Remembering the most unlikely NHL playoff heroes

Max Talbot, Cam Ward and Fernando Pisani. (QMI Agency/Getty Images)

Max Talbot, Cam Ward and Fernando Pisani. (QMI Agency/Getty Images)

JOHN MATISZ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:23 PM ET

Unless you're an Edmonton Oilers fan, you probably don't remember much about Fernando Pisani.

In fact, the only thing you might recall is Pisani's out-of-the-blue dominance in the 2006 NHL playoffs.

Despite recording 38 points in the regular season as a role player, the winger evolved into an integral part of Edmonton's lengthy playoff run that ended in a Stanley Cup finalist nod. In 24 games, Pisani finished with 18 points, including 14 goals -- five of which were game-winners.

Amazing, right? Yet, his unexpected post-season brilliance is not entirely unique.

Here are 10 players who rose to the occasion and became unlikely NHL playoff heroes:

Max Talbot (F, 2008-09 Penguins)

  • Regular season: 24 games, 8 goals (2 GWG), 13 points, plus-8
  • Playoffs: 75 games, 12 goals (1 GWG), 22 points, minus-9

Shining moment: Grinder scored Stanley Cup-winning goal, his second in Game 7

Johan Franzen (F, 2007-08 Red Wings)

  • Regular season: 72 games, 27 goals (8 GWG), 38 points, plus-12
  • Playoffs: 16 games, 13 goals (5 GWG), 18 points, plus-13

Shining moment: Streaky sniper potted as many goals (9) as Colorado in their second round series

Fernando Pisani (F, 2005-06 Oilers)

  • Regular season: 80 games, 18 goals (2 GWG), 37 points, plus-5
  • Playoffs: 24 games, 14 goals (5 GWG), 18 points, plus-4

Shining moment: Notching short-handed (5-on-3) game-winning goal in Game 5 of the Cup Finals

Cam Ward (G, 2005-06 Hurricanes)

  • Regular season: 28 games, 14 wins, 3.68 GAA, .882 SV%
  • Playoffs: 23 games, 15 wins, 2.14 GAA, .920 SV%

Shining moment: Rookie/Conn Smythe winner stopped 25 of 25 Game 2 shots in the Cup Finals

Martin Gelinas (F, 2003-04 Flames)

  • Regular season: 76 games, 17 goals (3 GWG), 35 points, plus-10
  • Playoffs: 26 games, 8 goals (3 GWG), 15 points, plus-10

Shining moment: Veteran's Game 6 tally vs. San Jose was his third series-ending goal of playoffs

Ruslan Fedotenko (F, 2003-04 Lightning)

  • Regular season: 77 games, 17 goals (3 GWG), 39 points, plus-14
  • Playoffs: 22 games, 12 goals (3 GWG), 14 points, even

Shining moment: Foot soldier scored both Tampa goals in 2-1 win in Game 7 of Cup Finals

J.S. Giguere (G, 2002-03 Mighty Ducks)

  • Regular season: 65 games, 34 wins, 2.30 GAA, .920 SV%
  • Playoffs: 21 games, 15 wins, 1.62 GAA, .945 SV%

Shining moment: Rising star's 63-save playoff debut got Conn Smythe talk going very early

Alyn McCauley (F, 2001-02 Maple Leafs)

  • Regular season: 82 games, 6 goals (1 GWG), 16 points, plus-10
  • Playoffs: 20 games, 5 goals (2 GWG), 15 points, plus-3

Shining moment: Sudden contributor scored two Game 4 goals, including game-winner, in second round

Chris Kontos (F, 1988-89 Kings)

  • Regular season: 7 games, 2 goals (0 GWG), 3 points, plus-2
  • Playoffs: 11 games, 9 goals (1 GWG), 9 points, minus-3

Shining moment: Journeyman recorded hat-trick in Game 5 of second round vs. Edmonton

Patrick Roy (G, 1985-86 Canadiens)

  • Regular season: 47 games, 23 wins, 3.35 GAA
  • Playoffs: 20 games, 15 wins, 1.93 GAA

Shining moment: One of 11 roookies on Montreal became youngest Conn Smythe winner ever


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