No. 1 Star: Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks
Nothing in life is certain except for death, taxes and Patrick Sharp scoring goals. A week ago, Patrick Sharp turned 32 years-old and scored a hat trick against Colorado to celebrate. To mark the one week anniversary of his 32nd birthday, Sharp scored another hat trick, this time against New Jersey, in Chicago’s 5-3 win. It’s going to be hilarious when he’s left off Canada’s Olympic roster. (Relax, it’s a joke/prayer.)
Don’t get much prettier than this:
No. 2 Star: Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning
How about this for a big plate of irony? Like Kyle Okposo last night, another Team USA snub excels in the days following the big roster announcement. Goaltender Ben Bishop pitched a 2-0 shut-out against the Calgary Flames for his second win since being left off the team. Yes, it was against the lowly-Flames but it was Team USA VP of Player Personnel Brian Burke’s Calgary Flames.
No. 3 Star: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Crosby picked up three points against the Rangers in the Penguins 5-2 win. He assisted on two Chris Kunitz goals, the first of which showcased The Kid’s wicked hands. Kunitz, who also picked up three points (oh he’s definitely going to Sochi now), just made the Rangers look foolish on his helper for Sid’s only goal.
Honorable Mention: Jussi Jokinen scored two goals for the Penguins, the first one he passed to himself … Pittsburgh’s Joe Vitale was 10 of 11 on the face-off dot … Derek Engelland is back after being suspended for five games and John Moore wishes that wasn’t the case (watch the bottom of the screen) …
Aided by Sharp’s hatty, Sharp, Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Brent Seabrook combined for 12 shots, 11 points and plus-18 … Marek Zidlicky score two of New Jersey’s goals, one came on the power play … Ondrej Palat earned a goal and an assist in Tampa Bay’s win over Calgary … The Flames managed to keep Martin St. Louis off the board despite six shots-on-goal … Nine different Anaheim players earned points in the 5-2 win over Edmonton; however, none of those players were named Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf or Teemu Selanne … Boyd Gordon’s goal on his tummy was the only real highlight for the Oil:
Did You Know? Anaheim defenseman Ben Lovejoy became a first time father on New Year’s Eve day. In the two games since his daughter was born, Lovejoy has scored two goals (including tonight’s game winner) and is a plus-5. In his 171 game NHL career, he has a total of seven goals. When asked about his newfound scoring touch as it related to the birth of the baby, he said:
“Avery [his wife], get ready to have number two ’cause this is fun.”
Dishonorable Mention: Rangers forward Derek Dorsett will be out 4-to-6 weeks with a broken fibula suffered in Friday’s game against Pittsburgh … Henrik Lundqvist allowed five goals on 28 shots against Penguins … Adam Henrique, Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder all minus-4 for New Jersey … Tampa and Calgary combined for 30 turnovers and were both 0-for-5 on the power play … 46 seconds into the Anaheim/Edmonton tilt, the score was tied 1-1 … Ducks went 0-for-8 on power play but still managed win … Dallas Eakins pulled Ilya Bryzgalov with almost seven minutes remaining in the game while the Oilers were on a 5-on-3 power play; luckily for the Oilers, the Ducks couldn’t hit the open net … Taylor Hall, Justin Schultz, David Perron and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were a combined minus-13 …
Follow Jen Neale on Twitter @MsJenNeale_PD