By my most recent count, there were 12 skaters who generated at least three points on Tuesday, so sussing out three stars is especially difficult. (At least the goalies mostly cooperated, as Tuukka Rask‘s shutout was of the modest, 24-save variety.)
Wheeler is the one player whose night stood out the most, as he topped everyone with four points: one goal and three assists. His goal was a) shorthanded and b) one of the best highlights of the night, throwing two cherries on top.
2. Tyler Seguin
In determining the other two stars, let’s go with the most exciting stories. This is highly subjective, so feel free to close your eyes and picture your choices taking up these spots, instead.
(Going to stand my ground about Wheeler, though. That’s math for you.)
Seguin remains red-hot, with the only drawback being that a ton of people are probably going to give profanity-laced CEO directives the credit, rather than a prodigiously talented player who’s finally getting the bounces we’ve been wah-wah-ing about.
The Stars star extended his point streak to six games with two goals and an assist. Seguin’s generated six goals and four assists during that span, with half of those games including multi-point efforts.
Seguin gets the edge because two of his three points were goals, while all three of Karlsson’s points were assists. But Karlsson is going to ratchet up his Norris Trophy hype considering just how scorching his streak really is.
Karlsson now has a 14-game assist streak, joining a ridiculous group of scoring defensemen that only includes Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey, Phil Housley, and Brian Leetch. Expanding out, he’s only the 13th defenseman to generate a point streak of at least 14 games, and just the sixth since 1990-91.
Karlsson’s plus/minus ended up being +3 in this one, he generated five shots on goal, and logged 23:45 of ice time, so this was quite the all-around effort. The Sharks are really heating up, and it’s no coincidence that Karlsson and Brent Burns are leading the charge.
Again, Tuesday was brimming with other worthy runners-up. Sharks forward Evander Kane was one of the other players who generated three points, by the way.
Again, that Blake Wheeler SHG was sweet. Scheifele deserves serious kudos here, too, naturally.
What do you get when you combine a figure skater with a high-end sniper? You get Jeff Skinner, who’s going to get paid.
Andreas Athanasiou provided some sweet sniping, particularly on the first of his two goals (jump in around the 1:10 mark to see it develop):
- Read this post for the lowdown on Mike McKenna becoming the seventh Flyers starting goalie of the season, tying an NHL record. They have almost half of the season to break a record that they wouldn’t want to break.
- Nikita Kucherov has 39 games to beef up his 71 points. Yes, that’s a ridiculous number of points for January.
- Karlsson and Burns are already just the third pair of Sharks defensemen to generate at least 40 points in one season.
- Rask generated his 42nd career shutout and 250th win. He’s two W’s behind Tiny Thompson for second-place in Bruins history for wins. Tough to top being called Tiny Thompson, though.
- Passing the incomparable Robert Svehla, Aaron Ekblad is now the Panthers’ franchise leader in goals for a defenseman with 62.
BOS 4 – MIN 0
BUF 5 – NJD 1
CAR 4 – NYI 3
PIT 5 – FLA 1
WSH 5 – PHI 3
MTL 3 – DET 2
TBL 4 – CBJ 0
DAL 3 – STL 1
WPG 7 – COL 4
VGK 4 – NYR 2
SJS 7 – EDM 2
(Seems like quite a busy night to have no overtime, eh?)