This is the second week for our three stars segment and this time you the readers made the selection. In a poll that ran for Sunday only, we began with six InGoal suggestions, received two write in votes from readers and after a pile of Twitter and blogging campaigning by fans are now able to reveal our winners for the week between Oct. 10 and 17! Would Tomas Vokoun’s back-to-back shutouts, including one over state rival Tampa Bay and a potent Lightning attack be enough to top the list …
1. First Star: Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capitals. Taking full advantage of the early season injury to expected No.1 Semyon Varlamov, the 22-year-old Neuvirth was a perfect 3-0 in three starts last week, allowing just five goals in wins over Ottawa, the New York Islanders, and Nashville. After splitting decisions the week before, Neuvirth posted a .947 save percentage in the three victories.
2. Second Star: Anders Lindback, Nashville Predators. Another 22-year-old rookie, Lindback’s only loss in his first week as an NHL starter was in overtime to Neuvirth and the offensively dynamic Capitals. The 6-foot-6 Swede took over after Nashville’s 6-foot-5 No.1, Pekka Rinne, was injured in a crease collision in the season opener – and yes, the Predators do have almost 13 feet of goalie tandem this season – and stopped 23 of 25 in a win over rival Chicago, and 32 of 35 to beat St. Louis, before stopping 31 in a 3-2 OT loss in Washington. His exploits (and a .921 save percentage) have even led to a twitter campaign by Predators fans to nickname Lindback “Anders the Giant.”
3. Third Star: Tomas Vokoun, Florida Panthers. Competition must be tough when consecutive shutouts aren’t enough to get you to the top of this list. Vokoun certainly deserves the recognition, if not for blanking Calgary’s pop-gun attack with 27 saves, then certainly for a 29-stop whitewashing of in-state rival Tampa Bay, a team that knows how to score. After giving up three goals on 13 shots in a season-opening loss in Edmonton, Vokoun bounced back to post a .952 save percentage overall.
Final Poll Results
3 Stars for October 18
- Michal Neuvirth, 3 wins, .946 (write in!) (37%, 90 Votes)
- Anders Lindback: 2-0-1 in NHL debut (29%, 71 Votes)
- Tomas Vokoun: back-to-back blanks (9%, 23 Votes)
- Brent Johnson: 3 wins ahead of Fleury (7%, 17 Votes)
- Jonathan Quick: Retro out, 2 wins in (6%, 15 Votes)
- Kari Lehtonen: Dallas atop the West? (5%, 12 Votes)
- Dwayne Roloson: 41-year-old has .929 (4%, 9 Votes)
- Carey Price (write in!) (3%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 245
Thanks to Janet Wamsley for the Neuvy photo