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Elias, Datsyuk, Krejci earn Favourite status

Monday, 12.22.2008 / 12:22 PM / Fan Fav Award

NHL.com

Every Saturday night throughout the regular season — coinciding with the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast on CBC and Saturday Night Hockey on RDS —  NHL representatives will evaluate NHL player performances from the week prior to select the top three NHL player performances for that week.

Fans then will have the opportunity each week to go online at http://www.fanfav-nhl.com and vote for their favourite player from amongst the three nominees.  At season's end, each winning player will be placed in a pool with the other weekly winners, from which a panel of independent NHL judges will narrow down the list to 10 finalists based on their season-long performances.  Fans will then have the opportunity to vote for their favourite NHL player from these top 10 finalists. 

The winning player will be awarded the first ever Fan Fav Award at the 2009 NHL Awards Show.  This is the first time a trophy will be awarded based upon voting by the fans.



The three nominees for the Fan Fav Award for Dec. 13 to 19 underscore a week in which a lot of goaltenders were practically sunburned from red lights going on behind them.

Few players have been hotter for a longer period than Patrik Elias of the New Jersey Devils. Elias capped a superb week by scoring twice and adding a pair of assists as the Devils steamrolled the Ottawa Senators 5-1 Friday night. He wound up with 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points in the Devils' three games. The four-point night against Ottawa extended his points streak to nine games, a span in which he has 7 goals and 16 points. He has 11 goals and 16 assists for 2720points while scoring in 14 of New Jersey's last 15 games, and is a big reason the Devils are thriving despite the loss of All-Star goaltender Martin Brodeur.

"He's taken his game to a level that everybody would like to see," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "His work ethic has always been good. He's moving his feet more. He's doing things at top speed, and he's reading situations so well."

Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk was also on a roll last week. The three-time Lady Byng Trophy winner not only had a big week offensively with 2 goals and 5 assists in three games, he was also plus-7 in that span — not surprising for the man who led the League in plus-minus last season. Datsyuk saved his best performance for when the Wings needed it most by scoring twice and adding two assists in Detroit's 6-0 rout of the League-leading San Jose Sharks on Thursday. He has 32 points in 31 games.

Expectations for second-year Boston forward David Krejci were modest going into the season, but he's been a key contributor in the Bruins' rise to the top of the Eastern Conference this season. The B's played just two games during the week, but Krejci made the most of his opportunities by setting up three goals in Boston's 4-2 win over Atlanta on Dec. 13, then notching his first NHL hat trick five nights later in an 8-5 victory over Toronto. His third goal, with 4:16 left, brought a shower of hats, but his second at 2:03 of the second period was the most impressive — he came flying down the left wing, made a shift and beat Curtis Joseph to the short side with a wrist shot.

"If you give him some room, I think he can score some goals," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the game. "He's a good player who makes everyone around him better. Tonight he had a chance to make himself look good as well."

Last week's Fan Fav winner, Pittsburgh forward Petr Sykora, earned the nod after a six-point week that included the first hat trick of his NHL career. Sykora held the NHL mark with 38 two-goal games without scoring three times before finally getting three in Pittsburgh's 9-2 win over the New York Islanders on Dec. 11.


Quote of the Day

Philadelphia is where I started my NHL career and this is where I want to be so I am really happy. This definitely gives me a lot of confidence by the Flyers showing that they have confidence in me. I know they want to see me get better as a player and this is the place to do it.

— Zac Rinaldo to the Flyers website on signing a two-year contract extension with Philadelphia