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Sick Hands Sunday – Granland Seals His First Hat-Trick and “SHS” Trophy.

Hey everyone, I’m back again for a new week of Sick Hands Sunday! I can’t wait to get another version out to all my fans for you all to enjoy! This week was a little tough to pick the winner because there was three players tied for six points this week and 16 players tied for five points! I can finally post another one after not having one last week since it was the All-Star break. So let’s jump right into this madness, shall we?

Grunland calmly celebrates his third goal of the game (Darry Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

So like I said above this week was tough to pick the winner because there were three guys who finished with six points on the week. Mikael Granlund of the Minnesota Wild who tallied six points with three goals and three assists in three games played, Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins who recorded six points with two goals and four assists in three games, and Bruins’ David Pastrnak who also finished with six points with two goals and four assists in three games. So as you can tell, they were all basically evenly matched and it was super tough to pick a top performer! In the end, I decided to go with Wild forward Granlund mainly because he tallied a hat trick this week so that set him above the other two guys!

In Granlund’s first game of the week, they faced the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton. Granlund finished with just an assist in a comfortable 5-2 win. But this assist was more than an ordinary assist, it was one of the better assists I have seen in a long time and I am not overreacting one bit! He carried the puck down the right-hand dot and as soon as he got to the bottom of the circle fired a sweet all most no-look backhand pass across the slot to the stick of teammate Tyler Graovac. He had a wide open net to put the puck home and did just that to stretch their lead to 4-1. You can see the nice assist below:

In his second game of the week, they didn’t have to travel very far as they took on the Calgary Flames. Grundland once again only finished with an assist in an awful 5-1 loss, but like last night his assist was just as beautiful. Granlund drove down the right-hand circle again, shifted the puck from his forehand to his backhand and went to the bottom of the circle. As soon as he got to the bottom of the circle he fired another mesmerizing backhand pass right to the slot to driving teammate Jason Zucker. All Zucker had to do was redirect the puck onto goal from about a couple feet out and he did just that to cut the Flames lead to 2-1. Here is his awesome pass below:

In Granlund’s last game of the week, they continued their Canadian road trip as they took on the Vancouver Canucks. Granlund caught fire this game and went off for a total of four points including a hat-trick and another assist in an easy 6-3 win. For Granlund’s first goal of the game, he was in the right spot at the right time and where every goal scorer should be, the front of the net. He waited for the rebound to squeak out from under Canucks goalie Ryan Miller and beat the defenders to the rebound and swiped home the puck to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Wild.

His second goal of the game came short-handed and was a beauty. Granlund carried the puck into the offensive zone and over the blueline and stickhandled the puck as he was set to shoot as he glided into the slot. He then let a wicked wrist shot go that beat Ryan Miller under the glove to push their lead to 3-1. It set a new career high for him in goals! You can see the goal down below:

The next goal he was involved in was the Wild’s 5th overall of the game and Granlund made the play happen all by himself and I mean it. He carried the puck down the right-hand side and into the offensive zone. He then faked a shot and moved into the slot making it seem to everyone in the arena as if he was going to put a shot on net. Well, Granlund had other plans and saw Wild captain Mikko Koivu all open at the side of the net to Miller’s left on the goal line.rifled a pass down to Koivu who one-timed the puck into the wide open net to make the score 5-2. Here is the beauty pass:

For his final goal of the game and to complete the hat-trick this goal took some skill! Granlund came into the zone already trailing the play with the puck in the corner. He did what any well-known goal scorer would do and went right to the front of the net. Well, it was his night and his luck that Zucker was able to finesse the puck into the slot where Granlund was standing and he literally poked the puck home to finish off the hat-trick with a brilliant goal. Here is the awesome goal down below:

Budaj makes one of his 17 saves in the shutout win vs Philly (Derik Hamilton, AP)

For the goalie portion of the article, I decided to go with Los Angles Kings’ tendy Peter Budaj who was on point in all three of his games this week! Budaj went 3-0 this past week in all three games he started with an amazing .972 SV5 and a whopping .66 GAA including two back to back shutouts against Colorado and  Philadelphia. He stopped all 69 of the 71 shots faced during the week only giving up two goals which is completely insane! I mean seriously, Budaj who would have spent probably the whole year down in the minors if not for Jonathan Quick‘s injury. If Budaj keeps this level of play up and keeps shutting the door game after game the Kings will be in for a real treat and a decent playoff run in my opinion!

The Honorable Mentions of the week go to Brad Marchand and Cam Ward. I will see you guys next Sunday for another recap of the best player of the week! (Thanks to the Minnesota Wild’s Twitter for the videos of the goals!)


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