Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks, NHL 3 Stars: Hartman Finding His Game

By Gregory Bradshaw
Jan 8, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Ryan Hartman (38) is congratulated for scoring a goal during the third period against the Nashville Predators at the United Center. Chicago won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Ryan Hartman (38) is congratulated for scoring a goal during the third period against the Nashville Predators at the United Center. Chicago won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Eastern Conference 3 Stars

Third star: Ben Bishop

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been absolutely plagued with injuries this season. Goaltender Ben Bishop was among these players injured, and after a nine-game absence, Bishop is back.

This is huge for Tampa Bay as the new year has been a disaster for backup goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy with his 0-5 record in net.

Bishop gets the third star for the 24-save victory in his return to the crease for the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning need a miracle if they hope to return to the playoffs, and Bishop’s return certainly helps.

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Second star: Braden Holtby

The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is looking to recapture the league’s No. 1 goaltender honors this year and looks to be on the right track. Holtby’s Capitals are currently riding an eight-game win streak and the tasks at hand sure haven’t been easy.

This week alone, Holtby and the Capitals defeated Montreal, Pittsburgh and Chicago, all of which are teams on top or near the top of their respective divisions. Holtby managed to allow a grand total of three goals throughout the entire week (or four if you’re a salty Blackhawks fan like myself).

First star: Alex Ovechkin

Staying in Washington for our first-star award, Ovie has reached a milestone during his team’s recent success. Ovechkin has been considered by many to be the greatest goal scorer since the “Great One” himself, Wayne Gretzky. This week against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ovie scored to reach 1,000 career points.

Ovechkin, the six-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner, Hart Trophy winner, Art Ross Trophy winner and Lester B. Pearson Award winner, has seemingly accomplished everything in his career except winning the Stanly Cup. Could this be the year?

 

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