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 City.
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 2015 Stanley Cup Final is now underway between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks 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.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) June 7, 2015
3) Ryan Callahan (Tampa Bay) Could have went with the winning goalie (in relief) Andrei Vasilevskiy but the man formerly known as Captain Cally did a lot of the little things that helped lead his team to a series-tying win — including his gritty work that led to the first Lightning goal. Not only did he chip in with two assists, five hits and one blocked shot, but he also made a clutch diving stop to break up a possible scoring chance by Andrew Shaw that was humongous big in the second period.
2) Teuvo Teravainen (Chicago) The 20-year-old Finnish phenom once again tallied an important goal for his team, this time a power play goal that gave the Blackhawks their first lead of the game early in the second period. He now has a goal in each game of the Final on the biggest stage in hockey; his nine postseason points (4g-5a) in fourteen playoff games already equals the nine (4g-5a) that he scored in 34 regular season games. Can you say X-factor?
Teravainen to Hossa to Teravainen to the back of the net:
1) Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay) The entire playoffs have been a coming out party for the 24-year-old, 6’6” defenseman and in the Final he has been one of the best players on either side. In Game 2 he had two assists (+2), a team-high (tied) three SoG and had a team-high 25:51 ice-time. Just another day at the office for Hedman as we watch him grow right before our eyes; and he is a big reason why we haven’t heard anything from Patrick Kane thus far (scoreless in two games, shot-less in Game 2).
With the series now tied at one game apiece, we all win because there we are guaranteed at least three more games before the end of the season. The scene shifts to Chicago for Game 3 Monday night.