3 Stars of the Night: May 20

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 20, 2016

#3) Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh: goal

Amanda Kessel’s big brother continued his hot streak, getting the Penguins on the board finally, 78 seconds into the third period after they trailed 4-0. His goal was classic Phil, as he backed off a d-man coming into the zone and sniped a shot into the back of the net. The elder Kessel had a game-high six shots on goal and at times, seemed like he was the only Pittsburgh forward that was getting any scoring chances as their team sleepwalked through the first two periods.

#2) Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay: 2 assists

Herman has been dominant this postseason, truly leading the way for the Tampa blueline as the bonafide star of their team with Stamkos out of action. The two assists in Game 4 gives him a total of 13 points (4g-9a) in 14 playoff games and helped turn this East Final into a best-of-3 now. He logged the most ice-time on the Bolts and was second in the game behind Pittsburgh’s Letang, and tied for a team-high with four hits.

#1) Ryan Callahan, Tampa Bay: goal

Not only did the man formerly known as ‘Captain Cally’ net the game’s opening goal 27 seconds into the game, but he was a pain in the you-know-what all night for the Pittsburgh Penguins; both in front of the crease, and along the boards; see: Trevor Daley injury. He led the Bolts in shots on goal (5), hits (4) and blocked shots (3) and was second (by six seconds) among all of their forwards in ice-time. With Tampa unable to afford a second consecutive home loss, Callahan led by example and showed why people often describe him as a ‘heart and soul’ player.

3-Stars Standings:

Joe Pavelski (SJ): 13

Brian Elliott (StL): 11

Braden Holtby (Wash): 8

Victor Hedman (TB): 8

Nikita Kucherov (TB): 7

Phil Kessel (Pitt): 7

David Backes (StL): 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