The NHL has released the Three Stars for the third week of the season, and Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog has found himself in the top spot. Landeskog makes up part of one of the most dangerous trios in the league alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, and finished last week with six goals and seven points in just three games. Landeskog is still just 25 years old despite this being his eighth season in the league and still has the potential to breakout and become a point-per-game player. That’s what he is so far with ten through his first eight games, and is an early bet to break his career high of 65 points this season.
Connor McDavid and Marc-Andre Fleury round out the stars of the week, taking home second and third respectively. Fleury especially bounced back from some early season struggles and is once again playing at a high level for the Vegas Golden Knights. The 33-year old goaltender is now tenth all-time in wins, and should pass Tony Esposito by season’s end to climb another spot.
- Robert Bortuzzo won’t be suiting up for the St. Louis Blues in Winnipeg tonight, as he’s flown back to St. Louis to be evaluated for a lower-body injury. The defenseman played on Saturday night, but is now apparently dealing with something serious enough to leave the team. The 29-year old has one goal through five games for the Blues, and is coming off the best season of his career in 2017-18 when he suited up for 72 contests. The team will have to go without his physicality and penalty killing for the time being, and will re-insert Jay Bouwmeester into the lineup for tonight’s game.
- It’s similar news for David Backes, who has left the Boston Bruins to return home and “have some tests done.” Backes didn’t play in Vancouver on Saturday night, and was limited to just over six minutes of ice time against the Edmonton Oilers after taking an early hit and being checked for a concussion. The 34-year old forward hasn’t scored yet this season, and could be on his way out of the Boston lineup on a long-term basis if he both can’t stay healthy and can’t produce. Unfortunately for the Bruins, he’s still has two more years after this season at a $6MM cap hit, and currently has a no-movement clause.