Now that the Stanley Cup playoffs (click HUT 18 Coins) accept been whittled down to the final four teams, a baddest few players are abandoned four wins shy of the Stanley Cup finals. The appointment finals date has generally been the ambience for some of hockey's a lot of enduring moments -- and if contempo history is any indication, it's aswell breadth some of hockey's bigger stars adhesive their legacies.
"That affect is what is so fun about that next step. You're four wins abroad from amphitheatre for the Cup," said TV analyst Craig Simpson, a aloft NHL abecedarian and drillmaster who won the Stanley Cup alert as a affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers. "That creates abundant moments and guys who are able to play beneath that burden and appropriate those moments in those big games. That's what abundant players strive for. That's what makes it fun."
Here are the 5 greatest appointment finals performances of the accomplished 5 years.
Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks, 2016
Though the Sharks ultimately fell abbreviate in the Stanley Cup finals adjoin the Pittsburgh Penguins endure spring, they wouldn't even accept avant-garde that far if not for a big achievement by their captain. Pavelski propelled his aggregation accomplished the St. Louis Blues in the Western Appointment finals endure year. With four goals and 5 assists in the six-game series, the centermost registered a point in every bold while scoring one acceptable ambition and ambience up another.
He aswell led by archetype afterwards San Jose abandoned the alternation opener, responding with an abetment and a team-leading seven hits in Bold 2. He adored his scoring accomplishment for if the Sharks bare it most, accumulation for three goals in Abecedarian 5 and 6 to advice San Jose advance.
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks 2015
With Chicago abaft 3-2 in the Western Appointment finals and on the border of abolishment adjoin the Anaheim Ducks, Kane pulled his aggregation aback from the brink. Afterwards accepting captivated off the scoresheet in Anaheim's 5-4 overtime win in Bold 5, the Blackhawks' brilliant about took over the series.
Following a scoreless aperture aeon in Bold 6, Kane came out aerial in the second. He set up Brandon Saad's ambition to breach the scoreless deadlock afore scoring the closing champ on a arresting abandoned play beneath than four account afterwards to even the series. In the winner-take-all Bold 7, Kane dished out three assists to beforehand Chicago through to the Stanley Cup finals.
Tampa Bay Lightning centermost Tyler Johnson deserves acceptance as able-bodied that year for his four-goal, nine-point accomplishment in his team's seven-game alternation win adjoin the New York Rangers.
Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings, 2014
In a action amid the antecedent two Cup winners, Jeff Carter bedeviled adjoin the Blackhawks. Afterwards ambience up the Kings' abandoned ambition in a 3-1 accident in Bold 1, Carter went on an complete tear, scoring a hat ambush and abacus an abetment in Bold 2.
Trailing 3-1 in the additional aeon of Bold 3, Carter cued the improvement with addition goal, followed by an abetment on Tyler Toffoli's equalizer. Then, with the Kings abaft 2-0 aboriginal in Bold 7, Carter did it again, scoring his fifth ambition of the alternation -- to go with six assists -- and sparking the improvement that would beforehand to Alec Martinez's overtime champ and an closing additional Stanley Cup in three years for the Kings.
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins, 2013
The Bruins ashamed the accomplished Penguins on their way to Boston's additional Cup finals actualization in three seasons. Featuring aptitude and dust aloft their lineup, Boston swept Pittsburgh in a ascendant achievement keyed by its goaltender.
Rask set the accent immediately, announcement a 29-save annihilation on the alley in Bold 1 as Boston took over the series. With the Penguins abaft the alternation 3-0 and at their a lot of atrocious in Bold 4, Rask shut them out afresh in the series-deciding 1-0 win. Rask -- who acquaint a astounding .985 save allotment for the alternation -- emerged as an aristocratic goalie afterwards abetment up Conn Smythe champ Tim Thomas during the Bruins' 2011 appellation run.
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings, 2012
After condoning as a agrarian agenda and earning the No. 8 berry in the Western Conference, Los Angeles came out of boilerplate to become an complete accident aggregation in the postseason. The cipher Kings went 16-4 in the playoffs on their way to the franchise's aboriginal Stanley Cup, and that ascendant run was answerable in ample allotment by Kopitar.
The Slovenian centermost emerged as a star, amphitheatre a acute role as the Kings raced out to a 3-0 alternation lead, aperture the scoring in Bold 1, accession two assists in Bold 2 and attached the account in Bold 3 with a chic breakaway effort. He denticulate addition important attached ambition in Bold 5 afore Dustin Penner assured the alternation in overtime.