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NHL Playoff Predictions 2012: Daniel Sedin and Injured Stars Who Must Shine

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 21: Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks controls the puck under pressure from Niklas Hjalmarsson #4 of the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on March 21, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Canucks 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterJune 26, 2016

Concussions—they're an all-too-common problem in today's NHL and their impact isn't limited to the regular season.

In fact, this year's field of Stanley Cup playoff contestants is dangerously replete with star players who've been struck down by head injuries this season. These three goal-scoring wizards, in particular, figure to tip the balance of power in the postseason for better or worse, whether they're healthy enough to skate or not.


Daniel Sedin

The concussion bug has come to bit the Vancouver Canucks at the exact wrong time and in the exact wrong...errr, place.

Daniel Sedin was sent into a stupor after taking an elbow to the head from Chicago Blackhawks bruiser Duncan Keith, leaving twin brother Henrik without his on-ice buddy and the two-time Presidents' Cup winners down one of their most integral offensive threats.

With the Sedin twins intact, the Canucks are the clear favorites to win the West again. Without him, they may well be the ninth No. 1 seed to lose in the first round, this time to the defensively-stout Los Angeles Kings.


Sidney Crosby

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 03:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins takes the puck as Daniel Paille #20 of the Boston Bruins defends on April 3, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Sidney Crosby is no longer injured, per se, but with a cacophony of concussions in his recent medical past, the Pittsburgh Penguins star's health will always be of chief concern.

Especially in the postseason, wherein the style of play is more physical and the hits come harder.

So long as Sid the Kid can avoid falling back into the spin zone, the Pens will be among a handful of favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup in short order. 

Jonathan Toews

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 19: Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks moves between Barret Jackman #5 and Scott Nichol #12 of the St. Louis Blues at the United Center on February 19, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Blues 3-1. (Pho
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jonathan Toews is expected to take to the ice in time for Thursday's postseason opener against the Phoenix Coyotes, and the Blackhawks couldn't be happier.

Granted, Chicago fared surprisingly well in its captain's absence, though the team could hardly be considered a threat to compete for the Cup without him.

That being said, Toews' mere presence won't be enough in and of itself to put the Blackhawks in the same category as the Canucks, the Predators, the Red Wings and the Blues in the Western Conference. They'll need their star center to have a clear mind to go along with his full heart.

Otherwise, Chicago can (and likely will) lose.



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