Sidney Crosby –
No. 87 is solidifying himself in only his third year as a legendary player in the NHL. He’s tied for the League lead with 21 playoff points, including four goals and a League-high 17 assists. He’s remarkably quick, and is been one of the Penguins forwards who has done a masterful job playing defense as well.
Marian Hossa –
The right wing on Crosby’s line has been playing the best hockey of his career in this postseason. Much maligned for his past postseason performances – 35 points in 55 games before this season – he has nine goals and 10 assists this year and has found a remarkable chemistry with Crosby. He, too, has been excellent defensively.
Evgeni Malkin –
The Penguins may not have made the playoffs without the second-year Russian. Malkin, a Hart Trophy candidate, finished the regular season with 106 points and hasn’t slowed down in the postseason. He has 19 so far on nine goals and 10 assists. When Crosby got hurt the Penguins needed Malkin to step up and lead. He did just that.
Henrik Zetterberg –
One of Detroit’s two Selke Trophy finalists, Zetterberg has put all his skills on display in the playoffs. His 21 points are tied with Sidney Crosby
for the League lead. He has three goals and four assists in series-clinching games. His plus-15 rating, also tops in the League, is an extension of his remarkable plus-30 in the regular season. He’s winning 57.9 percent of his faceoffs in the playoffs, and he plays 21:24 per game.
Pavel Datsyuk –
The other Selke finalist and Zetterberg’s linemate, Datsyuk also has been phenomenal in the playoffs. He has 19 points, which ties him for third in the League with Evgeni Malkin
and Marian Hossa
. He’s a plus-12, which is second only to Zetterberg. He amazingly has not been whistled for a penalty in the playoffs despite nearly 21 minutes of ice time per game.
Chris Osgood –
The former backup goalie is playing like a Conn Smythe Trophy candidate. Osgood’s 1.60 goals-against average is No. 1 in the NHL. He’s 10-2 since taking over for Dominik Hasek
halfway through Game 3 against Nashville. He has a .931 save percentage (20 goals against facing 288 shots), but has faced 21 or fewer shots in eight of his 12 playoff starts. He’s definitely made the most of his save opportunities.