NHL ‘First Stars’ of the Week: Red Wings’ Thomas Greiss, Frontline Healthcare Hero Joanne MacDonald

Oilers’ McDavid, Islanders’ Varlamov Round Out ‘Three Stars’

NEW YORK (May 3, 2021) – Detroit Red Wings goaltender Thomas Greiss and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System regional director of pharmacy Joanne MacDonald have been named the NHL’s “First Stars” for the week ending May 2.

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.”

MacDonald serves as a pharmacy leader within the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, overseeing five hospitals and providing support to more than 100 colleagues across the southeast Michigan region – including hospital and retail pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and clinical dietitians. MacDonald’s team, which is responsible for preparing and coordinating the distribution of medications and vaccinations to patients across the healthcare continuum, ensures that colleagues have the resources they need and clear processes in place to deliver safe, high-quality care to patients.

Throughout the past year, MacDonald has worked to implement elevated safety standards that have prevented the spread of COVID-19 within clinical care areas. Additionally, she has assisted in the planning, coordination and deployment of clinics throughout southeast Michigan, which began administering coronavirus vaccines to health system colleagues and the community in December 2020.

Whether it’s early mornings, late evenings or weekends, you often will find MacDonald staffing vaccination clinics, providing inspiration and leadership to her team. She is the healthcare hero behind the scenes that most patients never will have the benefit of meeting, but those who work beside her see the many contributions MacDonald has made and the countless lives she has benefited.

Rounding out the “Three Stars” of the week are Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov.More on each NHL player’s performance can be found below:


Greiss stopped all 66 shots he faced across 130:00 of regulation and overtime – and made an additional six saves in shootouts – to earn two shutouts along with a 1-0-1 record for the Red Wings (18-27-9, 45 points). He turned aside 33 shots through overtime, and denied one of the three attempts he saw in the shootout, in a 1-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets April 27. Greiss then registered his second straight shutout – and the 15th of his career – with another 33 saves, plus five more in the shootout, in a 1-0 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning May 1. It marked the third time that Greiss has posted consecutive shutouts during his NHL career (also Jan. 16-19, 2017, and Jan. 18 – Feb. 1, 2019, both w/ NYI) and the first time a Detroit goaltender has accomplished the feat since Jan. 14-22, 2018 (Petr Mrazek). The 35-year-old Fussen, Germany, native has appeared in 33 total games this season (his first with the Red Wings), compiling a 7-15-8 record, 2.73 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and two shutouts.


McDavid topped the NHL with 4-6—10 and a +6 rating (tied) in four contests to lift the Oilers (30-17-2, 62 points) to a 3-1-0 week and into second place in the Scotia NHL North Division. He recorded seven points across a pair of games against the Winnipeg Jets, posting 3‑1—4 (including his third hat trick and 10th game-winning goal of the campaign) in a 6-1 victory April 26 and assisting on all three Edmonton goals in a 3-1 triumph April 28. McDavid was held off the scoresheet in a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames April 29, but rebounded with 1-2—3 in the 10th and final installment of the Battle of Alberta this season – a 4-1 win May 1. The 24-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont., native and two-time Art Ross Trophy winner leads the NHL with 29-58—87 in 49 total outings this season, 16 points more than the next-closest player (teammate Leon Draisaitl: 24-47—71).


Varlamov turned aside all 53 shots he faced across a pair of games – both against the New York Rangers – to collect two shutouts and help the Islanders (31-15-5, 67 points) clinch their third straight playoff berth. He made 25 saves in a 4-0 triumph April 29, followed by 28 stops for his fourth shutout against the Rangers this season in a 3-0 win May 1. The latter performance extended Varlamov’s shutout streak to 213:56 (dating to April 20), eclipsing the franchise record set by Glenn Resch in 1975-76 (178:29). The 33-year-old Samara, Russia, native has played in 33 total games this season, leading the League with seven shutouts while also ranking among the top netminders in goals-against average (5th; 1.99), save percentage (5th; .930) and wins (t‑6th; 19).


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