3 Stars of the Night: May 25

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 25, 2016

#3) Joe Pavelski, San Jose: Goal

Once again in a big spot the San Jose captain got things rolling for the Sharks, as Pavelski’s goal 3:57 into Game 6 gave them a lead they would never relinquish. He has been one of the two or three best players in these NHL playoffs and added to his league-leading goal total (13) while leading all players in the game with five shots on goal. As I’ve stated previously here in this space: if the Sharks win the Stanley Cup, Pavelski will be the Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Bank on it.

#2) Logan Couture, San Jose: Goal, 2 Assists

For the third straight series, Couture racked up three points in a series-clinching win with two primary assists in the third period goal, and the ultimate dagger via an empty net goal after the Blues battled back to make it 4-2. In the process he also extended his lead in the points race, now with 24 points (11 power play points) through 18 games; last year’s leading playoff scorer only had 23 points (Kane/T. Johnson) and Couture’s Sharks still have a series to go. This could get legendary, especially if San Jose finishes as champions.

#1) Joel Ward, San Jose: 2 Goals, GWG

It’s well-documented how Ward is a prime-time player and that was the main reason the Sharks target him as a free agent during the summer. Not sure why the Caps let him go, but their loss was San Jose’s gain and his second consecutive two-goal game propelled the franchise to it’s first ever Stanley Cup Final appearance. He also blocked two shots in the Game 6 triumph, had two takeaways and scored on both of his shots on goal, which I’m pretty sure is 100%.

3-Stars Standings:

Joe Pavelski (SJ): 17

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

Sidney Crosby (Pitt): 6

Matt Murray (Pitt): 6

Michal Neuvirth (Phil): 5

John Tavares (NYI): 5

Pekka Rinne (Nash): 5

Patric Hornqvist (Pitt): 5

Ben Bishop (TB): 5

Carl Hagelin (Pitt): 5

Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB): 5

Joel Ward (SJ): 5

Logan Couture (SJ): 5

Alex Ovechkin (Wash): 4

Nick Bonino (Pitt): 4

Kris Letang (Pitt): 4