The upcoming postseason is here for hockey fans around the globe. With the newly formatted NHL playoffs coming up – there is a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding the tournament. There is a new feeling and curiosity – as we have round robin games and qualifiers.
Lets take a look at some of the guys that will be fully expected to play an important role in trying to help their team hoist the Stanley Cup in the end.
Although this is not a complete list of great players – here’s a list of one player from each team to keep an eye on for the upcoming NHL playoffs;
Boston Bruins / David Pastrnak / RW / 48 G / 47 A / 95 PTs / 17.2 SHT% / Xfactor; Pastrnak is having his best professional season, this year, can he keep finding the magic on the ice?
Tampa Bay Lightning / Andrei Vasilevskiy / G / 35 W’s / .917 SV% / 2.56 GAA / Xfactor; Vasilevskiy has been one of the best goalies for the last 3 years – can he get them to the promised land?
Washington Capitals / Alex Ovechkin / LW / 48 G / 19 A / 67 PTs / 15.4 SHT% / Xfactor; Ovechkin has been a rifleman scoring the puck – as always, but his defensive liability carries some concerns for Washington.
Philadelphia Flyers / Sean Couturier / C / 22 G / 37 A / 59 PTs / 11.9 SHT% / Xfactor; Philadelphia is a very balanced team, but when Couturier gets heavily involved – they are that much tougher to handle.
Pittsburgh Penguins / Sidney Crosby / C / 16 G / 31 A / 47 PTs / 14.7 SHT% / Xfactor; Can “Sid the Kid” get one more push? At 32 years old, he is showing signs of wear and tear.
Montreal Canadiens / Tomas Tatar / C / 22 G / 39 A / 61 PTs / 13.6 SHT% / Xfactor; As long as Tatar comes back healthy, Montreal have a fighter’s chance.
Carolina Hurricanes / Sebastian Aho / F / 38 G / 28 A / 66 PTs / 18.4 SHT% / Xfactor; Aho is very opportunistic and crafty for Carolina.
New York Rangers / Mika Zibanejad / C / 41 G / 34 A / 75 PTs / 19.7 SHT% / Xfactor; Zibanejad is imperative on the power play, as long as they take full advantage of their PP opportunities – and he gets his shots – they can push teams.
New York Islanders / Ryan Pulock / D / 10 G / 25 A / 35 PTs / 110 hits / Xfactor; Pulock is a mobile 6-2, 220lb defenseman that can lay a body – he has skill sets every team loves.
Florida Panthers / Sergei Bobrovsky / G / 23 W’s / .900 SV% / 3.23 GAA / Xfactor; Bobrovsky has struggled this year, after leading the NHL in shutouts last season, with 9 – he has been very inconsistent and needs to try to get his game back.
Toronto Maple Leafs / Auston Matthews / C / 47 G / 33 A / 80 PTs / 16.2 SHT% / Xfactor; The former #1 pick is smart, cunning, and has a great knack for getting takeaways for Toronto.
Columbus Blue Jackets / Pierre-Luc Dubois / LW / 18 G / 31 A / 49 PTs / 11.4 SHT% / Xfactor; The tools are there for Dubois – he’s a smart puck mover who is very comfortable skating the puck out of tough situations.
St. Louis Blues / Ryan O’Reilly / C / 12 G / 49 A / 61 PTs / 10.2 SHT% / Xfactor; With 98 assists in 153 games, O’Reilly led his club in assists for the 2nd consecutive season. O’Reilly is the engine that drives this club every season.
Colorado Avalanche / Ryan Graves / D / 9 G / 17 A / 26 PTs / 112 hits / Xfactor; Graves is a beast on the ice, leading the NHL with a whopping +40, as long as he is doing his thing – the Avalanche can be problematic.
Vegas Golden Knights / Max Pacioretty / LW / 32 G / 34 A / 66 PTs / 10.4 SHT% / Xfactor; Pacioretty is a 12 year vet who can still fill the net.
Dallas Stars / Miro Heiskanen / D / 8 G / 27 A / 35 PTs / 40 hits / Xfactor; The 20 year old Heiskanen is lightweight and can be rubbed around the boards – he needs to play tougher.
Edmonton Oilers / Leon Draisaitl / C / 43 G / 67 A / 110 PTs / 19.7 SHT% / Xfactor; Draisaitl is one half of the dynamic duo on Edmonton – but he is the leader and the guy they need to show up – how he goes Edmonton goes.
Chicago Blackhawks / Patrick Kane / RW / 33 G / 51 A / 84 PTs / 12.0 SHT% / Xfactor; You can’t mention the Blackhawks without mentioning Patrick Kane – end of story.
Nashville Predators / Roman Josi / D / 16 G / 49 A / 65 PTs / 52 hits / Xfactor; Josi is one of the premier defensemen in the NHL – he leads and controls the game.
Arizona Coyotes / Lawson Crouse / LW / 15 G / 10 A / 25 PTs / 13.8 SHT% / Xfactor; Crouse has to stay on the ice, he loves to hit , he just needs to pick the right time to lay the lumbar.
Vancouver Canucks / J.T. Miller / C / 27 G / 45 A / 72 PTs / 16.4 SHT% / Xfactor; Miller has had a great scoring season – with his 2nd best shooting pct of his 8 year career.
Minnesota Wild / Zach Parise / LW / 25 G / 21 A / 46 PTs / 16.1 SHT% / Xfactor; Parise is not a kid at 35 years old – can he push Minnesota any further?
Calgary Flames / Elias Lindholm / C / 29 G / 25 A / 54 PTs / 17.2 SHT% / Xfactor; Lindholm has been a deadly shooter this season – if he finds an inch the Flames will score.
Winnipeg Jets / Connor Hellebuyck / G / 31 W’s / .922 SV% / 2.57 GAA / Xfactor; Hellebuyck turns away shots on goal at a torrid pace – on a team that plays no defense. If he can lock it down – they can be a tough out. Be sure to grab your NHL Winners at 10StarPicks each day.