Being Semyon Varlamov was pretty good this week. The Capitals netminder stopped 55 out of 56 shots he saw in the week, earned a shutout against Montreal and held the Penguins to just one goal in the Winter Classic in front of 68,111 fans in Pittsburgh. Doing all that was good enough to make Varlamov the NHL’s number one star of the week.
Varlamov has battled nagging injuries for most of this season, but now that he’s back and performing great the Capitals are reaping the benefits of that. Varlamov’s work against the Penguins on New Year’s Day was especially inspiring for the team as he battled through tricky conditions on the ice to play a quiet and strong game in goal. Earning the NHL’s weekly top honor is a credit to his solid play.
Phoenix’s Shane Doan did all right this week as well scoring six goals and adding two assists on his way towards winning the week’s number two star award. The Coyotes captain did well in the face of adversity for his team as the Coyotes went just 1-2-1 on the week. Now if everyone could follow Doan’s example they’d do a bit better.
Detroit’s Nick Lidstrom continues his great season and his two goal, six assist effort last week was good enough to earn the Red Wings captain the NHL’s third star. The Wings went 2-1-1 on the week and Lidstrom’s continued steady play is both remarkable and expected from the player Wings fans and players refer to as “The Perfect Human.”