3 Stars of the Night: May 21

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 21, 2016

#3) Jay Bouwmeester, St. Louis: Defensive Dynamo

I know what you’re thinking: why Bouwmeester? Right? But he was the best defensive player in Game 4, putting the clamps down on the Sharks’ stars — who had been running wild in this series. Aside from Pavelski’s goal, when it was already 4-0 St. Louis in the 3rd period, Bouwmeester was phenomenal and in a must-win game stepped up large. He logged the most ice-time of any player in the game (27:29), blocked two shots, had two hits and spent the most time on the Blues PK (6:15) which blanked San Jose over five power play chances.

Jay Bouwmeester (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)
Jay Bouwmeester (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

#2) Kyle Brodziak, St. Louis: 2 Goals

His shorthanded goal in the second period stunned the Sharks and made the score 3-0 and then his second goal four minutes later silenced one of the loudest buildings in the NHL for the rest of the night. He also was a beast on the penalty kill (team-high 3:57 among forwards) which shut out the dangerous San Jose power play, one PK in particular where he lost his stick for an extended period of time, and won 75% of the face-offs he partook in during Game 4. These are the type of performances that are legendary with fans, when the unsung hero steps up and is the hero for a particular playoff game — he scored on his only two shots of the game.

#1) Troy Brouwer, St. Louis: 2 PP Goals

Brouwer kicked off the rout in the first period with the first of his two power play goals, which was also a much needed first goal of the game for a Blues team that had been blanked in two straight games. He had a bad Game 3 (penalties, posts), but had a brilliant Game 4 and let the charge in St. Louis’ dominating 6-3 win. The Blues lost two players for part of the game and it was the muckers like Brouwer and Brodziak that led them to a series-evening win.

3-Stars Standings:

Joe Pavelski (SJ): 13

Brian Elliott (StL): 11

Braden Holtby (Wash): 8

Victor Hedman (TB): 8

Troy Brouwer (StL): 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

Carl Hagelin (Pitt): 5

Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB): 5

Alex Ovechkin (Wash): 4

Nick Bonino (Pitt): 4

Kris Letang (Pitt): 4