This week I'm going to try something new with the All-NHL team of the week. Instead of picking three forwards, two defensemen, and a goalie, I'm going to change up the format to more of a power ranking style. I won't just be choosing the three best forwards, I'll be choosing the three best left wings, right wings, and centers ranked 1-to-3. There will be four defensemen chosen ranked 1-to-4 and two goalies selected. The new format brings a wider scope of the week's action and allows for more players to be recognized. I also think this format makes the All-NHL team a little more fun because at the end you've got three lines, two defense pairings, and two goalies or in other words a close resemblance of an NHL team. There will still be, however, a poll for the extra-attacker or player you feel has been snubbed from the list. I will not waste any more time with explanation and just get started. I hope you enjoy the new format.
1. Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche: 3G-3A-6P in 3GP, 1 GWG
The Av's captain gets the nod for the top left wing spot by playing a huge role in leading Colorado to three straight wins this week. Landeskog factored in on all three goals in a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh picking up assists on the first two goals scored and netting an insurance goal in the third period. The Avalanche shutout the Blue Jackets 4-0 in their next game with Landeskog scoring a power-play goal. Finally, in a much anticipated road matchup against the Minnesota Wild, Landeskog potted what would be the game-winning goal just 1:19 into the third period on the power play.
2. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals: 3G-1A-4P in 2GP, 1 GWG
Can anyone stop the great 8? The NHL's leading scorer with 44 goals on the year found the back of the net twice against the Blue Jackets, scoring the opening goal and the game-winner, in a 5-3 win. Then the Capitals exploded for six goals as they took down the Sabres 6-1 with Ovie adding a goal and an assist.
3. Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins: 4G-0A-4P in 3GP, 1 GWG
Although Marchand is known primarily for his agitating prowess, the pesky Bruins winger also possesses a scoring touch that shouldn't be overlooked. The B's dropped their first game this week 4-3 in a shootout to the Flames but Marchand registered a first period power-play goal in the loss. No. 63 played the hero for Boston in a 3-2 OT win against the rival Philadelphia Flyers. With 15 seconds left in regulation Marchand found the equalizer for the Bruins to force overtime and then in OT he was able to sneak a backhand shot past Steve Mason for the game-winner. Marchand's fourth and final goal of the week was an unassisted shorthanded goal in the first period of a 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
1. Jiri Hudler, Calgary Flames: 4G-4A-8P in 4GP, 2 GWG
Hudler is undoubtedly the top center this week recording four straight multi-point games along with two game-winning goals for Calgary. The Flames defeated the Flyers 3-2 in OT in their first game with Hudler recording an assist and scoring the OT winner. Then the Flames beat Boston 4-3 in a shootout with Hudler contributing a goal and an assist. Calgary stayed hot beating Detroit 5-2 in its next game and Hudler couldn't be cooled off either recording two goals in the game. The Flames nearly pulled off an incredible comeback win over the Senators in their last game of the week scoring four times in the third period, but Ottawa ultimately prevailed in OT 5-4. Hudler still picked up two assists in the loss for his seventh and eighth points of the week.
2. John Tavares, New York Islanders: 2G-3A-5P in 3GP
Tavares was held off the score sheet as Dallas beat the Islanders 3-2 in OT in his first game, but JT came back with a strong game, adding a goal and an assist, in a 4-3 win over the Western Conference leading Nashville Predators. The Islanders suffered another tough loss, 4-3 in a shootout to the Panthers, in their final game of the week but Tavares did his part with a hand in all three goals for New York scoring one goal and assisting on the other two.
3. Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames: 3G-2A-5P
With the Flames opposition focusing its attention on stopping Jiri Hudler, Monahan was not so quietly making them pay on the scoreboard as well. The 6th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft scored a goal in the 3-2 OT over the Flyers and added another goal in the win over the Bruins. Monahan was big factor in the Flames 5-2 win against Detroit scoring his third goal in three games and also adding an assist. Monahan's was goal scoring streak was halted at three games as Calgary fell to Ottawa 5-4 in OT but he still managed to register an assist in the game.
1. Radim Vrbata, Vancouver Canucks: 3G-1A-4P in 3GP, 1 GWG
Vrbata has been a consistent producer offensively for Vancouver and looks like a lock to hit the 30 goal mark for the second time in his career this season. The Canucks didn't have the best week record wise going 1-1-1 in three games but that didn't slow down their dependable winger from the Czech Republic. Vancouver lost to San Jose in its first game 6-2 with Vrbata picking up an assist and then the Coyotes stole a 3-2 shootout win in the Canucks next game with Vrbata scoring a goal. However, Vancouver finished the week strong beating the Sharks 3-2 with Vrbata scoring twice including the game-winning goal.
2. Jarome Iginla, Colorado Avalanche: 2G-2A-4P in 3GP, 1 GWG
Iginla continues to show his doubters that even at age 37 he is still a bonafide top-6 player in the NHL. Iginla scored a goal in the Av's 3-1 victory over the Penguins and was credited with the game-winning goal as Colorado shutout Columbus 4-0. Iginla, who always seems play his best games against the Wild, contributed two assists as the Avalanche defeated Minnesota 3-2.
3. Patric Hornqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins: 3G-0A-3P in 3GP, 2 GWG
It can be hard to break out of the shadow of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh, but Hornqvist was Mr. Clutch for the Penguins this week scoring a goal in all three games. Hornqvist got the only Pens goal in a 3-1 loss to Colorado and then went on to score the game-winning goals in a 5-2 win over the Ducks and a 1-0 victory against the Kings in overtime.
1. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning: 2G-2A-4P in 3GP
The towering Lightning defender is putting together another fantastic season for Tampa Bay. Hedman scored a power-play goal as the Bolts shutout Buffalo 3-0 and then picked up an assist in a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs. In Tampa's third and final game of the week, Hedman registered a goal and an assist as the Lightning beat the Stars 5-4.
2. Kris Russell, Calgary Flames: 2G-3A-5P in 4GP
It's probably no surprise to see yet another Flames player and with the week Calgary had it shouldn't be. Russell didn't get on the scoresheet in the Flames 3-2 OT victory against the Flyers but the diminutive defender assisted on two goals in the 4-3 shootout victory against Boston while logging 32:22 TOI. Russell notched another assist as Calgary beat Detroit 5-2 and, saving his best for last, Russell scored two goals in the Flames shootout loss to Ottawa.
3. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks: 1G-2A-3P in 3GP
Vlasic started off the week by adding an assist as the Sharks blanked the Canadiens 4-0 and then scored a goal as San Jose took care of the Canucks 6-2. The Sharks matched up against Vancouver again in their last game of the week but couldn't pull out the victory, losing 3-2. In the loss Vlasic recorded an assist.
4. Andy Greene, New Jersey Devils: 0G-4A-4P in 3GP
Greene registered four assists in three games to help New Jersey to a 2-1-0 record this week. Greene got an assist in the Devils 3-1 defeat of Nashville and also got an assist as the NJ fell to the Blue Jackets 3-2. Finally, Greene added two helpers as the Devils beat Philadelphia 5-2.
1. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche: 3-0, 2GA, and 1 SO
Varlamov stood on his head all week for the Av's. He stopped 28-of-29 shots to backstop Colorado to a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh and then made 44 saves to shutout Columbus 4-0. Finally, Varly made 29 saves, allowing just one goal, as the Avalanche handed the Wild a rare 3-2 loss at the Xcel Energy Center. Unfortunately, Varlamov had to be pulled late in the game against Minnesota as he appeared to be battling through an injury.
2. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks: 2-0-1, 4GA
Crawford came up huge for the Hawks this week and should have been 3-0 on the week if not for a Derick Brassard overtime winner in a 1-0 loss to the Rangers. Crawford began the week making 27 saves to earn a 5-2 victory over Carolina. Crawford then turned in an incredible performance making 46 saves as the Blackhawks defeated the Oilers 2-1. Finally, as mentioned earlier, Crawford stopped 35-of-36 shots in a 1-0 overtime loss to the Rangers.
So with this week's player rankings the All-NHL team for the week of Mar. 2- Mar. 8 looks like this:
Line One: Landeskog-Hudler-Vrbata
Line Two: Ovechkin-Tavares-Iginla
Line Three: Marchand-Monahan-Hornqvist
First Pairing: Hedman-Russell
Second Pairing: Vlasic-Greene
Starting Goalie: Varlamov
As always vote for this week's extra-attacker in the poll below and I hope you enjoyed the new look to the All-NHL team of the week.