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 star-studded Scotiabank Fan Fav nominees for this week include three of the NHL's biggest stars.
New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur had a week for the ages, tying Patrick Roy's NHL career record for victories by winning in Montreal, his hometown, breaking the mark at home with win No. 552 against Chicago, then moving within two of Terry Sawchuk's record of 103 shutouts by stopping 35 shots in the Devils' 4-0 victory over Minnesota on Friday night.
"A record like this speaks for itself," Devils coach Brent Sutter said after the record-setting victory. "He's got the most wins of all time by any goaltender that's ever played the game, so it speaks for itself. I have played on some very, very good hockey teams that have won Stanley Cups, and just some really good teams. As far as goaltending is concerned, being around Marty for the last year and three-quarters, you can understand why he's accomplished what he's accomplished."
For the week, Brodeur went 3-0-0 and allowed only three goals. He's now 9-1-0 in 10 starts since returning from a bicep injury that required surgery and kept him out for 50 games.
Brodeur figures to be the starting goaltender on the Canadian Olympic Team next year -- unless Roberto Luongo earns the job. Luongo, who like Brodeur missed significant time with an injury this season, continues to fuel the Vancouver Canucks' drive to overtake Calgary for the Northwest Division lead.
Like Brodeur, Luongo also had a flawless week. He won all three of his starts as the Canucks closed within three points of the division-leading Flames, and blanked St. Louis on Thursday night for the 44th shutout of his career -- but his first since Nov. 8, one week before he went down with a groin injury that kept him out for almost two months.
"It's nice to not have to play on top of my head every night to get a win, but sometimes you got to do it," Luongo said after a 30-save performance that earned him the game's No. 1 star. "We maybe didn't have our legs early and I had to make a couple of saves, but once we got our first goal we got going."
Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby has also been on a tear after coming back from a groin injury -- and so has his team. Crosby had 2 goals and 8 points last week as the Penguins went 3-0-1. Since his return, the Penguins have gone from a team that was outside the top eight in the East to one that's battling for the home-ice edge in the opening round of the playoffs.
Crosby has scored at least one point in each of the 12 games he's played since returning from his injury, though he says his scoring streak isn't a big concern.
"It's not something on my mind right now, I'm trying to do my best and help with this last push here," Crosby said after a three-assist performance in a 6-4 win over Boston. "It's a big time for us. You see how tight the games are now; every team is desperate and battling hard."
Last week's winner, Columbus goaltender Steve Mason continued to build his case for the Calder Trophy by winning all three of his starts, allowing only five goals and posting his NHL-high ninth shutout of the season by blanking the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins 2-0. His other wins came against Detroit and Pittsburgh -- a pretty good one-week showing.
"He was really good when it was a little sketchy," coach Ken Hitchcock said after the win over Boston. "When we got hemmed in, we turned the puck over twice in our own zone; he made two big saves and really bailed out some people. Then at the end, he made a great save on the shot that long shot that got deflected. He made a great save by being big. He really bailed us out when we were sketchy with the puck in our own zone."