NHL names Ryane Clowe, Marc-Andre Fleury and Rick Nash three stars of the week

The NHL named its three best players for the week of December 6-12, with San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Columbus Blue Jackets star Rick Nash earning the honors.

Let’s take a look at their respective weeks, with our thoughts combined with some tidbits from the NHL’s press release.

First star: Clowe

The burly forward is second on the Sharks with 28 points thanks to eight goals and 20 assists. Most interestingly, though (in my opinion), is the fact that he joins Dan Cleary as a rare NHL player from Newfoundland.

Clowe led all scorers last week with eight points (three goals, five assists) as the Sharks (15-10-4) won three of four games. Clowe tallied multiple points in each game, beginning with a pair of assists in a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 6. He notched one goal, one assist and a shootout tally in a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Dec. 8, recorded two assists in a 6-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 9 and scored both goals, including the overtime winner, in a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Dec. 11.

Second star: Fleury

It’s difficult to contain Fleury’s great play to one week when he’s won 11 games in a row since November 17th. You have to wonder if “MAF” is starting to encroach on Vezina Trophy nominee status with the way he’s played in the last month or so. Here are his stats from the week itself, though.

Fleury posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.67 goals-against average and .944 save percentage as the Penguins (21-8-2) extended their winning streak to 12 games. Fleury made 27 saves in a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils Dec. 6, stopped 23 shots in a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Dec. 8 and concluded the week by making 34 saves in a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 11.

Third star: Nash

Much like Fleury, this isn’t the first time this season that Nash earned a star of the week award. He previously earned that mark in late November as well. Let’s take a look at the week itself from the (occasionally stubbly) face of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Nash tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in three games, helping the Blue Jackets post a pair of victories and reach the 28-game mark with the best record in franchise history (16-11-1). Nash figured in each Columbus goal last week, starting with a last-minute, game-tying goal, an assist and a shootout tally in a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars Dec. 6.

NHL has no plans to change waiver rules

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Even with all the young players that have been healthy scratches this season, don’t expect the NHL to change its waiver rules.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told PHT in an email that it’s not something that’s “ever been considered.”

“For better or worse that’s what waiver rules are there for,” Daly wrote. “They force Clubs to make tough decisions.”

Today, Montreal defenseman Jarred Tinordi became the latest waiver-eligible youngster to be sent to the AHL on a two-week conditioning loan.

Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season. If he were still exempt from waivers, he’d have undoubtedly been sent to the AHL long before he had to watch so many NHL games from the press box.

In light of situations like Tinordi’s, some have suggested the NHL change the rules. Currently, the only risk-free way for waiver-eligible players to get playing time in the AHL is via conditioning stint, and, as mentioned, those are limited to 14 days in length.

So the Habs will, indeed, need to make a “tough decision” when Tinordi’s conditioning stint is up. Do they put him in the lineup? Do they keep him in the press box and wait for an injury or some other circumstance to create an opportunity for him to play? Do they risk losing him to waivers by attempting to send him to the AHL? Do they trade him?

Your call, Marc Bergevin.

Related: Stanislav Galiev is stuck in the NHL

Ortio clears waivers, assigned to Flames’ AHL team

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Joni Ortio has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Stockton, the Calgary Flames announced today.

The 24-year-old goalie was always likely to clear, what with his dreadful numbers this season (0-2-1, .868),

But we suppose there was always the chance he’d get picked up, so it’s a relief for the Flames all the same. With a little more time to hone his game in the AHL, Ortio could still turn out to be a quality NHL netminder.

In a related move, veteran goalie Jonas Hiller has been activated from injured reserve. Hiller and Karri Ramo are the only goalies on the Flames’ active roster now.

Price placed on injured reserve; Yakupov to miss 2-4 weeks with sprained ankle

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Two injury updates in one post.

First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.

According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.

“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.

Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.

As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.

Getzlaf didn’t love the ‘dead’ atmosphere at Coyotes game

Martin Erat, Ryan Getzlaf

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:

1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.

“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”

Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.

The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.