3 Stars of Stanley Cup Final Game 2

One of the things that stood out to me about hockey when I was younger was the “Three Stars of the Game” after each game. It was, different, like everything in hockey was to me when learning the game. It was reminiscent of the “Hero & Goat” caricatures by the late, great Bill Gallo that I read in the NY Daily News after playoff games involving professional teams in New York.

These Hero/Goat cartoons left an impact on NYers, just as all of Mr. Gallo's cartoons did. (Bill Gallo/New York Daily News)
These Hero/Goat cartoons left an impact on NYers, just as all of Mr. Gallo’s cartoons did. (Bill Gallo/New York Daily News)

Needless to say it was a bit surreal being able to one day actually vote for the three stars of the game sometimes while covering New Jersey Devils games. The 2016 Stanley Cup Final is now underway between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks and for the duration of the series in this space we will take a look at who we thought were the three stars of each game.

2016 Stanley Cup Final

Game 1: Pittsburgh 3 San Jose 2 – 3 Stars of the Game

#3) Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh: assist

I very easily could have put Sid the former Kid as the no. 1 star tonight. His passes were dazzling. He was dominant in the face-off circle. And his lone shot on goal was extremely high quality. If the Pens could have finished a bit more this could have been a three or four-point night for no. 87; kudos to Sharks goalie Martin Jones for keeping his team alive. He only has an assist in each of the first two games of the Cup Final, but he has clearly and without question been the best player on the ice.


#2) Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh: goal

The HBK line got on the scoresheet in Game 2 of the Cup Final and the trio (Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino) now has a total of 50 points this postseason as the Penguins move within two wins of their fourth Stanley Cup. Amanda Kessel’s big brother led all players in the game with five shots on goal and all Pittsburgh forwards in ice-time with 20:37. His goal was the tenth of these playoffs, which is third in the NHL, and his 19 points ranks him fourth overall.


#1) Conor Sheary, Pittsburgh: GWG in OT

The theme of these playoffs has been a different hero stepping up every night, and tonight was Sheary’s night to shine. Crosby was the conductor on the winning play, putting everyone in place and after he won the face-off his teammates executed the play flawlessly. Sheary took a pass from Letang and shot the puck against the grain, towards the net, through a maze of players and Jones never had a chance to stop it. 29 other NHL GMs tonight are wondering why he wasn’t on their radar or why they didn’t sign the undrafted player.

3-Stars Standings:

Joe Pavelski (SJ): 17

Brian Elliott (StL): 11

Nikita Kucherov (TB): 9

Phil Kessel (Pitt): 9

Sidney Crosby (Pitt): 9

Braden Holtby (Wash): 8

Victor Hedman (TB): 8

Troy Brouwer (StL): 8

Tyler Johnson (TB): 8

Matt Murray (Pitt): 7

Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB): 7

Nick Bonino (Pitt): 7

David Backes (StL): 6

Martin Jones (SJ): 6

Michal Neuvirth (Phil): 5

John Tavares (NYI): 5

Pekka Rinne (Nash): 5

Patric Hornqvist (Pitt): 5

Ben Bishop (TB): 5

Carl Hagelin (Pitt): 5

Joel Ward (SJ): 5

Logan Couture (SJ): 5

Alex Ovechkin (Wash): 4

Kris Letang (Pitt): 4

Brent Burns (SJ): 4