At the conclusion of the Olympic hockey tournament at Canada Hockey Place on Sunday afternoon it was a time to unveil the three stars.
Instead of announcing the three stars of the gold medal game we’ll take a look at the three stars of the entire tournament.
With the third star is the most outstanding defenceman of the tournament, American Brian Rafalski. The 37-year-old Detroit Red Wing led all defenceman with eight points, four goals and four assists in six games. Not only did Rafalski provide an offensive spark for the Americans he also was a strong presence on the blue-line, posting a +7 plus/minus rating, good enough for third best in the tournament.
Canadian Jonathan Toews , would take home the second star being named the most outstanding forward of the tournament. Toews came a long way from the pre-Olympic summer camp where he was regarded as the 13th forward in the mix. He proved to be much better than that, leading the tournament in assists with seven while posting a crucial goal in the gold medal game, giving him eight points in the tournament. His plus/minus rating of +9 was tops in the tournament and the 22-year-old Chicago Blackhawk showed why he was the right selection by Coach Mike Babcock and GM Steve Yzerman.
Finally, claiming the first star has been the most talked about individual of these Games, goaltender Ryan Miller of the United States. Despite allowing three goals in the gold medal game Miller has been nothing short of spectacular in the Games, posting an impressive 1.35 goals-against average. Miller also led the tournament in save percentage, stopping 94.56% of shots faced. The Buffalo Sabres net-minder was awarded the MVP as well as the most outstanding goaltender of the tournament.
Honourable mention goes to a pair of teammates from Slovakia. Forwards Marian Hossa and Pavol Demitra provided the Slovaks with phenomenal play, producing nine and ten points respectively. The two NHL all-stars were one and two in the total points leader standings in six games on way to their fourth place finish.
Leading the tournament in goals against average was Sweedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, just a shade below Miller with a 1.34 GAA. Lundqvist’s save percentage of 92.73% was good enough for fourth in the tournament, but a shocking upset to Slovakia in the quarter-finals robbed Lundqvist an opportunity to play for a medal.