clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:


As reluctant as I am to give any credit to SI's Tom Layberger, his latest article-ette, the succinctly-titled "Surprise Stars: The most unlikely playoff performances in NHL history," recalls great memories for any long-time Caps fan with it's number one surprise star.

Let's fire up the wayback machine and take a trip back to the spring of 1990 and let Layberger tell the tale of a young winger and the sub-.500 team he would carry to the Conference Finals...
1. John Druce
1990 Washington Capitals

The 24-year-old entered the 1990 playoffs with a résumé of 16 goals in his first 94 NHL matches, and only one playoff game. Suddenly, Druce was Mr. April. He scored 14 goals in 15 games and added three assists before his team was knocked out in the third round. The right wing tallied eight times on the power play, and his OT goal in Game 5 of the Patrick Division finals downed the Rangers and lifted the Caps to their first conference final and play dates in the month of May.

Career note: Druce, who topped 14 goals only three times, participated in 38 more playoff games and scored only three times.
Good work, Tom, but I'll leave you with one bit of advice: when you do a Top 10 list, it's more effective if you count down from 10 to 1. It builds suspense, dig?