Welcome to the 3 Stars of the Week segment. This will be a weekly post where I pick the Vegas Golden Knights’ three stars from the previous week. The first star will receive five points, the second star will receive three points, and the third star will receive one point. Points will be tallied throughout the season and one dollar per point will be donated to the charity of the winner’s choice at the end of the season.
The Golden Knights went 3-1 last week with two thrilling shootout victories. They gave up a third period lead to the Ottawa Senators, but not for lack of trying as they threw 54 shots on net and ended up taking the game in the shootout. Then the team hit the road for three games and split the contests in Pennsylvania and finished the trip against the Chicago Blackhawks with their first come-from-behind victory this season. Here are the three players who led the way.
Third Star: Nick Holden (2 goals, 1 assist)
Holden cracks this list for the first time this season. He has been the anchor for the Golden Knights in their zone since Nate Schmidt went down with an injury. He averaged over 20 minutes per game and almost three and a half minutes on the penalty kill last week.
One of his goals helped the Golden Knights in their comeback victory over the Blackhawks as he scored the game-tying goal in the final two minutes at the United Center.
At age 32, Holden is the second oldest player on defense. The Golden Knights are his fifth team and he looks to have really settled in with this club, but he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Look for him to keep holding down the fort on defense and jumping into the rush when they are down to maximize his earnings on the market this offseason.
Second Star: Mark Stone (1 goal, 3 assists)
Stone continued to roll this week as he put up another four points in four games. He is currently on a seven-game point streak and has only been held off the scoresheet in one game this season. He had a beautiful pass across the offensive zone to find a streaking Holden for the tying goal against the Blackhawks.
Stone continues to do it all for this team. He was a Selke finalist last season and should definitely be in consideration for it again this season, but he could be in the Hart (league MVP) conversation as well. He starts in the defensive zone on more than half of his starts and is still top-10 in the league with 14 points.
First Star: Marc-Andre Fleury (3-0, 0.92 GAA, .972 SV%)
To say Fleury was a man possessed this past week would be an understatement. To go along with his stats above, he also registered a shutout and became the seventh-winningest goalie in NHL history with 446 victories in his career. He made several highlight reel saves of different variety, whether it was him sliding across the crease or stacking the pads.
Fleury is playing some of the best hockey in his career. Much like a fine wine, he seems to be getting better with age and the future Hall-of-Fame goalie is on pace to set career bests in all the major goalie categories. Surprisingly, he has never been nominated for a Vezina trophy, but I think he not only gets nominated this season, but takes it home.
I will keep a tally of the points all season long and donate a dollar per point to the winner’s charity of choice at the end of the season. Stay updated all season long by following me on Twitter, @LAM1926, to find out who will be next week’s three stars!
- Mark Stone: 11 points
- Marc-Andre Fleury: 8 points
- Paul Stastny: 5 points
- William Karlsson: 1 point
- Tomas Nosek: 1 point
- Nick Holden: 1 point