In what seemed like a snub that Nathan MacKinnon wasn’t named star of the week for his seven-point performance in the two games he played last week, was the NHL just reserving bigger honors for the Colorado Avalanche superstar. With 26 points in 12 games, including 12 goals and at least a point in every game, the league couldn’t deny who has been the best player. This Star of the Month honor is his second consecutive as MacKinnon was also December’s first star.
⭐️ Nathan MacKinnon (12-14—26) earned "First Star" honors for the second straight month after leading the NHL in scoring and extending his season-opening home point streak to 25 games – matching the second-longest run in League history. #NHLStats: https://t.co/XlCty4iV77 pic.twitter.com/CwXlzTJ8IU— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 1, 2024
It's quite poetic that Avalanche prospect Calum Ritchie was also named league player of the month for his play in the OHL, also with 26 points including nine goals and 17 assists over that span of 13 January games.
Here are some highlights of Ritchie’s best work which has led to this well-deserved honor. Note the slick passing and a nose for the net with good hands in tight.
#OHL Player of the Month Calum Ritchie featured five different January showings with at least three points, contributing to the league’s fourth-best points-per-game mark of 1.68 so far this season @Oshawa_Generals | @Avalanche | #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/xMah31nUBK— Ontario Hockey League (@OHLHockey) February 1, 2024
The NHL All-Star festivities have kicked off with the drafting of the All-Star teams. Despite not being in attendance yet, Sidney Crosby was Naturally MacKinnon’s first pick. Then Avalanche teammate and netminder Alexandar Georgiev was chosen. Ending up with Elias Lindholm because his new Vancouver Canucks teammates didn’t pick him for Team Hughes was another interesting outcome.
In the Skills Competition challenge for a million-dollar prize both MacKinnon and Makar have been assigned their preliminary events. If they score high enough in these, each will be eligible to compete in the final two competitions for the grand prize. The competition kicks off at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN and Sportsnet.
Makar will be in the Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Passing Challenge, and Accuracy Shooting events. MacKinnon will join him in Passing Challenge and Accuracy Shooting but will also participate in One Timers and Stickhandling. More info can be found at Puck Yeti.