The first round of the NHL playoffs is one that almost should never end. Sadly, this is going to happen on Wednesday whether anyone wants it to or not. However, there are two Game 7’s already and could be a third if Philadelphia beats the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
That is the beauty of Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. You never know quite what to expect. Picking the three stars tonight was tough but there was a wrinkle that really did help matters a good bit.
Fantasy Hockey Three Stars
Third Star — Justin Williams — F — Los Angeles Kings
Sam Jose and Los Angeles were almost pre-destined to go the full seven games. The funny thing is they took a few different routes to get there. Let’s enter Williams into the equation. The forward had two goals and an assist, including the game winner. Williams and Kopitar make a pretty decent pairing when together so expect it quite a bit in Game 7 on Wednesday. San Jose is going to have to figure out a way to stop Williams and you could say that early in this series, especially early.
Second Star — Zach Parise — F — Minnesota Wild
The choice between second and first came down to fractions of a point, literally. Basically, Game 7 was forced by Parise when one really thinks about it. Parise’s two goal, two assist effort was probably his best since a brief run in the 2012 playoffs against the New York Rangers. There may have been one slight knock and that was the two shots on net. Sure a 100 percent shooting percentage is great but it will not get you any more bonus points. What will happen in Game 7? Honestly, no fantasy general manager really cares about that much until it comes. They are just thankful for the points tonight in all fantasy hockey formats.
First Star — Evgeni Malkin — F — Pittsburgh Penguins
We end it tonight with at touch of controversy. Some people were hell-bent on making sure Parise was their number one star. Normally that would have been the case but they forget a couple minor details. The first one is that though Malkin only had three points, they forget he had a hat trick which means more points. Add in the fact that he had six shots on goal and that is even more points. Furthermore, some fantasy hockey leagues have a category just for series clinching goals because game winners were not enough. That is the quirky part of fantasy leagues as it seems there are always a few additional categories. It is what it is.
Tuesday brings about a new day, even if it is only just one game. Let’s see what happens.