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NHL TROOPERS:KOCHETKOV, MCDAVID, and KAPRIZOV SHOW OFF

Connor McDavid, Kirill Kaprizov, and Pyotr Kochetkov’s week-best performances are explained by Adam Proteau.

This is THN.com’s Three Stars of the Week, an ongoing series in which we identify the best players in the NHL over the past seven days.Let’s get started:

3.PYOTR KOCHETKOV, CAROLINA This week, the Hurricanes’ third-string goaltender played like a first-stringer, going 3-0-0 with a league-best 2.11 goals against average and a.934 save percentage in three games.The 23-year-old Russian’s great week – one that saw him beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, and Los Angeles Lords – pushed his singular numbers higher, and he currently has a .919 SP and 2.27 in nine appearances this season.

Kochetkov has risen to the occasion and assisted Carolina move up to second place in the Metropolitan Division at a time when goaltender injuries are alarmingly common in the NHL.

When Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta are fully healthy, he will likely play second fiddle, but if he stays this hot, Carolina General Manager Don Waddell will have to decide which two of the three goalies should stay.

In any case, it appears to be that Kochetkov – who marked a four-year, $8-million agreement expansion on Nov. 23 – has cut out a spot for himself coming soon for the Sticks’ goaltending picture.

The offensive prowess of Kaprizov is one of the main reasons why the Wild are currently riding a three-game winning streak.

The 25-year-old scored three goals and scored seven points in three games this week, averaging 21:39 per game.

Kaprizov is currently leading Minnesota in goals (15), assists (16), and points (31), and he is on track to have a season with 53 goals and 111 points, which would surpass his previous career-bests of 47 goals and 109 points, both of which he set last season.Even-strength time, where he scored four points, and the power play, where he scored three points, were also where he split his points.

It’s hard to believe that Kaprizov is only in his third season in the best hockey.

league.After his rookie year, he made significant improvements, nearly doubling his goal totals in his sophomore year, and this year, he’s improving even more.

The Wild will require Kaprizov to have a season comparable to that of an MVP if they are to make the playoffs.He has undoubtedly begun the year in that manner.

Update:This does not even take into account his goal against the Dallas Stars on Sunday afternoon, which tied two Minnesota Wild records for the longest streak of points (12 games) and longest goal streak (6 games).

McDavid has won the first star of the week twice this season, and you can’t say that either time he didn’t deserve it.

In just four games this past week, the 25-year-old Oilers superstar scored a league-best five goals and scored 11 points.The Oilers would not have won three out of four games this week if not for his offensive output.

This week, McDavid’s point totals were almost evenly split between even strength (three goals and six points) and power play (two goals and five points).

In just 25 games, he ranks second in the league with 21 goals, first in the league with 26 assists, and first in the league with 47 points.With 69 goals and 154 points in a full season, that puts him on a phenomenal pace.

What more can you possibly say about him?Despite his young age, McDavid is the best player in the world.

He will still likely win his fifth Art Ross Trophy—his third in a row—as the NHL’s top point-producing player and the odds-on favorite to win his third Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player even if he doesn’t keep up his current pace.

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