As long as there are rookies, there will be reports. This is definitely more special because this is the perfect time for a rookie to earn their spot on the team if they have not already. It also exposes them to an even tougher layer of the already faster paced game. Here's who shined this week for the rookies:
They've waited almost four years for this! Marner scored the first goal of the postseason for the Leafs since Nazem Kadri's goal on May 13, 2013 in their 3-2 loss to the Capitals. Marner becomes the first teenager on the Leafs since Daniel Marois in 1988 to score a goal in the playoffs. He also had an assist in last night's win and now has a point in each game. I guess you could say that he is adjusting well to the playoffs. Almost as well as the next guy...
Meet the hero himself who came in from the Toronto Marlies and has played only 17 career games in the NHL. His name probably was familiar to mostly Leafs fans but now it is familiar to Capitals fans and other hockey fans. Kapanen made his name known the right way by scoring two crucial goals in the Leafs big playoff win. He tied the game at 2-2 and then the Leafs took the lead after but the Capitals tied it in the third. This did not stop the team from trying as they went through TWO overtimes until Kapanen finally lifted his team from another loss and sent them home on a high note. He was rightfully named First Star of the Game.
McAvoy played his first NHL game this week in the playoffs. Yes. That's right. He never played a game in the NHL until the playoffs. What a way to get acquainted! What was also unusual about this was that he played 24:11 minutes and was the third rookie to play that many minutes this century. He did not get tired from that game either and ramped it up to 27:47 last night.
McAvoy came in from Boston University this year to play with the Bruins.
Montour's role on the Ducks has become more important during this time as the team still has injuries to deal with on the blue line. Thankfully, Montour is doing well in his more prominent role and even got his first point in the playoffs last night-- an assist on the first goal scored by Jakob Silfverberg. Montour was named Third Star of the Game for his efforts on defense and offense.
One century of this game and League is a wonderful milestone to celebrate. Let's hope to do this in the next century!