The Florida Panthers are still the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss after three weeks. At 6-0-2 record, it seems like nothing can halt the Panthers’ push to the playoffs in 2021, especially with these three guys on the ice.
Here are the Panthers’ three stars of the Week 3.
1st Star: C Aleksander Barkov (2G, 2A)
In this series, I take a look at the rosters’ overall performance. Yes, Jonathan Huberdeau recorded a hat trick in the first game of the week, but Florida captain Aleksander Barkov was heavily active in both games, and that is why he notched the 1st Star of Week 3. One big part of the Panthers’ success to start the season is the new guys with new lines. With Duclair and Verhaeghe’s aggressiveness matching greatly with Barkov’s skill and composure, it’s a perfect line. Thus, Barkov is able to earn a ridiculous amount of points as the usual finisher to a heavy shift.
2nd Star: LW Jonathan Huberdeau (3G, 2A)
Although not a lot happened in game two, Huberdeau’s first career hat trick was worthy enough to earn him the second star of the week. There shouldn’t be any doubt that Huberdeau is the fan-favorite amongst Panther fans. His performance in game one with Nashville may have just secured that title. With no points in game two, Huberdeau still put two shots on goal for Florida, which had to tire Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne slightly.
You never know what Huberdeau will show up to the rink with, and he’s shaping up to be one of the more elite left wingers in the NHL.
3rd Star: G Chris Driedger (1.00GAA, .960SV%)
When needed most, backup goalie Chris Driedger came in to save the day on a redemption night for the Panthers. Although the game started off shaky, Driedger was able to recoup and remain perfect after a slight blemish.
Not only did Driedger perform well in his only game in Week 3, but he’s also having a spectacular start to the 2021 season, posting a 1.72 GAA — fourth-best among all goalies — and a .942 Save Percentage — fourth-best among all goalies.