3 Stars of the Night: May 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.

May 19, 2016

#3) Joe Pavelski, San Jose: 2 assists

The Sharks’ captain made an impact early, saucing a slick cross-ice pass to Hertl as they shifted from defense to offense quickly and caught the Blues flatfooted on the game’s opening goal. Pavelski only had one shot on goal, which is a tad low for him this time of year, but he still blocked three shots, snagged two helpers and led SJ forwards in ice-time. Oh, and he won 63% of the face-offs he took in Game 3 also.

#2) Martin Jones, San Jose: 22 saves/22 shots, Win, Shutout

It wasn’t the busiest of nights for Jones, but he’s still jonesing and now has three shutouts in his last four games and has the Sharks two wins away from their first ever Stanley Cup Final appearance. Once an apprentice to Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, now it’s Jones who is the hottest goalie going in these NHL playoffs; his shutout streak is now at over 150 minutes. His game is very compact, quiet, and calm, and it’s giving San Jose the confidence to take chances offensively. The defense in front of him is playing suffocating, but in the rare moments where the Blues have gotten a shot through to the Sharks goalie, he has gobbled them all up.

#1) Tomas Hertl, San Jose: 2 goals, GWG

Hertl blasted a clap bomb past Elliott to get the Sharks started late in the first period and they never looked back after that. It seems a lot of nights this spring that San Jose has had different contributors helping lead them to victory and in Game 3 of the West Finals it was Hertl’s turn to shine. He added another goal in the third period after a Blues’ surge that came up empty, but more importantly he also had four hits and a team-high/game-high four shots on goal.


3-Stars Standings:

Joe Pavelski (SJ): 13

Brian Elliott (StL): 11

Braden Holtby (Wash): 8

Nikita Kucherov (TB): 7

Victor Hedman (TB): 6

David Backes (StL): 6

Phil Kessel (Pitt): 6

Martin Jones (SJ): 6

Michal Neuvirth (Phil): 5

John Tavares (NYI): 5

Pekka Rinne (Nash): 5

Tyler Johnson (TB): 5

Matt Murray (Pitt): 5

Patric Hornqvist (Pitt): 5

Ben Bishop (TB): 5

Troy Brouwer (StL): 5

Carl Hagelin (Pitt): 5

Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB): 5

Alex Ovechkin (Wash): 4

Nick Bonino (Pitt): 4

Kris Letang (Pitt): 4