Whether they cue the goal horn directly or indirectly, whether they flip on the red light out of the blue or as a means of answering anticipation, some of the NHL’s elite will often signal their team’s true arrival just by pitching in.
Special teams’ specialists, steamrolling skaters, prolific power forwards, energetic and exemplary leaders and generally habitual difference-makers can all illustrate a team’s ideal electrical outlet. Sometimes, full forward units constitute the cord, prong and plughole that might not be as effective without one another.
Whenever such a player tunes the opposing mesh, but especially if it is in a head-turning fashion or a particularly timely manner, it tends to inspire his mates and his fanbase. Depending on how much he does in a given time frame, he can spawn stretches of momentum within a single game or prolific point-getting streaks on both the stat sheet and the standings.
Conversely, when they are present in a corporeal manner but not necessarily producing, the players in question leave their team prone to pandemic frostbite. In turn, the collective spirit and performance of the club and the faith of the fans might not thaw out until that player turns his charge back up.
Based especially on their impact on their respective clubs during the 2011-12 season, each franchise’s top power switcher is assessed as follows.