For the past few editions of Hockey Hermit's NHL 3 Stars it has been the goalies who have been stealing the spotlight. Well, last night it was the shooters' turn to grab a little attention. Red hot Nashville goaltender, Pekka Rinne was brought crashing back to Earth, and no goalie came close to a shutout last night. Here are the guys who were lighting the lamp in last night's action:
3rd Star - Phil Kessel - In his first two seasons in the NHL this talented sniper only showed flashes of the potential that had scouts comparing him to Sidney Crosby when he played U.S. college hockey for the University of Minnesota. However, this year, playing with talented setup man, Marc Savard, and hulking power forward, Milan Lucic, Phil Kessel has really come into his own. He had another goal last night, giving him 17 on the season - only 2 shy of the career high 19 he had last season - and chipped in an assist to help the soaring Bruins to a 5-3 win over Tampa Bay.
2nd Star - Jason Blake - This speedy winger hasn't done much to earn his 5 million dollar salary since his arrival in Toronto at the beginning of the 2007-08 season, but last night he showed some of the ability that led to that signing. Blake has a nose for the net, and is always near the top of the league in shots, but since arriving in Toronto his shooting percentage has taken a nosedive. He managed to turn on the red light last night though, and added a pair of assists to capture the 2nd spot on our NHL 3 star countdown.
1st Star - B.J. Crombeen - You won't see this guy top our NHL 3 star selections very often, but for one night at least B.J. Crombeen was the most dominant player in the NHL. Claimed on waivers from the Dallas Stars only 3 weeks ago, Crombeen had a career night, scoring his first career hat trick and adding an assist to help his Blues double up the Predators 6-3.