Brian Fluharty - USA TODAY Sports

EP Rinkside 3 Stars for Week 9 of the NHL Season

Hey, it's the end of the ninth week of the NHL regular season, and all eyes are on the future.

We aren't quite at the point in the season that arrives around the All-Star break, where everything feels perfunctory because teams are in the 45-to-50-games-played area, meaning it's pretty obvious that most teams are either in or out of the playoffs and there won't be a really meaningful game played until, say, mid-March.

Obviously, in an Olympic year things feel a little different, but there's now plenty of question as to whether this will even be an Olympic year. It's all a holding pattern, but the NHL has basically communicated that it won't stand in the way if players want to go. They might also feel like they want to be proactive about passing along some info about infection rates and quarantine rules in Beijing, but they won't stop a player from going. They're gonna let the situation do that for them. And early returns indicate it might.

In the meantime, we still have to figure out who won the week.

Let's go:

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NHL Arizona Coyotes Philadelphia Flyers Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Erik Cernak Anthony Cirelli Ryan Ellis Joel Farabee Claude Giroux Carter Hart Victor Hedman Nikita Kucherov Ondrej Palat Corey Perry Brayden Point Steven Stamkos Gary Bettman Chuck Fletcher Mike Yeo
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