NHL Playoffs 2012: Sidney Crosby and Every Team's Most Important Player

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NHL Playoffs 2012: Sidney Crosby and Every Team's Most Important Player
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Sidney Crosby

Superstars emerge in the NHL playoffs as 16 teams battle for the coveted Stanley Cup.

Each squad has made the first step to capturing a championship by reaching the 2012 NHL postseason, which began on Wednesday. Plenty of players have contributed to getting their teams to this position, but whether or not they advance will depend on which squad's key players perform at a higher level.

The intensity is kicked up a notch when the playoffs roll through, and goals will be a lot harder to score. One mistake by a player could get his team sent home. One big play can turn him into a hero.

Here is a list of each club's most important player for the postseason, starting with the Western Conference. 

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