As we say goodbye to November for another year, we also say goodbye to another month of NHL action. December rolls around with teams trying to string some wins along before the Christmas break, and trying to end 2019 on a high note. Speaking of ending on a high note, there were tons of players in the NHL that not only ended November on hot streaks, but were hot over the course of the entire month. It was hard to pick just three players who stood out more than the rest, but in the end, the Three Stars of November were chosen based on stats, hot streaks, and standout performances. Here are GCSN’s Three Stars of November.
Third Star – David Pastrnak
David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins is the only player from this month’s list to also appear in the Three Stars of October. And with the stats he has put up, it’s hard to ignore why that is. Pastrnak has been arguably one of the best and most consistent players in the league this season, proving that his play in October was not a fluke. Posting an incredible 25 goals over the first two months of the season, Pastrnak is on pace for an outrageous 76 goals, the first time any player has scored that many since the 1992-93 season. Looking at his November stats, the numbers he has put up proves why he deserves to be taken seriously as an elite player in the NHL. Pastrnak followed up his 13 goals in October by scoring 12 goals in 14 Bruins games in November, putting him among the most consistent goal scorers in the league this season. Of the 12 goals, Pastrnak scored 5 of them on the power play, and 3 of them were game winning goals. Pastrnak also posted 5 assists this month, for a total of 17 points in 14 games, good enough for Third Star of the month.
Second Star – Nathan MacKinnon
The superstar centreman of the Colorado Avalanche had himself quite the month. Nathan MacKinnon went on an absolute surge, posting an incredible 25 points in the Avalanche’s fourteen November games. In 5 of these 14 games, MacKinnon posted three points or more, including three 4-point nights. Leading the Avalanche with 42 points on the year, MacKinnon recorded a +7 rating during the course of the month, and is currently riding a seven game point streak. In fact, MacKinnon has failed to record a point in just 4 of the Avalanche’s 26 games so far. After MacKinnon’s linemates Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen got knocked out of the lineup due to injuries, MacKinnon was forced to step up and keep his team afloat in a tight Central Division. He did a fine job, keeping the Avalanche in a top three position in the division as Rantanen recently returned from injury, and Landeskog isn’t too far away from returning. Once the Avs’ top line gets reunited, they might just begin to separate themselves from the pack.
First Star – Connor McDavid
If you take a look at the leaders in all the offensive categories in the NHL, you’ll find Connor McDavid’s name in the top three of almost all of them. Currently leading the league in points and assists, and third in the league in goals and power play goals, it’s very difficult to make an argument against why McDavid was named the First Star of the month. Looking at his November stats, the Oilers’ captain tore apart the stat sheets, recording an 11-game point streak over the course of 14 Oilers games in November. He recorded 26 points, including a career-best six point night against Colorado, which was the first time a player scored six points in one game since Johnny Gaudreau did it last season and Jamie Benn in 2014. Of the 26 points, he split right down the middle with 13 goals and 13 assists. McDavid was brilliant on the power play, scoring 6 goals and 11 points on the man advantage during November. All this production from the Oilers’ superstar centreman pushed him to 51 points on the year so far, the best in the NHL. It’s this type of production that earned Connor McDavid first star honours for the month of November.
All three players featured in the Three Stars of November currently play on teams that are among the best in the league. Pastrnak’s Bruins, MacKinnon’s Avalanche and McDavid’s Oilers have all made valiant cases for themselves as to why they deserve to be where they are in the standings. Whether or not these teams stay hot over the month of December will greatly depend on the play of these three players. It will definitely be interesting to see what the standings look like at Christmas!
Featured photo courtesy of allhabs.net
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