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.
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.