only the aforementioned first star of the week) with 4-4-8 in three games. He had a three-point game in the Bruins’ win over the Blues before being held pointless in a loss to Nashville. He finished off the week with a career-high five-point night in a 6-3 win over Philadelphia. Marchand is seventh in NHL scoring with 43 points in 46 games.
McGinn had seven points in three games as the Hurricanes continued their four-game winning streak. Carolina is now one point out of a wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. McGinn has 12 points on the season in 28 games this season, with seven coming in the last week.
- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews may want to remember the old Mark Twain quote which says that “reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated.” On his morning appearance on TSN 1260, Bob McKenzie talked about Toews’ struggles and suggested that “a lot of people are writing obituaries on Toews’ career right now,” which McKenzie believes is “real premature.” Toews has 21 points in 37 games this season, which puts him on pace for 41 points in 73 games. That would be a career-low at a time when offensive players ought to be in their prime; even in the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season, Toews scored 48 points in 47 games. Prior to this season, Toews has scored at 0.88 PPG. That’s fallen year-over-year since 12-13, and is now at 0.57. If the Blackhawks want to capitalize on the final year of a cheap Artemi Panarin, they’ll need their captain to kick it into a higher gear.
- Some very good news out of Carolina on Monday, as veteran winger Bryan Bickell practiced for the second time in the last week, according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer. Bickell has not played since the end of October, when he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Bickell was acquired by the Hurricanes in the summer in a salary-dump trade from Chicago, where he won three Stanley Cups.
- Over at Maple Leafs practice, Martin Marincin and Frankie Corrado are both on the ice. Marincin is wearing a red non-contact jersey as he returns to practice one month after suffering an injury that was expected to keep him out of the lineup between 4-6 weeks. Meanwhile, Corrado returns to the NHL after a two-week conditioning stint with the Toronto Marlies where he had three assists in seven games. He’s appeared in just one NHL game this season.