NHL Players of the Week: Hintz, Matthews & More

Week 13 is in the books! The Colorado Avalanche were the first team to reach 60 points, doing so in 41 games. That is the fastest a team has reached that mark since the Tampa Bay Lightning did it in 38 games during the 2018-19 season. The trade deadline is upon us and the dominoes have begun to fall. Want to stay up to date with the latest trades? Click here to view our deal tracker. Let’s take a look at this week’s top performers!

Forwards

Auston Matthews

The league’s leading goal scorer was at it again this week, adding six goals and three assists to his point total. He opened the week with back-to-back two-point games. He scored two goals against the Calgary Flames on Monday and recorded a goal and an assist against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. He capped off the week with a four-point game against the Ottawa Senators that included a hat trick and an assist.

Matthews is averaging a remarkable 0.82 goals per game. He has now scored at least 30 goals in each of his five NHL seasons. He is up to 31 goals, 21 assists, and a plus-19 rating on the season. He is tied with Patrick Kane and his teammate Mitchell Marner for third in the league in points. He will look to extend his point streak to five games as the Toronto Maple Leafs travel to Montreal Monday.

Roope Hintz

Hintz was the only player other than Matthews to tally eight points this week. Although he was held off of the scoresheet on Tuesday, he got on a roll late in the week. His most productive game came against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, scoring a goal and three assists. He followed that performance with two goals on Saturday and a goal against the Florida Panthers. He also had a goal and an assist the following day against the Nashville Predators.

Roope Hintz Dallas Stars
Roope Hintz, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Despite dealing with injuries throughout the season, Hintz has been very productive. In 29 games played, he has posted 13 goals, 19 assists, and a plus-7 rating. His 32 points are good for second on the Dallas Stars, trailing only Joe Pavelski who has played 11 more games than him. Hintz will look to keep the momentum going on Tuesday against the Panthers as the Stars continue to chase the final playoff spot in the Discover Central Division.

Jake Guentzel

Guentzel couldn’t be held off of the scoresheet this week, or in his last six games, for that matter. He opened the week with a goal and an assist in two games against the New York Rangers. He capped off the week with a total of five points in two contests versus the New Jersey Devils. He tallied two assists in their first matchup on Friday. He went on to record a hat trick on Sunday, the fifth of his career.

Guentzel has been on fire of late, scoring a point in 12 of his last 13 games. He leads the Pittsburgh Penguins in goals, 20, and is second on the team in points, 45, trailing only Sidney Crosby. He has now scored 43 or more points in four straight seasons. Guentzel and the Penguins take on the Philadelphia Flyers at home on Thursday.

Honorable Mention: Nathan MacKinnon has scored in nine straight games. This week he scored three goals and four assists in four games played.

Defensemen

Kris Letang

Letang led all defensemen in scoring this week, recording a goal and five assists in four games played. He scored four of those points against the Rangers in back-to-back games, two helpers in the first game in addition to a goal and an assist in the second game. He also tallied two assists against the Devils on Friday. He finished the week with 10 shots on goal, seven hits, and three blocked shots.

Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

After a slow start to the season, Letang has been one of the most effective defensemen in the league. He has seven goals, 27 assists, and a plus-13 rating. The 33-year-old blueliner’s 34 points are good for fifth among defensemen in the league and third among all skaters on the Penguins. Letang will look to keep the momentum going on Thursday at home against the Flyers.

Vince Dunn

Dunn scored in three straight games to finish the week after being held off of the scoresheet in his previous five games. He tallied an assist on both Wednesday and Friday against the Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild, respectively. However, his most productive came on Saturday against the Wild, recording three assists, two hits, and a plus-1 rating in the contest.

Vince Dunn St. Louis Blues
Vince Dunn, St. Louis Blues (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Dunn has five goals, 12 assists, and a minus-6 rating this season. With 17 points in 39 games, he is on pace to pass the 24 points he tallied last season in 71 games. He will look to keep his three-game point streak alive as the St. Louis Blues visit the Wild on Monday.

Honorable Mention: Shayne Gostisbehere posted three goals and an assist in four games for the Flyers this week. He has eight goals, seven assists, and a minus-1 rating on the season.

Goaltender

Connor Hellebuyck

Hellebuyck put on a show this week, going 3-0-0. He made 20 saves on Monday against the Senators, followed by a 36-save performance on Thursday against the Canadiens. He finished the week with a 19-save shutout over the Canadiens on Saturday. Overall, he had a .938 save percentage (SV%) and 1.67 goals-against average (GAA) in his three wins this week.

Connor Hellebuyck Winnipeg Jets
Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The reigning Vezina Trophy winner has a record of 20-10-3 with a .921 SV% and a 2.45 GAA on the season. According to Evolving Hockey, he also ranks third among goaltenders in goals saved above expected (GSAx) of 14.36, trailing only Marc-Andre Fleury and Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Winnipeg Jets will look to continue their winning ways as they travel to Ottawa on Monday.

Honorable Mention: Juuse Saros continues to shine for the Nashville Predators. He won all three of his starts this week, posting a .937 SV% and a 1.58 GAA. He ranks 10th among goaltenders with a GSAx of 5.18 this season.

Up Next

Week 14 starts tonight! What to watch this week: the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning face off in a Sunshine State rivalry matchup, Zdeno Chara and the Washington Capitals visit the Boston Bruins, the Edmonton Oilers and the Jets battle for second place in the Scotia North Division, and the Arizona Coyotes battle the Blues for the final playoff spot in the Honda West Division.


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