The NHL has released the Three Stars for last week, with Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko leading the way. Demko went 4-0 with a .962 save percentage under new head coach Bruce Boudreau, allowing just five goals on 133 shots. The old adage of “show me a good coach, I’ll show you a good goalie” may be coming true here for the new bench boss, but Vancouver fans certainly aren’t complaining about the wins that are coming because of Demko’s strong play.
Second and third place have gone to Sebastian Aho and Devon Toews, respectively, after their own outstanding weeks. The Carolina Hurricanes star had five goals and seven points in three games, continuing a streak of multi-point games that has now reached five. Aho is up to 15 goals and 32 points on the season and looks poised to finish above a point-per-game for the third time in his career. Toews meanwhile continues to fly under the radar in terms of nationwide recognition, as he stars–yes, stars–for the Colorado Avalanche. The 27-year-old defenseman is averaging almost 25 minutes a night this season (including 29:14 in his last game) and now has 20 points in 16 games. That actually puts him first among defensemen in points/game, even ahead of partner Cale Makar. It also has Toews 10th among all defensemen in scoring despite playing so many fewer games than the leaders (Adam Fox, who leads all defensemen, has played 11 more games than Toews).
- It’s bad news for Aleksander Barkov, as he heads back to injured reserve after just one game back. That’s the move to clear room for Jonas Johansson, claimed today off waivers, but it’s a tough blow for the Atlantic-leading Florida Panthers. After losing last night to the Colorado Avalanche with Barkov out of the lineup, the Panthers are now tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs with two games in hand for the division crown. Unfortunately, Barkov will now have to miss at least seven days from his last game, meaning he won’t be available tomorrow night either. It’s not clear how long he’ll be out this time.
- It was announced over the weekend that Thomas Bordeleau won’t be competing for the U.S. at the upcoming World Junior tournament, and Eric Leblanc of RDS reports that it’s because the young forward tested positive for COVID-19. It’s a devastating outcome for the San Jose Sharks prospect, who missed last year’s tournament as well because his roommate–John Beecher–received a false positive just before the event began. Bordeleau is off to another great season with the University of Michigan, scoring 19 points in his first 18 games. This was his last chance at the World Juniors, as he’ll turn 20 in early January.