The NHL released the Three Stars for last week, and at the top is a man who has been there before. Patrick Kane, the electric winger for the Chicago Blackhawks comes in at the top spot, after recording five goals in just two games. The Blackhawks haven’t had much to celebrate this season, but Kane provided the fans with two game-winners to get them on the right track around Christmas. Even in an extremely down year for Chicago, Kane is having an outstanding season with 50 points in 40 games. He’s on track to record the second 40-goal, 100-point season of his career, which in 2016 won him the Art Ross, Hart and Ted Lindsay trophies as the league’s best player.
In the other two spots are a pair of youngsters trying to stand up to players like Kane. Second place goes to Mathew Barzal, who finished his week by showing New York Islanders fans that they don’t need John Tavares anymore. Barzal recorded a hat trick while the team demolished Tavares and the Maple Leafs 4-0 on Saturday night. In third is a newcomer to the list, MacKenzie Blackwood. The New Jersey Devils goaltender has exploded onto the scene and posted another shutout this afternoon to improve his numbers even further. The Devils may have found their goaltender of the present, let alone the future.
- Philadelphia Flyers forward Jori Lehtera has been charged with buying cocaine in Finland, according to Tricia L. Nadolny of the Philadelphia Inquirer, though the NHL denies that he has actually been legally served at this point. Lehtera denies all charges, while the prosecutors are seeking a five-month sentence. Obviously there is more to come in this story, but for now deputy commissioner Bill Daly has told the Inquirer “we will not be intervening at this point and will continue to monitor the legal proceedings.”
- Drake Caggiula is part of the Chicago Blackhawks organization today, but it could have happened years ago had he made a different decision. According to Charlie Roumeliotis of NBCS Chicago, the Blackhawks pursued Caggiula out of college at the University of North Dakota and were a finalist for his services before he decided to sign and play with his childhood friend Connor McDavid in Edmonton. The team followed his progress and jumped at the chance to acquire him yesterday.