NEW YORK - Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane and registered nurse Qudus Rabiu (Discover NHL Central Division), San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture and medical assistant Martha Godinez (Honda NHL West Division), Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak and director of community engagement Cathy Draine (MassMutual NHL East Division), and Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and infection prevention and control director Natasha Salt (Scotia NHL North Division) have been named the NHL's "Stars of the Month" for February.
Throughout the 2020-21 season the NHL is celebrating the remarkable efforts of the off-ice stars who make it possible for us to play our games amid a pandemic by honoring frontline heroes from the regions represented by the League's weekly and monthly "Stars."
More on each frontline hero and NHL player can be found below:
DISCOVER NHL CENTRAL DIVISION - QUDUS RABIU AND PATRICK KANE
Rabiu works as a registered nurse at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, where he has helped convert the orthopedic floor into a COVID-19 response unit. He has been training new nurses throughout the pandemic, providing mentorship and support during an unsettling time that has caused extra stressors due to increased demands on the system. "It has been an honor being on the front lines and caring for others during these trying times," Rabiu says. "I encourage everyone to continue washing their hands and wearing a facial mask regularly, so we can come back into United Center and cheer our Blackhawks on!"
Kane led the NHL with 17 assists and 24 points in 13 games (7-17-24) to power the Blackhawks (12-7-4, 28 points) to a 9-3-1 February. Kane, who paced all forwards in average time on ice during the month (22:51), found the scoresheet in 10 of his 13 appearances, including a pair of four-point performances (Feb. 4 vs. CAR: 1-3-4 and Feb. 23 at CBJ: 1-3-4) as well as a trio of three-point outings (Feb. 11 vs. CBJ: 1-2-3, Feb. 19 at CAR: 1-2-3 and Feb. 28 vs. DET: 1-2-3). He capped by the month by scoring his 400th NHL goal Feb. 28 vs. DET, becoming the 100th player in League history - and ninth born in the U.S. - to reach the milestone. The 32-year-old Buffalo, N.Y., native - who sits four appearances shy of the 1,000-game plateau - ranks second in the NHL with 11-23-34 in 23 total contests this season.
HONDA NHL WEST DIVISION - MARTHA GODINEZ AND LOGAN COUTURE
Godinez, a medical assistant at a local San Jose hospital, has been working around the clock to fight the spread of COVID-19 while providing a positive attitude for patients both virtually and in-person. A single mother of two, Godinez put herself through school and now is helping to do the same for her children - all while juggling her professional and personal responsibilities during an unprecedented healthcare crisis. Godinez, who also is a Sharks season-ticket holder, may have had a tough beginning, but has fought against the odds to provide a caring and comfortable environment for both her patients and children.
Couture shared fourth place in the NHL with eight goals - all at even strength (t-1st) - and tied for the division lead with 12 points in 10 appearances (8-4-12) as the Sharks (8-9-2, 18 points) went 4-4-2 in February. He collected points in eight of his 10 outings, including goals in seven of those contests as well as a pair of game-winning tallies: Feb. 15 vs. ANA (1-1-2) and Feb. 20 at STL (2-0-2). Couture added two other multi-point efforts: Feb. 9 at LAK (1-1-2) and Feb. 27 vs. STL (1-1-2). The 31-year-old Guelph, Ont., native - who accounted for 27.6 percent of San Jose's goals in February (8 of 29) - has posted a team-leading 11-8-19 in 19 games this season. His 11 goals are tied for the most in the Honda NHL West Division, along with Los Angeles' Dustin Brown (11-6-17 in 20 GP).
MASSMUTUAL NHL EAST DIVISION - CATHY DRAINE AND DAVID PASTRNAK
Draine serves as the director of community engagement for the State Police Association of Massachusetts. A tireless advocate for improving the lives of others, she has spearheaded several projects during the COVID-19 pandemic including "Workout with a Trooper," a program aimed at helping children stay physically fit while safely sheltering in place, and "Chat with a Trooper," an initiative that allows senior citizens to engage in friendly conversations with volunteer troopers. Draine also organized "United We Rise," which saw more than 350 sets of masks, sanitizers and food boxes delivered to families living in affordable housing.
Pastrnak tied for second in the NHL with nine goals and collected a division-leading 17 points in 11 games (9-8-17) to help the Bruins (12-5-2, 26 points) go 7-4-0 in February. He posted six multi-point performances, highlighted by hat tricks Feb. 3 at PHI (3-1-4) and Feb. 21 vs. PHI in the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe (3-0-3). The former served as both Pastrnak's ninth career hat trick and four-point performance, while the latter marked the second hat trick in outdoor NHL game history (also Tyler Toffoli : 2020 Stadium Series). The 24-year-old Havirov, Czech Republic, native and reigning Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy co-winner - who played in his 400th NHL game on Feb. 25 at NYI - has registered 9-9-18 in 12 appearances this season and 189-208-397 through 402 career NHL contests.
SCOTIA NHL NORTH DIVISION - NATASHA SALT AND AUSTON MATTHEWS
Salt has worked as the infection prevention and control director of Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital for the past five years. She monitors, tracks and reviews all protocols, outbreaks and processes, which means being in all units at all sites despite the increased risk of infection. Her leadership, resilience and calm demeanor have been critical in Sunnybrook's fight over the past year to keep patients and staff safe. In addition to her role at the hospital, Salt has dedicated herself to a local long-term care facility that had a significant COVID-19 outbreak during the pandemic, and even moved her office to the home to provide extra support.
Matthews led the NHL with 12 goals - three more than the next-closest players - and placed second with 21 points in 11 games (12‑9-21) to propel the Maple Leafs (17-4-2, 36 points) to a 9-2-1 February and the top of the League standings. He found the scoresheet in all but one of his 11 appearances, highlighted by consecutive four-point outings Feb. 18 vs. OTT (2-2-4) and Feb. 20 at MTL (2-2-4). Matthews added three other multi-goal performances, including a three-point effort Feb. 15 vs. OTT (2-1-3), as well as the winning tallies Feb. 6 vs. VAN, Feb. 8 vs. VAN and Feb. 20 at MTL. The 23-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., native paces the NHL with 18 goals through 20 games this season (18-13-31) and ranks second with 176 career tallies in 302 contests since making his League debut in 2016-17 (176-140-316).