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 hottest scorers and a goaltender who's helping to carry his team to the first playoff berth in franchise history.
Carolina center Eric Staal was a one-man wrecking crew against Tampa Bay, becoming the second player this season to get four goals in a game and adding two assists for a six-point night in a 9-3 victory.
"That's one of those games that don't happen very often," said Staal, who finished with eight points for the week. "It was a good win for our team, which was the bottom line. But it's fun getting points and being on the offensive side of the game. I've been on the other end of it before."
The Columbus Blue Jackets have been "on the other side of it" for most of their existence. The Jackets have never made the playoffs -- but that could change thanks to the play of rookie netminder Steve Mason.
Mason continued to build his case for the Calder Trophy last week, 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 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."
It's been an up-and-down season for the Ottawa Senators and their captain, Daniel Alfredsson, but they've both been on a good run in recent weeks. Alfredsson had three goals and four points in four games last week as the Senators won the last three games of a homestand before losing in Boston. His first of two goals on March 7 was the 350th of his career.
"That's unbelievable," said teammate Nick Foligno, son of 355-goal scorer Mike Foligno. "That's a lot of goals and obviously it's a nice tribute to how good of a player he is and how hard he's worked in this league and, hopefully, he gets many more."
Last week's winner, Martin Brodeur, saw his 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."