Apr 19, 2012, 8:06 AM EDT
If there has been a single surprise player from the Detroit Red Wings-Nashville Predators series, it’s Gabriel Bourque. The 21-year-old had a solid rookie campaign with seven goals and 19 points in 43 regular season games, but he’s really stepped up in the playoffs with three goals for Nashville in four games.
He’s certainly been the X-factor for the Predators the first round, providing the game-winning goal in the series opener as well as the opening goal for the Predators in Game 4 on Tuesday. That’s not bad coming from a guy who only made his NHL debut in late December.
Although, as young as Bourque is, he’s already built a reputation for being able to step up when he’s needed the most. He’s a former winner of the Guy Lafleur Trophy, which is given to the QMJHL’s most valuable player in the playoffs. He also got seven points in a single World Junior Championship game in 2010 to tie a Canadian record.
“When you’re looking at lineups, sometimes you’re looking for catalysts,” assistant GM Paul Fenton said. “He seems to be one of the catalysts that each night, each shift, he tries to make a difference no matter how much he’s playing — if it’s the fourth, fifth, sixth or eighth shift he’s out there for.”
He might be the difference again when the Predators attempt to seal their series in Game 5 on Friday.
- Wild’s Dubnyk shakes off six-goal night, saves 36 as Blues pushed to brink 9
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 4
- Malkin: ‘I want to say sorry to fans, to my teammates’ 20
- It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime 91
- Sens’ Anderson continues to haunt Habs, forces Game 6 10
- Price, Dubnyk, Rinne are Vezina Trophy finalists 16
- Chicago to start Darling in Game 6 17
- Chiarelli named Oilers’ GM and president of hockey ops 35
- Weber out for remainder of series, but ‘did not suffer an ACL injury’ 6
- Report: Oilers’ Lowe removed from Hockey Ops role 19
- Of course they did: Oilers win 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, will select first overall (174)
- Too little, too late: Rangers stifle Penguins for 2-1 series lead (114)
- Eichel understands Murray’s disappointment, but ‘extreme competitor’ has ‘a lot to offer’ (98)
- It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime (93)
- Bettman under fire after saying ‘Katy Perry’ chant wasn’t sexist (89)