Every Saturday night throughout the regular season — coinciding with the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast on CBC and 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 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 best comeback stories and a player who reached a personal milestone and set a franchise record.
Martin Brodeur's season came to a crashing halt on Nov. 1, when the future Hall of Fame goaltender injured his left bicep during New Jersey's victory over the Atlanta Thrashers. It didn't look all that serious, which made the news that Brodeur would need surgery and be sidelined for about four months stunning.
But instead of fading without their star netminder, the Devils went on to take command of the Atlantic Division race. And when Brodeur returned on Feb. 24, it was as if he'd never left. He shut out Colorado 4-0 in his first game back, then went 3-0-0 in the next three, allowing only four goals and earning his 100th career shutout by blanking the Philadelphia Flyers to keep the Devils firmly in charge in the division.
"It's a big number," Brodeur said of No. 100, three shy of Terry Sawchuk's NHL record. "It's hard to believe a little bit. You go out and you play and you get shutouts and there's only one other guy that got to that 100 plateau. It kind of hit me maybe later on when guys came over and congratulated me and I figured out that it was the 100th one that they were talking about."
Nashville forward Steve Sullivan has had a comeback of his own. Sullivan missed nearly two years with back problems before returning to the Nashville Predators' lineup. After a slow start, he's rediscovered his scoring touch -- and, not coincidentally, Nashville's offense has perked up. Sullivan had 2 goals and 5 assists for seven points last week as the Preds won all three games to extend their winning streak to six.
Sullivan had the game-winner in the sixth win, a 4-2 victory over Columbus.
"Any time you can hit the hockey puck and come in off and injury, that’s good," Sullivan said. "Our line has been rolling pretty good lately and we are going to have to continue. It is not going to get any easier from here on out, we just have to keep making sure we are working hard."
Hard work has never been a problem for Jarome Iginla. Calgary's captain had a week to remember, reaching (and then surpassing) the 400-goal mark -- and becoming the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Flames' franchise during a five-point night in an 8-6 loss to Tampa Bay on March 1.
For the week, Iginla had 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points as Calgary went 3-1-0 to extend its Northwest Division lead over Vancouver.
"I was excited to get it at home. I wasn't too picky about it being a real nice one. It was cool to get it on (Craig) Conroy's," Iginla said of the milestone point. "Unfortunately the night didn't go the way we wanted, we let it get away from us. Looking back on it down the road, it's still going to be a great night."
Last week's winner was Iginla's teammate, goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who's been piling up the victories at a pace that could make him a threat to break Brodeur's single-season record. Kiprusoff was 3-0-0, allowing only four goals. For the season, he's tops among all netminders with 39 victories in his 60 appearances, and he hasn't lost a game in regulation since Feb. 5.