3 Stars of the Night: April 19

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 19, 2016

#3) Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay: 3 assists

Two primary assists, and three helpers overall, four shots on goal in a huge road win for a kid that a few months ago most of us thought would never wear a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey ever again. Even though he was on the ice for both Red Wings’ goals he still makes our top-3 because he was a difference maker on the power play with his passing skills on display for all to see. There’s still a chance that Drouin gets traded in the offseason, and Detroit likely wishes that he was traded during the season right about now.

#2) Frederik Andersen, Anaheim: 27 saves / 27 shots, Win, Shutout

He didn’t start Games 1 or 2 curiously and the Ducks dropped both games at home; all he did was pick up his second consecutive shutout (April 10 at Washington) and help his mates climb back in the series and silence the Nashville crowd. Hard to fault his partner Gibson for the two losses in the series, but it would be shocking to see him get back into the series unless Mr. Andersen gets injured along the way. I almost gave him the first star just for the simple fact he took a Shea Weber slapper in the melon and remained in the game, but he is a hockey player, and they are tough hombres.


#1) Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay: 2 PP goals, assist

Five goals in four games for Kucherov so far against Detroit; his performance (and his teammates as well) is going to make Stevie Y think real hard about if he needs to retain Steven Stamkos’ services this summer. Or should he invest his money in retaining the young core that has appeared in Tampa the past three seasons. He had a game-high seven shots on goal, which also matched his shot total over the first three games of the series.

Honorable Mention) Vladimir Tarasenko. St. Louis: 2 goals, assist

Hard to leave this guy off the list tonight, but the Blues had so many solid performances (Steen, Schwartz, Elliott, Shattenkirk) it would’ve been hard to just pick one. Tarasenko has been lighting up the Hawks all season and nothing’s changed in the playoffs. St. Louis is now one win away from eliminating the defending champs, thanks in large part to the Tarasenko Snipe Show.

3-Stars Standings:

Joe Pavelski (SJ): 5

Brian Elliott (StL): 5

Nikita Kucherov (TB): 4

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

Frederik Andersen (Ana): 2

Reilly Smith (Fla): 1

Corey Crawford (Chi): 1

JT Miller (NYR): 1

Craig Smith (Nash): 1

Jason Pomminville (Minn): 1

Jonathan Drouin (TB): 1