The NHL has released their three stars for last week, and another New York Islanders goaltender has taken the top spot. After Robin Lehner was honored earlier this season, Thomas Greiss has now been given the top spot after stopping 116 of 121 shots to go 3-1 last week. The 33-year old Greiss is having the best season of his career under Barry Trotz’ disciplined system, and now has a .928 save percentage through 40 appearances.
While Connor McDavid appearing in the third spot won’t surprise many, Brendan Perlini’s name in second certainly will. The former Arizona Coyotes forward struggled upon joining the Chicago Blackhawks this season, but has found the back of the net in three consecutive games and five of his last seven. That included a hat trick last week against his former club, and he now sits at 13 goals on the season.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without one of their top players after Evgeni Malkin was listed as “week-to-week” last night by head coach Mike Sullivan. Somewhat quietly, Malkin is having another outstanding season with 71 points through his first 66 games and is a huge part of the Pittsburgh attack. The team will have to rely on their other superstars for the time being and hope the big Russian center can get healthy in time for the playoffs.
- While the Toronto Maple Leafs have struggled to keep the puck out of their net since Jake Gardiner and Travis Dermott suffered injuries (and perhaps even before that), they won’t rush top defensive prospect Rasmus Sandin to the NHL. Sandin has been on fire recently for the Toronto Marlies and now has 23 points through 36 games as a teenager, but head coach Mike Babcock reiterated the organization’s mantra to over-ripen prospects at the minor league level before bringing them up. Babcock pointed to Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson as examples of how the Maple Leafs development program has worked, and noted that there are still “good players” on the NHL roster. Sandin was the 29th overall pick last June and turned 19 earlier this month.