Much like other professional team sports leagues, the NHL has its fair share of players who had out-of-nowhere playoff runs. In a way, these players are the one-hit wonders of the hockey world, with obscure characters such as Chris Kontos captivating audiences like metaphorical shooting stars.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Fernando Pisani falls under that category, at least going into tonight’s Game 2 against the Vancouver Canucks. If it weren’t for his magical 2006 postseason run with the Edmonton Oilers, he would just be known for having ulcerative colitis.
Yet there’s no denying how fantastic that 24-game span really was for Pisani. The career .37 point per game player notched 14 goals and four assists for 18 points, connecting on a stunning 28.6 percent of his shots while producing five game-winning goals.*
Pisani hasn’t come close to duplicating those results, although one must note that he hasn’t played in a playoff game since the Oilers’ Game 7 Stanley Cup finals loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. He’ll get his chance tonight, though, as Tomas Kopecky will be sidelined with an upper-body injury. He’s expected to skate alongside Ryan Johnson and Viktor Stalberg in Game 2.
Could Pisani be the unexpected answer to Chicago’s depth problems? It’s unlikely, but then again, so was that red-hot run in 2006 …
* – Yes, that’s more than a series’ worth of GWGs.