Antti Niemi’s big week in helping move the San Jose Sharks up the Western Conference standings was recognized today as he was named the number one star of the week by the NHL. Niemi went 3-0-0 with a 0.98 goals against average and a stunning .963 save percentage last week including a shutout against Colorado.
Niemi’s great play has come at the perfect time for the Sharks as Antero Niittymaki is down with an injury and and minor league call-up Alex Stalock is also hurt. With Niemi the lone man in goal he’s flourished and gotten the Sharks back into the playoffs mix as they’re fourth in the West now.
Niemi doing as well as he did was about the only thing keeping New Jersey’s Johan Hedberg from getting top honors. Hedberg also was 3-0-0 on the week. He put up a 1.00 goals against average and stopped shots at a .956 save percentage while leading the Devils up the standings in the East. Hedberg has won six straight starts now since Martin Brodeur went down with an injury leading to being named the NHL’s second star of the week.
Rounding out the three stars is Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky. Hemsky was the league’s top scorer last week with four goals and three assists in helping the Oilers to win three straight games last week. Hemsky’s outpouring of offense have helped fuel trade speculation surrounding the talented winger.