The end of the week, so it's time for THN's Three Stars. In this column, we celebrate the very best players the NHL had to offer. And we do so without much introductory commentary. Let's get to it:
3. Tristan Jarry, Pittsburgh: Of the 13 goalies who played at least three games this week, Jarry was the only one who won three games. He also posted a sparkling 1.62 goals-against average, and a .944 save percentage. Penguins fans have sharp memories that include Jarry`s meltdown in last season's playoffs, but he's done nothing but inspire confidence this year. Still, you wonder if Pens GM Ron Hextall will trade for a backup to replace current No. 2 netminder Casey DeSmith. If, for any reason, Jarry loses his edge again and head coach Mike Sullivan needs another option, Hextall and Penguins brass will have a tough time justifying not adding depth in net. For the moment, though, Jarry looks great, and the Penguins players look confident in him. That`s a great sign, with the post-season only a few weeks away.
2. Cole Caufield, Montreal: The Canadiens`cratering this season has left their fans with little to get excited about in the near-future, but Caufield is giving them hope with the creativity and pinpoint accuracy they`d hoped for when they drafted him 15th overall in 2019. This week, Caufield led all NHLers in goals, with five in four games. He also added a pair of assists, to finish in a five-way tie for second place in points. Caufield was the choice of many to win this season`s Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, and although he probably won’t win it after struggling earlier this year, Habs fans are just relieved his skill set is leading to success at the NHL level.
1. Roman Josi, Nashville: In four games this week, Josi had a whopping four more assists than the next-most-productive NHLer had points, and he finished with six more points than the next-best point–producer. And Josi was remarkably consistent, posting at least three points in all four games. It’s not a coincidence Nashville came up with big wins over Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and Toronto in those four games. And he did it while averaging 24:40 of ice time. Josi clearly belongs in the conversation for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman, and with 17 goals, 58 assists and 75 points (all of them, new personal bests for him) in 60 games, he is showing an NHL talent can still raise his game, even when he’s about to turn 32. Pretty remarkable.