3 Stars of the Night: May 8

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 8, 2016

#3) Travis Hamonic, NY Islanders: 6 hits, 4 blocked shots

In what very well could have been his last game in an Islanders uniform, Hamonic went out respectable like a warrior and never quit in the lopsided elimination game. The New York defenseman had privately requested a trade before the season to be closer to his home/family in western Canada, and the news became public midway through this season. They will miss his steady presence protecting their net if they do in fact trade him away. In a game that the Isles let get away from them quickly, Hamonic played admirably, earning a spot in our 3-Stars with only one game on the schedule.

#2) Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay: 28 shots/28 saves, Win, Shutout

Tampa’s netminder blanked a team in an elimination game for the fourth time, all in the past two seasons, and that puts him third all time in NHL history. He was shaky in Game 1 of the series giving up five goals, but after that he was stellar in surrendering only six over the final four games. Unlike the previous few games his workload was light early on, but as the Islanders became more desperate, they fired more shots at the 6’7” Lightning goalie and he gobbled them all up. Some may say that the Bolts have had an easy-go over their first two series, but the Caps and Pens each had rather easy 1st round series also, and Bishop is an elite goalie in the NHL and he’s shown us why going 8-2 through two rounds.

#1) Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay: 2 goals, GWG

In their first playoff series since being selected 1-2 in the 2009 NHL Draft, it was Hedman’s Lightning that prevailed over John Tavares’ Islanders, and the Tampa blueliner outscored New York’s captain 8-2 in the five-game series. Not only was he the scoring star of the series, but he was a part of stifling Tavares and keeping him pointless in the final four games of the series. Hedman got the party started in Game 5 just past the midway point of the opening period and his power play goal in the second put the game out of reach for the shellshocked Islanders. Maybe even more impressive is that he is flourishing without his normal D-partner Anton Stralman who is recovering form a broken leg.


3-Stars Standings:

Brian Elliott (StL): 9

Joe Pavelski (SJ): 8

Braden Holtby (Wash): 8

Nikita Kucherov (TB): 7

Victor Hedman (TB): 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

Alex Ovechkin (Wash): 4

Thomas Hickey (NYI): 3

Antti Niemi (Dall): 3

Evgeni Malkin (Pitt): 3

Artemi Panarin (Chi): 3

Troy Brouwer (StL): 3

TJ Oshie (Wash): 3

Radek Faksa (Dall): 3

Kris Letang (Pitt): 3

David Backes (StL): 3

Mike Fisher (Nash): 3