Ramblings: Playoff Hero Joel Kiviranta, Demko Effort Not Enough (Sept 5)

Ian Gooding

2020-09-05

You the hockey fan were gifted not one, but two Game 7's on Friday. One went to overtime, while the other one nearly made it there.

Dallas 5, Colorado 4 OT (Dallas wins series 4-3)

You've heard of Cinderella teams… what about Cinderella players? Meet Joel Kiviranta.

Kiviranta's insertion into the Dallas lineup as an injury replacement for Andrew Cogliano didn't generate a ton of buzz before the game. Yet all he managed to do was put together a performance for the ages. First, a second-period goal to tie the game at 2. Then, a game-tying goal just 10 seconds after the Avalanche took the lead with less than four minutes in regulation. Then, the overtime winner for the hat trick. I'll give you the call in Finnish for the full effect.

If you'd never heard of Kiviranta before today, you definitely weren't alone. The undrafted Finnish forward scored one goal in 11 regular-season games. Then he had recorded one assist (with a plus-4) in two postseason games prior to Game 7. He didn't even need to be moved to the top line for this kind of production, instead making it work with Denis Gurianov and Roope Hintz.

Kiviranta's Dobber Prospects profile doesn't jump out at you, as he is the fourth-ranked right wing prospect in the Stars organization. Even if Kiviranta's career is uneventful going forward, at least he'll