Only 5 games in the NHL last night, but there were some great performances that merit inclusion in our NHL 3 stars list. Here are the players that were dominant in last night’s action:
3rd Star – Ryan Getzlaf – Ryan Getzlaf got off to a slow start this season, but he found his groove and is now tearing apart opposing teams. He had another 2 goals last night to help Anaheim to a 5-3 victory over Columbus. He now has 34 points on the season, one behind Alexander Ovechkin and good enough for 4th overall in league scoring. He has his work cut out for him if he wants a shot at the Art Ross trophy though. A pair of Pens named Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby currently sit one two, and gaining any ground on those two superstars will be a monumental task.
2nd Star – Miikka Kiprusoff – Speaking of players that got off to a slow start, Miikka Kiprusoff certainly bore little resemblance to the goalie that was nominated for the Hart trophy and won the Vezina in 2006. However, as of late Kiprusoff seems to be finding his old form, very bad news for his Northwest Division opponents. Kipper was up to his old magic last night, stopping all 31 shots the Atlantic Division leading New York Rangers threw at him, earning his 3rd shutout of the season as Calgary jumped to the top of their division with a 3-0 victory.
1st Star – Andrew Ladd – Fans of the Chicago Blackhawks must be absolutely giddy about the future of their club. Not only do they boast two of the game’s best young stars in Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, but they have a bevy of talented young players waiting to step up and deliver when they get their chance. It was Andrew Ladd’s turn to show what he could do last night, and he did not disappoint. Less than a week shy of celebrating his 23rd birthday, Ladd was an offensive force, scoring a goal and adding 3 assists to help his Blackhawks to a 7-1 rout over Wayne Gretzky’s Phoenix Coyotes. Ladd now has 15 points in 25 games played, and is on track for about 50 points this season, a vast improvement over last year’s career high 30 point performance.