Small Wisconsin town names this Friday ‘Joe Pavelski Day’

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Joe Pavelski might not be a marquee name on the U.S. Olympic hockey team on the scale of stars like Patrick Kane, but his Olympic journey is inspiring enough that his hometown of Plover, WI named Friday, Feb. 7 “Joe Pavelski Day.”

It caps off quite a Monday for the San Jose Sharks forward, as the underrated scorer was named the third star of the month of January by the NHL. (Fellow high-scoring American Phil Kessel edged him for second place, by the way.)

Again, Pavelski might not draw the same attention as Kessel or Kane, but the 29-year-old is having a season on par with the country’s best. His 54 points ranks fourth among American skaters and third among players slated for Sochi, as Kyle Okposo didn’t make the cut.

Pavelski was a member of the 2010 Olympic team that earned a silver medal, scoring three points in six games. He told the Mercury News that he believes those experiences will help a U.S. team that is unlikely to sneak up on anyone this time around.

“Definitely, I think it gives us a little more confidence,” Pavelski said. “It’s four years later, we’ve all kind of grown up in the NHL, played against each other and with each other. You know where you stand.”

To some, Pavelski stands a few rungs lower than Kessel and Kane, yet they can’t say they’ve had days named after them (yet?).