3rd Star, from the Ottawa Senators, numero 55, Sergei Gonchar... for the last four years, all eyes have been on Filip Kuba's Ottawa Senators D-man record of eight consecutive games with an assist. All that waiting and speculating is finally over, and Gonchar makes room for another trophy in the case as he has helpers in nine straight games now, which is the new record for the most consecutive games with at least one assist by any Ottawa Senators defenseman. Ever! Because we care! A joint federal-municipal task force was formed on Sunday to handle the details of the proposed Consecutive Assist Parade, set to take place this summer in the nation's capitol. Gonch-man this week: three games, 1+4=5, plus-3, four PIM (including a crazy 1+2=3, plus-5 game vs. the Islanders).
2nd Star, from the Washington Capitals, numero 8, Alex Ovechkin... well, this is more like it. Four games, five goals, three assists, plus-3, 20 shots, three PPG, 13 hits, two blocks, and it would appear that the Ovechkin-Niklas Backstrom reunion is a joyful one, as they collaborated on five scoring plays this week. I'm just a casual observer, but I'm thinking bloated, party-guy Ovie doesn't score as much as the Ovie we're seeing right now.
1st Star, from the Vancouver Canucks, numero 35, Cory Schneider... three weeks in a row with a goalie as first star, but Schneider's bottom line is impossibly to deny. He started all four Canucks games this week - the first time he's had four consecutive starts this year. He won all four, because MAYBE THIS IS MORE LIKE WHAT HE WAS EXPECTING THIS SEASON WHEN MANAGEMENT SAID LUONGO WOULDN'T BE BACK. It seems simple enough - goalies are al psyche and ego, so maybe it's best not to mess around too much with that crap. Or whatever. Schneider's four wins (one shutout) were accompanied by 1,25 / .957 peripherals, and he finished top three in saves - not an easy feat for any Vancouver goalie in recent years.
Rookie Star of the Week: Tyler Johnson. 2+2=4, plus-4, eight hits, three blocks this week, and the undrafted rookie has made an immediate impact since being called up six games ago, with 3+3=6 in that span. He's averaging only 13:09 TOI/G and has scored on half his shots, so don't expect this type of production to continue, but he's yet another intriguing forward prospect to add to Tampa's long list of intriguing forward prospects. There's a lot still to sort out with Conacher, Panik, Kucherov, Brown, Palat, Namestnikov and Killorn all vying for top six roles over the next few years.
Breakout Star of the Week: Travis Zajac. After netting only eight points in his first 29 games, Zajac had 1+4=5 in three games this week while winning a whopping 67% (37/59) of faceoffs. Overall this year he's been excellent in the circle with 57%, but maybe the points will start to flow a little now.
Breakdown of the Week: James van Riemsdyk. Thanks to mjm44 for this submission, and a quick check of JVR's stats confirm his (un)worthiness: three games, no points, minus-3, six shots, and one measly hit. Overall this year he's been excellent with 14+8=22 and 96 shots in 32 games, so expect the breakout to continue after this small hiccup. Hiccup.