Pucks in Depth: NHL Three Stars Of The Month For November
NHL three stars for the month of November
© Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

There was no shortage of stand out performers in November and, today, we’re going to zero in on the three I deemed to be the best of the bunch.

Let’s get to it.

Honorable mentions: Jared Spurgeon, Evgeni Malkin.

3rd star – Connor Hellebuyck – Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets didn’t play well in November. At all. They controlled just 46.09% of the shot attempts (28th), 45.71% of the scoring chances (28th) and 41.10% of the expected goals (31st) at 5v5. Those numbers put the Jets in company with teams like the New Jersey Devils, Detroit Red Wings, and New York Rangers. Not good!

They say goaltending is the great equalizer, though, and no team was a better example of that than the Jets.

Connor Hellebuyck kicked off the month with a 51 save(!) victory in San Jose, where he only conceded two. That was just the beginning of an absolutely incredible run of goaltending.

He appeared in 11 of 14 games for the Jets, who won 10 times in the month and managed a remarkable .944 save percentage. That came along with a ludicrous +11.49 Goals Saved Above Average number, which was also good for 1st.

The Jets wouldn’t be in a playoff spot without Hellebuyck.

2nd star – Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers

McDavid put the league on notice in the month of November, reminding us all that nobody can dominate the way he can when he’s at his best.

McDavid ranked 1st among all players in goals (13), primary points (21) and points (26) while being involved in more than 90% of Edmonton goals he was on for. 

His crazy offensive run helped lead the Oilers to seven wins and points in nine of 14 games. That’s quite an achievement when you consider only the New York Rangers allowed chances at a higher rate than the Oilers in November. 

Edmonton couldn’t play a lick of defense – their goaltending struggled accordingly – and yet they managed to hold onto top spot in the Pacific because McDavid found the scoresheet almost twice each outing.

If his 5v5 numbers were a little better – he only had an even goal differential – he’d be star No. 1.

1st star – Nathan MacKinnon – Colorado Avalanche

Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog were the key notables, of course, but the Avalanche had to deal with an abundance of injuries in November. 

Despite a lack of health, only nine teams won more times than the Avalanche (8) and four of them had the luxury of extra games.

The Avs can thank MacKinnon for that.

He was on for a league-leading 19 goals for at 5v5, and accumulated a point on 17 of them. Nobody bested him in either category. 

Headlined by a ridiculous plus-10 goal differential, MacKinnon’s on-ice numbers were impressive across the board.

While a lot of players would see their performance crater in absence of their best linemates – understandably so – MacKinnon managed to take his game up a notch.

Updated leaderboard:

Note: 3 points = 1st star, 2 points = 2nd star, 1 point = 3rd star

David Pastrnak – 3 points

Nathan MacKinnon – 3 points

Connor McDavid – 2 points

Leon Draisaitl – 2 points

J.T. Miller – 1 point

Connor Hellebuyck – 1 point

Numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com

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