Jake Guentzel is establishing himself as one of the NHL's most feared postseason scorers, and he's only in his second professional season.
The Minnesota native had "Guentzelvania" going crazy Sunday when he tore apart of the Philadelphia Flyers with 4 goals and an assist to lead the Penguins into the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Guentzel, who starred in high school at Hill-Murray, leads all playoff scorers with 6 goals and 13 points, not to mention a playoff-leading plus-10 on-ice rating.
If Pittsburgh can go deep into the playoffs or even win the Stanley Cup for a third straight season, Guentzel has a chance to blow away the bar he set last season when he went from rookie to sensation by scoring 21 playoff points including an NHL best 13 goals.
"He has the ability to play his best when the stakes are the highest," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Sunday, via WITF.
Guentzel has been good in each of his first two regular season campaigns, but nowhere near the scoring threat that he's proving to be in the postseason.
- 19 goals and 34 points in 31 career playoff games
- 38 goals and 81 points in 122 career regular season games
He's not putting up Wayne Gretzky-like numbers, but his numbers are Sidney Crosby-like.
Crosby has averaged 1.15 points per game in 154 playoff games. Guentzel, albeit a smaller sample size (31 playoff games), is averaging 1.10 points per game.
“You get a little excitement, a little nerves in you,” Guentzel said of playoff hockey in an interview with TribLive. “This is what you want to play in. You grow up dreaming about this. It's definitely fun.”