It’s Sunday, and that means it’s time for THN’s Three Stars of the week. There’s all sorts of competition to be named one of the three best NHLers of the past seven days, and the three honorees would likely want their teammates to be included somehow. But we’ve got to choose just three. Here they are, in reverse order:
3. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins: The Bruins’ heart-and-soul, cornerstone center had a productive week on offense, amassing three assists and five points in three games. But the 36-year-old was equally impressive on the defensive side; Bergeron was a beast on faceoffs, winning at least 57.1 percent of draws, and winning 19 of 22 (86.4 percent) against Edmonton on Thursday.
He’s never going to be the flashiest player on the ice, but Bergeron clearly is one thing: an elite two-way forward whose effort and effectiveness hasn’t been changed by Father Time. His consistency is part of what makes him so revered, inside and outside of Boston.
2. Troy Terry, Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks’ current hot streak has been fueled in no small part due to the offensive contributions of Terry. The 24-year-old forward generated four goals – including two game-winners – and six points in three games this week, to help keep Anaheim unbeaten in their past six games. Terry’s blossoming as a legitimate top-six forward could not happen fast enough for the Ducks, who are still at the center of attention for all the wrong reasons (read: the departure of GM Bob Murray).
Prior to the season, Anaheim was hoping for at least one of their young prospects to take the next step in their evolution, and now that Terry is proving to be that high-impact player, the Ducks’ development team can turn their attentions to helping other prospects.
1. Juuse Saros, Nashville. The Predators have been surprising some analysts and fans with their strong play to start the year, and they wouldn’t be where they are without Saros. In three games this past week, Saros went 2-0-1 – and Saros’ performance in the overtime loss to Chicago was arguably his strongest effort.
In that loss to the Hawks, Saros stopped 30 of 32 shots, and kept the game tied at one goal apiece to earn a standings point. In the two wins this week, Saros turned aside 47 of 50 shots; and in the three games he’s played, Saros allowed only five goals. He has been the Preds’ MVP to this point in the season, and Nashville’s current hot streak – they’ve won eight of their past 10 games – can be chalked up primarily to the dynamic play of Saros. If he keeps this pace up, Saros will assuredly be a finalist, and perhaps, a winner, of the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best netminder.