The NHL has released its Three Stars for last week, with Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos leading the way. After racking up 13 points in four games Stamkos is now just three points away from cracking the 100-point mark for the first time in his career. Already with a career-high of 60 assists, Stamkos has changed his game dramatically over the last few seasons and reinvigorated a Hall of Fame-level career that had been held back by injuries.
Second and third went to Kevin Fiala and Jonathan Quick, two players that have been questioned at times over the last few years. Fiala, 25, has finally found a level of consistency that matches his talent, and with 11 points in four games last week now has 84 on the season. In fact, Fiala is on a ten-game point streak and is really establishing himself as one of the most dynamic offensive players in the entire league, something that certainly will complicate matters in the offseason when he hits restricted free agency for the final time. Quick meanwhile was left for dead a few years ago when injuries struck and his numbers fell off a cliff, but the 36-year-old has battled admirably for the Kings this season. With a .909 save percentage, he still lags behind some of the league’s elite netminders but just ask some of his previous Western Conference opponents about how dominant he can be in the postseason.
- Alex Ovechkin has been listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury after leaving last night’s game for the Washington Capitals but was present on the ice and in full uniform at the team photo today. With the Capitals still trying to chase down the Pittsburgh Penguins for a better playoff position, losing Ovechkin over the last few games of the season will obviously be a big blow. But with their inclusion in the postseason secure, resting him through the next week may be the more prudent option. Ovechkin, who will turn 37 before the start of next season, has 50 goals and 90 points in 77 games this year.
- The Ottawa Senators had an exciting reinforcement at practice today as Shane Pinto joined the group, but he won’t actually play before the end of the season. Pinto hasn’t played since November, and totaled just five games on the season. It was more bad news when head coach D.J. Smith took the podium after practice, announcing that Colin White and Connor Brown are both not expected to play again this season. Brown is dealing with nagging injuries and his inclusion in the upcoming World Championship will be up to him and how he feels in the coming weeks. Brown finishes the disappointing year with ten goals and 39 points in 64 games.
I honestly hope the GR8 doesn’t have any lasting effects from the injury. It would be almost tragic if it derailed his quest for the record.
I don’t know about tragic but it would be disappointing.
I wonder if White has played his last game in Ottawa. That contract is a very easy one to buy out.
Ovie was in full uniform for the picture but he was favoring his left arm. When the team applauded some announcement and he only moved his right arm.