NHL Playoffs 2012: Power Ranking the Performances of the Team Captains
In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, rookies enter the NHL spotlight and players who weren't expected to do anything surprise and become unsung heroes. Goalies seem to stop every puck in their path, and everyone is playing through injuries in hopes the pain will pay off.
However, out of all of the players in the postseason, team captains find themselves under the most pressure. These are the players who lead the victory celebrations and are put under media scrutiny if a series goes wrong. On top of their leadership responsibilities, they too are expected to put up strong individual performances.
The following is the ranking of every playoff team's captain in the postseason, regardless of whether a squad is still in contention or they are already playing golf.
Note: The Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers do not currently have captains, so they will not be included in this slideshow.
14. Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The Red Wings were recently eliminated by the Nashville Predators, and in that conference quarterfinal series, Nicklas Lidstrom was virtually invisible.
Lidstrom was scoreless with an even rating in five games. However, he was tied for fourth with five blocked shots and ranked first with 23:43 of ice time and 5:10 of ice time on the power play.
13. Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images
Alfredsson missed three games of the Senators series with the New York Rangers after suffering a concussion. However, he has still posted a goal while ranking seventh with 17:02 of ice time and 2:43 on the power play.
In addition, he is 10th with 2:50 played on the penalty kill.
12. David Backes, St. Louis Blues
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Backes had one goal in five games as the Blues advanced to the conference semifinals for the first time in 10 years.
The first-year captain is tied for fifth on the team with a 57.6 percent faceoff-win percentage and is fifth with eight hits. His 20:56 of ice time is ranked sixth, while his minutes on the power play (2:21) and penalty kill (2:02) are in eighth.
11. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Chara has three points in six games as the reigning Stanley Cup champions look to extend their season in the upcoming Game 7 with the Washington Capitals.
He had three points in Game 3 and also has one game-winning goal in the series. He is third on Boston with 24 hits and fourth with seven blocked shots.
Chara also leads the Bruins with 27:22 of ice time per game. His 2:34 of penalty-kill time is second, and he is third with 3:14 logged on the power play.
10. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Despite the fact that the Hawks exited the playoffs in the first round for the second year in a row, Toews still had a solid performance.
He had four points and a plus-four rating over six games and registered one game-winning goal. He also had a point in three of the series' six games.
In addition, Toews was second on Chicago with a 62.5 percent faceoff-win percentage. He was fourth with 22:17 of ice time and averaged 3:26 on the power play (third), as well as 1:44 on the penalty kill (ninth).
9. Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Weber had two goals and a plus-one as the Predators eliminated the Detroit Red Wings and advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals for the second straight year.
He is first on the team with 27:44 of ice time and second in both power-play (4:21) and penalty-kill (4:08) minutes.
He also ranks third with 12 hits and is tied for first with 11 blocked shots.
8. Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Doan, who has been with the Coyotes since they were known as the Winnipeg Jets, helped his team advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. He contributed two points and a plus-one in the first-round series with the Chicago Blackhawks.
He is first on Phoenix with 31 hits and third with a 75 percent faceoff-win percentage, as well as 22:38 of ice time. He is fifth with 3:16 of ice time on the power play and eighth with 1:45 of penalty-kill minutes.
7. Ryan Callahan, New York Rangers
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Callahan has three points and a plus-one through the Rangers' first six games with the Ottawa Senators. He's also registered a power-play goal.
In addition to being first on the Blueshirts with 25 hits, Callahan is third with 23:09 of ice time per game. He is also second with 5:35 logged on the power play and fourth with 3:14 of penalty-kill ice time.
6. Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
Parise has four points in six games as the Devils are preparing for a Game 7 with the Florida Panthers. That total includes one power-play goal and one game-winning goal.
He had two points in Game 3, which resulted in a 4-3 Devils loss.
Parise is second on the Devils with 20 hits and fifth with 20:39 of ice time per game. He is second in power-play minutes (3:34) and fourth in ice time on the penalty kill (2:14).
5. Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Harry How/Getty Images
Sedin had five points in five games against the Los Angeles Kings and is currently second in the NHL after posting two power-play goals.
He had two points in Game 4 as the Canucks held off elimination.
Sedin finished seventh on Vancouver with a 39.5 percent faceoff-win percentage and was also fifth with 21:20 of ice time. His 5:02 of power-play minutes ranked first.
4. Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Although the Sharks' season ended in disappointment with a first-round exit, Thornton still posted five points and a plus-two rating in five games. In Game 3 with the St. Louis Blues, he tallied three assists, then had a goal in Games 4 and 5.
He finished third on the Sharks with 21:53 of ice time and was second with 4:30 of power-play time. He was also second with a 61.1 percent faceoff-win percentage.
3. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Crosby is currently in third in the NHL with eight points in six games, even though the Penguins were eliminated by the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
In Game 4, a 10-3 victory for Pittsburgh, he put up three points and he also had two points in Games 1 and 2.
Crosby finished the playoffs third on the Penguins in faceoff wins (54.8 percent) and 5:25 of ice time on the power play. He was sixth with 20:36 of ice time per game.
2. Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Ovechkin has five points in six games as the Capitals prepare for a Game 7 with the Boston Bruins.
He had two points in Game 3 of the series, a 4-3 loss for the Capitals, and is first on the team with 28 hits.
He is also sixth with 20:12 of ice time and first with an average ice time of 4:11 on the power play.
1. Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Brown is a big part of the reason why his team is in the Western Conference Semifinals for the first time since 2001.
He is currently fourth in the NHL with four goals and first with two short-handed goals, and he's also added one game-winning goal. He has five points overall and ranks fourth in the league with a plus-10.
Brown is also tied for first on the Kings with 21 hits and is fifth in average ice time (20:32) and sixth in power-play ice time (4:04). He is also 10th with 1:47 of ice time on the penalty kill.