They may not enjoy the superstar status of Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but pivotal players like Patrice Bergeron and Mike Smith have proved vital to their teams' success and could control their playoff fate.
In the latest edition of Player Power Rankings from Tom Awad of Hockey Prospectus, a new Penguin cracks the top 10 skaters, but a familiar one remains No. 1. Dallas' Kari Lehtonen makes an appearance in the goalie rankings.
Here we go again: the 2010-11 Player Power Rankings, based on Puck Prospectus' GVT metric. For the first edition, two very familiar names are at the top -- Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. Anyone else counting the days until January 1?
For two straight weeks of Puck Prospectus' Conn Smythe watch, Jonathan Toews and Michael Leighton have been 1-2 in the rankings (after ousting Jaroslav Halak). As the Cup finals begin, so too does their epic final showdown.
Tom Awad of Puck Prospectus follows up with something he's been doing all year -- Player Power Rankings, or PPR -- for the first round of the playoffs. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Jaroslav Halak was No. 1 among all players in the eight matchups.