After registering six points and two game-winning goals in three games, Boston Bruins center Tyler Seguin has been named the NHL’s First Star of the Week. Last week, the 19-year-old sophomore sensation scored four goals and added two assists and now leads all Bruins in scoring (20PTS) — making him and Carolina’s Jeff Skinner the only teenagers currently leading their teams in scoring.
Seguin also leads the NHL in plus-minus (+14), is tied for second in game-winning goals and was left off the NHL All-Star ballot in favor of RJ Umberger.
The second star of the week went to Detroit’s Jimmy Howard. Jimmy posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.33 GAA and .948 save percentage with stellar efforts against the Avalanche, Oilers and Stars. Jimmy stopped 73 of 77 shots faced and notched his eighth career shutout against Edmonton. Jimmy now ranks in the top six in wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts.
Jimmy is also not on the NHL All-Star ballot, but Jaroslav Halak is. Jimmy remains perplexed by this.
Third star went to Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews. Captain Serious matched Seguin’s point total (4G-2A-6PTS) but did it over a four game span, registering both his first multi-goal and three point outing of the season in a 6-3 win over the Columbus
Terribles Blue Jackets. Toews now leads all Blackhawks in goals (nine) and is the top faceoff man in the NHL (61 percent).
Toews is on the All-Star ballot; you can team him up with deserving wingers like Alex Semin (three goals in 15 games, minus-1) or Andrew Ladd (six points in 17 games, minus-2).
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: