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Lightning Round: Victor Hedman named NHL’s second star of the week

The Big Swede had a heck of a week

St. Louis Blues v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Victor Hedman had himself a week. The Tampa Bay Lightning played four times and the Big Swede picked up points in all four. All in all he had 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) with two 3 point games. All of that production led to the NHL naming him the second star of the week. Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida Panthers) was the first star with his 9 points (1 goal, 8 assists) while Jake Guentzel (Pittsburgh Penguins) was the third star banging home 5 goals.

It’s the second time Hedman has earned Star of the Week honors having earned the number one star for the week ending on December 29, 2019. He’s also the third member of the Lightning to win the award this season following Steven Stamkos (third star, October 17th) and Alex Killorn (third star, October 31).

The productive week highlights Hedman’s reemergence as one of the top point producers from the blueline. After seeing his totals and rates dip last season, the 30-year-old defender is back on his game. His 26 points is tops among NHL defenseman as is his 21 assists. He’s also leading the way when it comes to even strength points so it’s not like he’s leaning on the power play.

The gaudy offensive numbers will garner some more Norris trophy talk because, well, the NHL decision makers still equate a lot of points with “good defense”. While Hedman has been alright in his own zone, it’s not like he’s a lockdown defender. He takes too many chances offensively (which is a good thing) to ever be considered the best defensive defensemen.

That’s not what the Lightning want him to do. They don’t want him hanging out in his own zone blocking shots and throwing hits. That’s what Erik Cernak is for. Hedman needs to be down where the action is, even if that leads to the occasional odd skater rush the other way. His offense outweighs any defensive lapses (not that there are many) that may occur over the course of the game.

He’s been getting better as the season has wore on, an indication that he’s betting stronger after off-season surgery for a torn meniscus in his knee, an issue that he dealt with for a large portion of last season. This offense is just so much better when he’s operating at the top of his game.

Lightning / NHL News

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