NEW YORK (March 22, 2004) -- Toronto defenceman Brian Leetch, who tallied seven points (two goals, five assists) and a +5 rating as the Maple Leafs won three of four games, has been named the NHL's Offensive Player of the Week for the period ending Sunday, March 21. New York Islanders defenceman Adrian Aucoin, who topped all players with a +7 rating, averaged more than 27 minutes per game and had two goals and two assists as the Islanders won three of four, has been named Defensive Player of the Week.
| Leetch had seven points last week.
(D. Sandford/Getty Images/NHLI)
Buffalo Sabres left wing Jochen Hecht (4-4--8 in four games), Atlanta Thrashers defenceman Andy Sutton (5-1--6 in four games) and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim centre Sergei Fedorov (4-2--6 in four games) were runners-up for offensive honors, while Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro (3-0-0, 1.64 goals-against average, one shutout) and Dallas Stars goaltender Marty Turco (2-0-1, 1.30 goals-against average, one shutout) were runners-up for the defensive award.
Leetch tallied three assists and a +2 rating in Toronto's 6-5 comeback victory at Buffalo March 15, had an assist in a 2-1 loss to Boston March 16 and figured in each Maple Leafs goal in a 3-2 victory at Philadelphia March 18.
Leetch increased his points total to 15-32--47, sixth among NHL defencemen. Since being acquired by Toronto in a trade with the New York Rangers on March 3, Leetch has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and a +4 rating in nine games. The Maple Leafs (41-23-9-3, 94 points) trail the Boston Bruins by one point and lead the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens by one and four points, respectively, in the four-way race for the Northeast Division title.
Aucoin logged 28:18 of ice time and posted a +1 rating in a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning March 16, the first of two triumphs over the Eastern Conference leaders, and had a goal, an assist and a +2 rating in 27:41 of ice time in a 6-4 loss at Florida March 17. Aucoin was +2 in 28:40 of a 3-1 victory over Minnesota March 18 and posted his third consecutive +2 game in a 3-0 blanking of the Lightning March 21.
Aucoin improved his season plus-minus rating to +28, jumping from 14th to fifth place in the overall Bud Light Plus-Minus standings. The Islanders (34-27-10-4, 82 points) hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, six points ahead of the Buffalo Sabres.