Top 10 flashes in the pan

SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

Is Johan Franzen the next NHL playoff flash in the plan?

The Detroit Red Wings forward had five points in six games in the first round of this year's playoffs, including the series-clinching, overtime tally in Game 6 against the Calgary Flames. Those numbers are pretty good, considering he has 46 points in 149 career regular-season games.

Franzen's hot start in the post-season got us thinking about other NHLers who have been largely invisible during their NHL careers -- except for one shining moment in the playoffs that made them immortal.

There would have been a few more Toronto Maple Leafs on this list, but it's about playoff success.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 NHL playoff flashes in the pan:

10. Darryl Sutter,

Chicago Blackhawks, 1985

The Calgary Flames GM barely cracks this list, because he had a solid NHL career, registering 161 goals and 118 assists in 406 games. He went above and beyond in '85, however, tallying 12 goals and seven assists in 15 games to lead the Hawks to the Campbell Conference final. Sutter's 12 goals tied a Blackhawks post-season record, as did his two overtime goals in one series, against Minnesota. He had 12 goals and 12 assists in his other 36 career playoff games.

9. Fernando Pisani, Edmonton Oilers, 2006

When he scored 18 goals during the 2005-06 regular season and then potted 14 in Edmonton's amazing playoff run, sportswriters were already calling him the next Chris Kontos or John Druce (more on them later). Pisani cemented his status as a flash in the pan this year when he equalled his playoff output of 14 goals over 80 regular-season contests. The good news for Pisani is he still has time to play his way off this list.

8. Brian Boucher,

Philadelphia Flyers,

2000

The netminder was a rookie backup to John Vanbiesbrouck during the 1999-2000 season, but he posted solid numbers: a 20-10-3 record with a 1.91 goals-against average. So Boucher got the call in the playoffs, and he was just as good, recording an 11-7 mark with a 2.03 GAA and leading the Flyers to within one game of the Stanley Cup final. It's been downhill ever since for Boucher. Despite setting an NHL record shutout streak with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2003-04, he has never been a solid No. 1 netminder, and he's 55-75-27 since his rookie season.

7. Mel (Sudden Death) Hill,

Boston Bruins, 1939

The right wing from Glenboro, Man., earned his moniker after scoring three overtime goals in a seven-game series victory over the New York Rangers. Sudden Death scored the winner in Games 1, 2 and 7, with the series-clinching tally occurring 48 minutes into extra time. He finished with six goals and three assists in 12 playoff games that spring, which concluded with the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup. Hill, who also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Brooklyn Americans, scored 89 goals in 323 career regular-season games.

6. Dave Lowry,

Florida Panthers, 1996

A grinder for most of his career, Lowry, with his big red beard, turned sniper as Florida marched to the Stanley Cup final. He was put on the second line with Ray Sheppard and Stu Barnes to do the grinding, but he ended up with 10 goals and seven assists in 22 games. His crucial overtime marker in overtime in Game 4 against the Philadelphia Flyers evened the best-of-seven second-round series at 2-2, and the Panthers went on to win the next two games. In his other 89 playoff games, Lowry scored a grand total of six goals.

5. Ed Sandford,

Boston Bruins, 1953

He averaged 13 goals over eight seasons with the Bruins and Detroit Red Wings, which made his eight goals in 11 playoff games for Boston rather remarkable. Even though the Montreal Canadiens downed the Bruins in five games for the Stanley Cup, Sandford finished ahead of Habs stars Maurice (Rocket) Richard and Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion in the playoff scoring race. Sandford had five goals in his other 31 playoff games.

4. Lonny Bohonos,

Toronto Maple Leafs, 1999

The Leafs gave the Winnipegger a promotion in the second round of the playoffs, bumping the slumping Fredrik Modin to the press box. Playing on a line with Mats Sundin, Bohonos had a goal and two assists in his first NHL playoff game, and he finished the spring with nine points (three goals and six assists) in nine games. It was the only playoff action of his career, and he never played in the NHL again.

3. Marcel Bonin,

Montreal Canadiens, 1959

The forward had 13 goals during the regular season, but he exploded with 10 tallies in only 11 post-season games as the Habs rolled to a Stanley Cup win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bonin, who led all playoff scorers, never potted more than 17 goals during his eight seasons in the league. More remarkably, he had only one goal in his other 39 post-season appearances.

2. John Druce,

Washington Capitals, 1990

The right wing is the first of two names associated most with playoff flashes in the pan. When Dino Ciccarelli went down with a knee injury, Druce joined Dale Hunter and Geoff Courtnall on the top line. Until that point, Druce had scored 16 goals in 93 regular-season games. He exploded with Hunter and Courtnall in the post-season, firing 14 goals in 15 playoff games as the Capitals advanced to the Wales Conference final. If you took Druce in your 1991 playoff draft, you would have been disappointed, though. He had a goal and an assist in 11 contests.

1. Chris Kontos,

Los Angeles Kings, 1989

The most famous flash in the pan, the left wing made the most of playing on a line with Wayne Gretzky in the spring of '89. Kontos spent most of the season in Switzerland but signed with the Kings just before the playoffs and proceeded to score nine goals -- with no assists -- in 11 post-season games. He also scored four goals in the Tampa Bay Lightning's inaugural game in 1992, but he finished his vagabond NHL career with 54 goals in 230 games. Kontos has said it's better to be remembered for being a playoff flash in the pan than not being remembered at all.


Videos

Photos