Fans then will have the opportunity each week to go online at http://www.fanfav-nhl.com and vote for their favorite 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 favorite NHL player from these top 10 finalists. Exciting NHL prizes will be available to both U.S. and Canadian participants.
Our Scotiabank Fan Fav nominees this week include two of the NHL's hottest shooters and one of its best stories of the season.
Ales Hemsky showed everyone just how much he was missed while sitting out with a concussion. The speedy center came back with a bang, getting two goals in the Oilers' 6-3 victory over Phoenix on Sunday before putting on a one-man show against Columbus. Hemsky set up the Oilers' first goal, scored the second, then assisted on the tying goal with 4:42 remaining in regulation before scoring the game-winner with 34.9 seconds remaining for a 4-3 victory.
That's six points in two games, pretty good for a guy who had been out for three weeks.
"That was unreal, I haven't seen anything like that in a while," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish of Hemsky's performance against the Blue Jackets. "Two goals and two assists. We've seen that before. But not where all four are world-class plays. It couldn't have come at a better time. He single-handedly willed the win for us."
The Oilers' biggest rivals, the Calgary Flames, had the NHL's hottest shooter last week. Center Michael Cammalleri scored five times in three games, including a pair of two-goal efforts, to reach the All-Star break with a team-high 22 goals -- three more than captain Jarome Iginla. He reached the break having scored eight times in his previous six games.
"It's a responsibility I welcome," he said of the added scoring. "I'll do anything I can to help the team win."
Few players have had more to do with their team's winning games that New Jersey's Scott Clemmensen. The career backup has taken the No. 1 goaltending job during Martin Brodeur's absence and run with it, putting up a 19-9-1 record, a 2.29 goals-against average and .922 save percentage -- marks Brodeur would be hard-pressed to beat. He reached the break by going 3-0-0 last week, allowing just four goals while leading the Devils into first place in the Atlantic Division at the break.
Clemmensen says he's gotten a lot of help.
"I don't feel like I have to win games by myself," he said after a 5-2 win over Montreal in the Devils' last game before the break. "I don't think the team feels they have to work harder to compensate for me, either. The team has confidence in me and I feel if I just play strong, I can let them do the rest."
Last week's winner, Boston goaltender Tim Thomas, continued his brilliant season with a perfect week, winning all three of his starts, allowing only one goal in each of the victories. Perhaps his best performance came against the Islanders, when he stopped 40 of 41 shots in a 2-1 victory.
"Timmy was our best player," Boston coach Claude Julien said after the game. "He held the fort."