3 Stars of the Night: May 23

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 23, 2016

#3) Joe Thornton, San Jose: 3 assists

Jumbo Joe was like Chris Dishman on the ice in Game 5, passing the puck to everyone and anyone and two of his three helpers were primary ones. He was unusually quiet in Game 4 but rebounded with a strong and loud game to push the Blues to the brink of elimination and the Sharks to the cusp of their first Stanley Cup Final. Thornton now has six points (all assists) over the past three games, and 17 points (3g-14a) this postseason.

#2) Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose: goal, assist

Vlasic isn’t as well-known as he should be, but he is one of the best all-around defensemen in the game today and those skills were on display at both ends of the ice in a pivotal Game 5 that the Sharks won on the road. He shot created the first two San Jose goals and he silenced one of the league’s most dangerous players – Vladimir Tarasenko – yet again. Pickles led all players in the game with a plus-3, four shots on goal, four blocked shots, and he led the Sharks in ice-time with 24:49. He’s been a part of international success with Team Canada and perhaps on the path to more glory with San Jose.


#1) Joe Pavelski, San Jose: 2 goals, assist, GWG

Another masterful game by the Sharks’ captain who piled three more points onto his postseason pile of dominance. He has moved ever so slightly ahead of Nikita Kucherov again, for my Conn Smythe pick to date, as he picked up his fourth GWG of these playoffs with a game-changing goal 16 seconds into the third that started tied 3-3. He was only credited with two shots on goal in the game, and by my math (bear with me, I was a Journalism major), he shot 100%…which is prettay, prettay, good. IF San Jose picks up five more wins and win the 2016 Stanley Cup, there can be no other choice for Conn Smythe than Joe Pavelski.

3-Stars Standings:

Joe Pavelski (SJ): 16

Brian Elliott (StL): 11

Nikita Kucherov (TB): 9

Braden Holtby (Wash): 8

Victor Hedman (TB): 8

Troy Brouwer (StL): 8

Tyler Johnson (TB): 8

Phil Kessel (Pitt): 7

David Backes (StL): 6

Martin Jones (SJ): 6

Michal Neuvirth (Phil): 5

John Tavares (NYI): 5

Pekka Rinne (Nash): 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