Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas, Steven Stamkos and Martin Broduer named the three stars of the week

The NHL named its three stars of the week for January 17-23. Tim Thomas was the first star, Steven Stamkos is the second star and Martin Brodeur was named the third star. Let’s take a look at their great weeks, which includes input from us as well as information from the NHL’s press release.

First star: Thomas

Tim Thomas just keeps winning save/goalie/player of the night/week/year(?) awards during his absolutely outstanding 2010-11 season. It’s a stretch to call last week his best, but it might have been the peak of his 2011 so far.

Thomas posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.33 goals-against average, .964 save percentage and one shutout as the Bruins (27-14-7) regained first place in a tight Northeast Division race. Thomas stopped 106 of 110 shots last week, beginning with a 31-save performance in a 7-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Jan. 17 for his League-leading seventh shutout of the season.

Second star: Stamkos

What better way to follow the odds-on Vezina Trophy winner than with a player who might win the Art Ross and Hart Trophies? Stamkos managed to take the league lead in points on Sunday, but his week was pretty great overall.

Stamkos tallied a League-leading five goals last week, helping the Lightning (30-15-5) post four consecutive victories and stay atop the Southeast Division. Stamkos recorded points in all four games, starting with two goals in a 3-2 shootout win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Jan. 18.

Third star: Brodeur

While Thomas is a star of the present and Stamkos covers the present and the future, Brodeur is obviously an icon whose best days are likely behind him. Still, it’s great to see the future Hall of Famer’s name on such a list. Especially considering how miserable New Jersey’s season has been.

Brodeur posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.34 goals-against average and .949 save percentage, backstopping the Devils (16-29-3) to a season-high four-game winning streak and a 6-0-1 mark in their past seven games.

After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.