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 over with the Chicago Blackhawks toppling the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games. Here are the links for the first five games, followed by the 3-Stars of Game 6.
2015 Stanley Cup Final
Game 1: Chicago 2 Tampa Bay 1 — 3 Stars of the Game
Game 2: Tampa Bay 4 Chicago 3 — 3 Stars of the Game
Game 3: Tampa Bay 3 Chicago 2 – 3 Stars of the Game
Game 4: Chicago 2 Tampa Bay 1 – 3 Stars of the Game
Game 5: Chicago 2 Tampa Bay 1 – 3 Stars of the Game
Game 6: Chicago 2 Tampa Bay 0
A picture is worth a thousand words, as is this one with Kimmo Timonen finally holding the Stanley Cup:
— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) June 16, 2015
3) Kimmo Timonen (Chicago) Okay, this is obviously a sentimental pick, but who says I can’t be sentimental? It’s my 3-Stars; so what if he only played 3:39? He managed two hits and one blocked shot! Seriously though, Timonen played 16 seasons — 1,108 regular season games, 105 playoff games, survived a blood clot in his leg and now can retire at the top of the mountain as a Stanley Cup champion. On behalf of hockey fans everywhere: thank you, and congrats on a fabulous career Mr. Timonen.
2) Brad Richards (Chicago) Not a bad stat line for a Cup-clinching game by a guy that was bought out by the New York Rangers last summer: two assists (in a 2-0 game), three shots on goal, three hits and he won 88% (7-1) of the face-offs he took. Oh and that no-look pass to Patrick Kane on the second ‘Hawks goal, was world-class. Lest we forget he also had two assists in a close out game against the Anaheim Ducks last series. Methinks Mr. Richards will draw a tad more interest this summer in free agency.
1) Duncan Keith (Chicago) The model for an elite NHL defenseman had another unbelievable game and was deservedly the unanimous selection as the Conn Smythe Trophy winner (playoff MVP). He had the Cup-winning goal, and the GWG that eliminated Nashville in round one. The 31-year-old led all players in playoff assists (18)/ranked fourth in points (21) and played half the game again in Game 6 (30:19) to go along with six shots on goal and four blocked shots — never looked tired, once.
Big time players make big time plays. Duncan Keith = big time player: