NEW YORK – Montreal Canadiens center Tyler Toffoli and University of Montreal Health Centre (CHUM) respiratory therapist Virginie Hébert have been named the NHL’s “First Stars” for the week ending Jan. 24.
Throughout the 2020-21 season the NHL is celebrating the remarkable efforts of the off-ice stars who make it possible for us to play our games amid a pandemic by honoring frontline healthcare heroes from the regions represented by the League’s weekly and monthly “Stars.”
Hébert has been a respiratory therapist (RT) since 2017, working to maintain, restore or assist airway function for people who have difficulty breathing. During the pandemic, she has distinguished herself by giving additional trainings to colleagues to share the latest protocols and procedures to follow during this critical period, in order to keep patients and staff safe as well as reduce the risk of virus transmission. For the past 10 months, Hébert and her colleagues have been working selflessly, alongside doctors and other healthcare professionals, to help treat and hopefully save coronavirus patients experiencing respiratory distress. Their duties include tracking patients’ oxygen levels, managing their breathing, assisting with intubations and monitoring patients connected to mechanical ventilators, exposing them to the sickest patients and to dangerous aerosolizing procedures. Hébert’s commitment to her practice as well as to her patients have made her an invaluable frontline healthcare hero within CHUM’s respiratory therapy team.
Rounding out the “Three Stars” of the week are Dallas Stars center Joe Pavelski and Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson. More on each NHL player’s performance can be found below:
FIRST STAR – TYLER TOFFOLI, C, MONTREAL CANADIENS
Toffoli led the NHL in goals (5), points (tied; 8) and plus/minus (tied; +6) across four contests to power the Canadiens (4-0-2, 10 points) to a 3-0-1 week, helping Montreal become the second team in League history to record a point in each of its first six games of a season, with each outing taking place on the road. He posted one assist in a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers Jan. 18. Toffoli then found the scoresheet in three straight contests against his former team, the Vancouver Canucks, tallying a hat trick in a 6-5 shootout loss Jan. 20, 2-1-3 in a 7-3 triumph Jan. 21 and one assist in a 5-2 victory Jan. 23. In doing so, Toffoli – who signed with the Canadiens on Oct. 12 – became the first player in League history to score each of his first five goals with a franchise against his previous team. The 28-year-old Scarborough, Ont., native and 2013-14 Stanley Cup winner (w/ LAK) has compiled 150-158-308 in 531 career NHL games with Montreal, Vancouver and the Los Angeles Kings.
SECOND STAR – JOE PAVELSKI, C, DALLAS STARS
Pavelski registered 3-4-7, including a pair of game-winning goals, to guide the Stars (2 0 0, 4 points) to victories in each of their first two contests of 2020-21. He matched the franchise record for points in a season opener, posting 2-2-4 in a 7-0 triumph over the Nashville Predators Jan. 22. Pavelski (1-2-3) then factored on all three Dallas goals in a 3-2 win against Nashville Jan. 24. At 36 years, 197 days, the Plover, Wis., native became the oldest player in NHL history to collect three or more points in each of his team’s first two games of a season, besting the mark set by Rod Gilbert (35 years, 99 days) in 1976-77 with the New York Rangers.
THIRD STAR – JOHN GIBSON, G, ANAHEIM DUCKS
Gibson stopped 95 of the 99 shots he faced, going 2-0-1 with a 1.33 goals-against average, .960 save percentage and one shutout to help the Ducks (2-2-2, 6 points) collect points in three of their four outings (2-1-1). He earned his 20th career shutout with 34 saves in a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wild Jan. 18. Gibson then started each of Anaheim’s two games against the Colorado Avalanche, making 29 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss Jan. 22 and 32 stops in a 3-1 triumph Jan. 24. The 27-year-old Pittsburgh native has appeared in 292 career NHL games, compiling a 141-104-35 record (2.52 GAA, .919 SV%).