Bruins Three Stars of the NHL Playoffs
After every game, the members of the media and both team’s announcers vote on the three stars of the game. Usually voting includes members of both teams, but for the sake of this article, we’ll be looking at Boston Bruins players only. So without further ado, here are our Bruins’ Three Stars through the playoffs so far.
First Star: C David Krejci
Krejci scored again for the Bruins Wednesday night, securing sole possession of the league lead in playoff goals (nine) and widening the gap in the overall points lead to 21. He started his scoring in the opening game of the 2013 playoffs with a goal and two assists against the Toronto Maple Leafs and has posted at least one point in 12 of 15 total playoff games. Krejci’s consistent production has been especially key with other Bruins offensive stars going quiet at times during series.
Second Star: C Patrice Bergeron
He always seems to be in the right place at the right time in the playoffs. In addition to netting Wednesday night’s game-winner, he assisted on Brad Marchand‘s OT goal in Game 1 of the Bruins series against the New York Rangers. His most memorable heroics came in Game 7 of the first round against the Maple Leafs. Bergeron was the key to the Bruins’ last-minute comeback from a 4-1 deficit with 10 minutes to go in Game 7. He tallied an assist on Milan Lucic‘s goal that cut the lead to 4-3, then he put the team — and the city — on his back when he scored the game-tying and game-winning goals. Since that game, Bergeron and the Bruins have been on fire.
Third star: G Tuukka Rask
A factor that can define a team’s playoff success or failures is a hot goaltender. There’s no explaining how or why a goalie catches fire but once he does, it’s a hard thing to stop. The last two Stanley Cup winners lifted the trophy because of their netminder. The Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Quick was lights out in the postseason last year, and Tim Thomas persevered through three separate seven-game series to give the Bruins their first Cup in 39 years in 2011. This year, it looks like Rask is the hot goalie of the playoffs. His save percentage is improving with each series, going from .923 against the Leafs to .936 against the Rangers to .982 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins were the highest-scoring team in the regular season and averaged over four goals per game in the playoffs before running into Rask. Rask has had plenty of work, too; through three games, he’s stopped 108 of a possible 110 shots from the Penguins.