Lots of good games in the NHL last night, and plenty of good performances, though no real great ones, to choose from. Here are the best of good ones from last night's action:
- 3rd Star - Brent Johnson - The surprise Boston Bruins have been tearing up the Eastern Conference so far this season and showed no signs of slowing down heading into last night's game against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. Though both teams have their share of snipers it was Washington's #2 pipe-tender, Brent Johnson who stole the show. The Bruins threw everything but the kitchen sink at him, but Johnson kept his composure, stopping 33 of 34 shots to lead his team to a hard-fought 3-1 victory.
- 2nd Star - Cristobal Huet - Another goalies takes the 2nd spot on our 3 Stars countdown, though whether or not he is the backup is anybody's guess. Though he was facing the NHL's worst offensive team, Huet made several key saves to keep his team clinging to a 1-0 for most of the game, before an empty net goal by Troy Brouwer ended the suspense and salted away the victory for Chicago. It is up in the air which of Chicago's two highly paid goalies is the number one, and speculation remains which one will be shipped off in exchange for the number 2 center the team desperately needs.
1st Star - Thomas Vanek - The Buffalo Sabres handed the woeful Tampa Bay Lightning yet another loss last night, and while Tampa Bay's stars were all but invisible, Buffalo's own superstar was up to his usual tricks, netting 2 goals to bring his NHL-leading total to 22. After scoring 43 goals two seasons ago, expectations were sky-high for the talented Austrian winger. Last season, however, Vanek failed to improve, netting 36 goals, and only 64 points. This season he is playing with supreme confidence and looks poised to easily eclipse the 50 goal mark. Look for Thomas Vanek to make a regular appearance on Hockey Hermit's 3 Stars.