This week’s Three Stars are in, courtesy of the NHL, and it contains a trio of high-octane forwards. Arizona Coyotes winger Clayton Keller earned first-star honors after he led the NHL with nine points in four games last week, helping the Coyotes earn a four-game point streak. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby took home the second star, while Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner was awarded the third.
Not only has Keller held his own, producing over a point per game on a team near the bottom of the league, but his presence has finally helped crack the offensive game of 2018 fifth-overall pick Barrett Hayton, who now has eight points in his last four games. Crosby’s strong play this week has once again helped keep the Penguins safer in the playoff picture, while Marner recorded six points in two games against two of the league’s best teams in New Jersey and Edmonton.
Some other league notes to begin the week:
- NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told reporters, including NorthStar Bets’ Chris Johnston, that the league “would like to get to a point where cut-resistant equipment is mandated for all new players.” Daly notes that talks remain ongoing with the NHLPA on creating said regulation. The issue has come to the forefront in recent years in light of some scary injuries, especially incidents of skate cuts on wrists. Notably, players such as Evander Kane and Ilya Mikheyev have missed significant time in the past few seasons.
- TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that NHL general managers have discussed expanding the grounds of coaches’ challenges to include puck-over-glass penalties, as well as two-minute high-sticking infractions. With challenges becoming increasingly rare as the penalties for getting them wrong evolve, the danger of slowing the game down with too many reviews is also decreasing. The managers’ annual meeting is this week.