Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Three Stars Of The Week: End Of 2016

By Sean Fitzgerald
Nov 5, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Kempny (6) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Kempny (6) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Western Conference 3 Stars

Third star: Calgary F Mikael Backlund. I’ll say up front, this is going to be a weird three stars group. We start with the most stomachable of the group, though he doesn’t necessarily play for a great team.

Backlund had a solid last week, posting five points and a plus-four rating on the strength of four goals in three games. He had a powerplay goal and a game-winning goal — and he did this while firing a whopping five shots on net. That’s quite the shooting percentage.

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Backlund’s efforts have helped Calgary scramble into the wild-card picture in a Western Conference that’s looking worse with each passing day.

Second star: Anaheim F Ryan Kesler. This one is unfortunate, so I’ll try to keep it brief. Kesler led the Western Conference last week with six points in four games, carrying a plus-5 rating.

The agitator also managed to stay out of the penalty box, which must’ve taken some show of willpower. Kesler also potted a powerplay point while winning 51.9 percent of his faceoffs — actually pretty down for him. But still, a solid performance for the week.

First star: Vancouver G Ryan Miller. Like I said, weird three stars. Miller had an outstanding week though, winning all three of his starts while stopping 84 of 89 shots against.

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Miller posted a save percentage of .944 in those three games to go with a goal-against average of 1.63. And he had an assist. Nice work from the former Olympic star.

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