The NHL has released the Three Stars for last week and unsurprisingly, Jacob Markstrom takes the top spot. The Calgary Flames goaltender earned his league-leading eighth shutout, made 46 saves against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and then backstopped the Flames to another win against the New York Islanders. With a career-best .926 save percentage on the season, Markstrom has catapulted himself directly into the Vezina Trophy conversation in recent weeks and is one of the biggest reasons that Calgary has turned into a Stanley Cup contender.
The second and third spots went to Patrik Laine and Nico Hischier respectively, both coming off six-point weeks. Laine, who is heading into the summer as a pending restricted free agent once again, now has 27 points in 27 games for the Blue Jackets this season. His game-winning goal with just a few seconds left against the Montreal Canadiens was a perfect example of the incredible power he can generate, and why he’s such a feared goal scorer when playing his best. Hischier meanwhile had five goals of his own, taking him to 13 on the season. While he doesn’t generate the same kind of press that some other first-overall picks have, Hischier has quietly been an excellent performer for the Devils since entering the league in 2017, racking up 176 points in 273 career games while providing strong defensive play down the middle.
- Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jaroslav Halak has been clear that he doesn’t want to be traded, according to Elliotte Friedman who joined Rick Dhaliwal on CHEK TV today. While Halak’s name continues to be in the rumor mill, the goaltender holds full control of his future with a no-movement clause and will not be traded without his approval. The 36-year-old has a .903 save percentage in ten appearances and will earn a substantial performance bonus for his next start.
- If you want to get an idea of what Arizona Coyotes games will look like next season inside Arizona State University’s rather small facility, Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports was tweeting out photos of the construction. The small arena is expected to have a capacity somewhere between 3,000-5,000 when it is completed and will house both the ASU Sun Devils and Coyotes for the next several seasons.
That arena is an embarrassment to the NHL. Bettman should be fired for the Coyotes situation alone.