Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 
SHARE

Kessel, Lehtonen, Khabibulin are October's stars

Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 11:00 AM / News

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Share with your Friends


Kessel, Lehtonen, Khabibulin are October's stars
Toronto forward Phil Kessel was named Player of the Month with Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen coming in second and Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin landing in third place.
Toronto forward Phil Kessel's sizzling start has earned him October's highest honor.

Kessel on Tuesday was named October's NHL Player of the Month, with Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen  coming in second and Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin landing in third.

Kessel finished October leading the League with 10 goals and 18 points in 11 games. He has been held off the score sheet only twice and has five multiple-point games, including two 3-point games and a season-high 4-point game Oct. 8 against Ottawa, when he also had a hat trick.

"He had the best month of his career so far," Leafs coach Ron Wilson told reporters after Tuesday's practice. "He's been consistent in the 11 games he's played. Lots of shots and doing things that I haven't seen him do before like play hard in our zone, get pucks out, get in hard on the forecheck. I guess I should say I expect him to play the same in November. We'll see."

Kessel's torrid start has helped the Maple Leafs jump to the early lead in the Northeast Division with a 7-3-1 record. Their 15 points are one better than the streaking Senators, who have won six straight games.

"It's all about winning here," Kessel said. "We're here to do whatever we can to win, and right now it's working out. We have to keep it going. You can't just have one good month in this League."

Lehtonen has been the difference-maker in Dallas, helping the Stars tie Pittsburgh for the most wins in the League with eight. Lehtonen is responsible for all of them, while his goals-against average (1.75) is fourth in the NHL and his save percentage (.947) is tied for second with Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick.

Lehtonen has allowed more than two goals in a game only once through his first nine starts. The Stars have 16 points (8-3-0) to lead the Pacific Division.

Khabibulin, who won just 10 times in 47 games last season, has helped the Oilers get out to one of the NHL's most surprising starts. He has a 5-0-2 record and leads the League with a 1.12 GAA and .960 save percentage. He has not allowed more than two goals in any of his seven starts, and Edmonton leads the Northwest Division with 16 points (7-2-2).

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
RECENT NHL TRADES
Player/s Team Team Player/s
Jokinen
MORE
Lindstrom,
2016 pick
Wisniewski,
2015 pick

MORE
Bourque,
Karlsson,
2015 pick
Zidlicky
MORE
Cond. pick
Petry
MORE
2015 picks
Yandle, Summers, 2015 pick
MORE
Moore,
Duclair,
picks
View all trades
Quote of the Day

I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.

— Rangers general manager Glen Sather after being asked if he's constructed a team that can win the Stanley Cup before their 4-1 win against the Predators on Monday
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series GigaPixel