This week’s THN Three Stars was a close race. Players like Nashville's Roman Josi and the New York Rangers’ Adam Fox had great weeks, but you need to really stand out to make the top trio of honored players. Without further ado (and in reverse order):
3. Thatcher Demko, Vancouver: While the Canucks were in disarray off the ice this past week, their players were enjoying a solid first week under new head coach Bruce Boudreau. Number one netminder Demko was perfect in three games, going 3-0-0 with only four goals allowed, and a sterling .962 save percentage and one shutout.
Thatcher now has an 11-11-1 record this season, as well as a .915 SP and 2.73 goals-against average. That might be pedestrian on a leading NHL team, but on the otherwise woeful Canucks, that’s as good a performance as can be expected.
2. Auston Matthews, Toronto: With four goals and seven points in four games, Matthews led his Maple Leafs in scoring this week; in doing so, he tied himself for fifth place in league point-getting with teammate and Leafs captain John Tavares, with 31 points in 26 GP.
Matthews is now on a nine-game point streak, and that includes five multi-point games. He also had one game-winning goal this week, while averaging more than 20 minutes in ice time per game. He is as dangerous a player as there is on an NHL ice pad, and at age 24, his peak years remain ahead.
1. Sebastien Aho, Carolina: The Hurricanes are one of the NHL’s best teams, and Aho has played no small part in that success. This past week, the 24-year-old center generated four goals and seven points, including one game-winning goal, to keep the Canes unbeaten streak at four games and counting.
Aho is tied for fourth overall in NHL scoring, with 15 goals and 32 points in 26 GP. Two weeks ago, he garnered five points in three GP. He has a good shot at setting new personal-bests in goals (his current best is 30, in 2018-19) and points (83, in 2018-19). He’s got better teammates and arguably the best Hurricanes team he’s had in six NHL seasons, and he has to be the primary target of his opponents night-in and night-out. That makes his achievements all the more impressive.