The NHL has released the Three Stars for last week, with Mark Stone leading the way after a few incredible performances. The Vegas Golden Knights captain scored ten points in four games including a five-assist outing against the Minnesota Wild. The two-way forward is off to the best start of his career with 27 points in his first 21 games and has the Golden Knights in first place with a 16-4-1 record.
Thatcher Demko of the Vancouver Canucks and Martin Necas of the Carolina Hurricanes take home the second and third stars after outstanding weeks of their own. Demko has really started to lay claim to the Vancouver crease with four strong performances in a row, including a .969 save percentage in his three appearances last week. The Canucks won all three games, not something the team has been able to say often this year. Necas meanwhile has broken out this season for the Hurricanes, recording 18 points in 21 games and looking like a potential top-line player for the team in the coming years. The 22-year-old has been strong at both ends of the rink and is working on a four-game point streak (2 G, 5 A).
- Though Stone won the top honors, he may not play tonight for the Golden Knights. Justin Emerson of the Las Vegas Sun reports that Stone, Alex Pietrangelo, and Brayden McNabb are all game-time decisions for the matchup against the Wild tonight. The Golden Knights have four games between now and Saturday as they squeeze in matchups, including an important back-to-back against the St. Louis Blues.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs presented a nice surprise this morning when Wayne Simmonds took the ice for the first time before practice. The 32-year-old broke his wrist on February 6 and was given a six-week recovery timeline. Toronto’s bottom-six has been playing well of late but there is no doubt they’d love to have Simmonds back in the fold, given how well he had been playing in the early going. The veteran forward had five goals in his first 12 games.
- The Vancouver Canucks will be without Elias Pettersson again tonight as they look for their third consecutive win. After beating the Maple Leafs twice, Vancouver will try to slow down the Montreal Canadiens without their top forward. Pettersson was just starting to find his rhythm when he suffered this latest injury and has 21 points in 26 games this season.