It’s the most, wonderful time, of the yearrrrrrrr! Who doesn’t love playoff hockey right? This is what we wait all season for, this is why most of us became fans of the game, as the postseason captivates us year after year after year. My personal favorite part is the dying minutes of a one-goal game when everything is a scramble, bodies are diving everywhere, pucks are zipping around the zone and the intensity is as high as can be. Until we get to overtime that is, when it become full-on, tighten your butt cheeks, gasp and cringe with every shot end-to-end action (WITH NO COMMERCIALS!!).
Who will hoist the 2016 Stanley Cup?
With the team I cover out of the playoffs (again), I relish the opportunity to write a little out of character and enjoy the playoffs as a fan of the game, and pick my three stars of each night like our friends over at Yahoo!/Puck Daddy blog do throughout the season. You can find player standings at the bottom of each post with three points for being the no. 1 star, two for no. 2 and one for no. 3 and on some nights we’ll have an honorable mention.
April 18, 2016
#3) Jason Pomminville, Minnesota, 2 goals, assist
The former Sabre-star had a great performance to wake up the walking dead Wild in Game 3. He picked up an assist on the goal that tied the game early in the second period, then gave Minnesota their first lead of the series in the final minute of the middle period, and finally he made a stellar play to snag a puck mid-air at center ice and then fired it into an empty net to seal a shocking Wild win. His five shots on goal led his team which snapped a losing streak from the end of the season (seven games overall) and a losing streak from last year’s postseason. Quite the win after looking dead in the water when they surrendered two goals on the first two Dallas shots.
Pominville registers three points (2-1=3) on the night – his second career multi-goal playoff game and three-point plus playoff game #mnwild
— Minnesota Wild PR (@mnwildPR) April 19, 2016
— Carlos Gonzalez (@CarlosGphoto) April 19, 2016
#2) Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles: GWG in overtime
The Kings have come back from 0-3 before against the Sharks, but they won’t need to this year as they outlasted their opponents in Game 3 at the Shark Tank. Pearson, who took an ill-advised third period penalty, redeemed himself by scoring 3:47 into overtime and gives LA a boost heading into Game 4. That was Pearson’s only shot of the game, but he was a factor throughout registering six hits against the home team.
— LA Kings (@LAKings) April 19, 2016
#1) Alex Ovechkin, Washington: 2 goals, assist, GWG
We couldn’t keep the Great-8 off our list for too long, and he made it pretty easy to add him following Game 3. Ovi hasn’t had to be dominant for the Caps this season (and still led the league in goals), but he’s still the best player on his team, perhaps the league, and with a better supporting cast around him than ever before he can lay in the weeds and strike when needed. Actually, he just hangs out in that circle that no one on the Flyers, or league for that matter, have been able to figure out just yet. Wait; did I just give it away? Not only did he rack up the three points, but he also had three hits and a game-high five shots on goal.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 19, 2016
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 19, 2016
Joe Pavelski (SJ): 5
Brian Elliott (StL): 5
Tyler Johnson (TB): 3
Braden Holtby (Wash): 3
Thomas Hickey (NYI): 3
Alex Ovechkin (Wash): 3
John Tavares (NYI): 2
Patric Hornqvist (Pitt): 2
Roberto Luongo (Fla): 2
Tanner Pearson (LA): 2
Nikita Kucherov (TB): 1
Reilly Smith (Fla): 1
Corey Crawford (Chi): 1
JT Miller (NYR): 1
Craig Smith (Nash): 1
Jason Pomminville (Minn): 1
Dan Rice is in his 9th year of reporting for THW & has covered NJ Devils home games for 15+ years at various websites. He began his journey working for legendary broadcaster/writer Stan Fischler from 2002-04 & completed an internship at the ECHL; he also has been writing features for the NWHL (nwhl.zone) website since 2016.