HNIC Star Selector - Stanley Cup Finals - Game 3 - Bruins vs Canucks

It has been awhile since we gave some solid Crown Royal Star Selector strategy advice, so with critical game 3 being only hours away and with fewer opportunities to surpass the 1004 grand prize total, tonight's article seemed like the perfect opportunity to share some insights.

I'm not going to tell you who to pick, but after playing over 100 games this season, I'm going to pass along how I think the game should be played.  Let's start by stating the obvious: Boston desperately needs to win tonight.  The Bruins are finally playing at home again and will undoubtedly get an emotional-energy lift from the Garden faithful.  For that reason, I would highly suggest loading up with Bruins to take advantage of the, dare i say "inevitable", first period surge. To balance that out, maybe round out your squad with Canuck goalie Roberto Luongo.  Luongo has been absolutely unflappable thus far in the Cup final. He has posted an 11 - 4 record with a staggering .940 save percentage since game 6 against Chicago.  From a Bruin perspective it is time for their star players to step up and step up quickly.  I firmly believe in situations like tonight's do-or-die game, that you have to rely on the players that got you there.  So for my starting lineup (alright I guess I lied a little earlier) I'm going to choose 3 players out of this group; David Krejci, Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron.  Why only 3?  I still need to leave a roster spot for Tim Thomas.  Thomas has been arguably the best player on the ice through the first two games and there is nothing to suggest that this will not continue.

So, what about the second period and working in some Vancouver Canuck players?  I have always viewed the second period in Star Selector as educated-guess player time. To steal a golf phrase, the 2nd is 'leader board moving day'.  What education?  Well, at this point the game flow is established, you get a feel for the officiating and you can see whose 'upper or lower body injury' is impacting them more than you were led to believe. And, if there are a lot of penalties being called make sure you are loading up on power play players and consider dropping a goalie.  Factor these things in and make your adjustments accordingly!

Third period player selection strategy should be dictated by a combination of the Star Selector and game scoreboards. Are you trailing in the Star Selector leader board and want to sky rocket up in the standings?  Consider the game score first before making your selections.  For example, if the game is within a goal (this is highly likely considering how close the two teams have been) and you feel like the trailing team is going to tie it up, then drop the opposing goalie and play a hunch on a less popular player selection to tie it up.  If you really want to make a move, then consider adding one of his linemates as well.  Conversely, if you feel like the leading team is going to hold on, then add some players that play a responsible two way style. These players are going to see more ice than strictly offensive players and you might just pick up a empty net goal.

Some additional thoughts:

Boston fans need to stop complaining about the Burrows bite. I'm sick of the argument that he should have been suspended for game 2.  If you use this logic, then you also believe that the NHL should have suspended Nathan Horton for spraying the Tampa Bay fan at the end of game 6.  Call it a wash Bruin faithful and move on.

To quote a friend of mine that has been with the Canucks throughout the entire playoffs, "Vancouver is Bat shit mental right now!".

Tyler Seguin has played 2 decent games this entire playoffs, but it would still be a little surprising if in fact Claude Julien replaces him in the lineup with Shawn Thornton for game 3 tonight.  Julien can not only leverage the last change for better match ups for the rookie, but he can also produce some much needed power play punch.

Love Alexandre Burrows post goal, 'arrow to the heavens' celebration tribute for fallen teammate Luc Bourdon.

Time for Milan Lucic to dominate an entire game.  He has carried the play in spurts, but Boston really needs him to be the most physically dominant player on the ice tonight.

Thanks for playing all and good luck with your picks tonight!

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