The 2013 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs are more than a week old, and just like in years gone by, there are a few players that have just a bit more at stake than others.
Some guys are just at that stage in their career where they need to prove that they can get things done in the postseason. Others are here for the first time, and want to avoid the early label as a postseason choker.
Some of the best skaters in the playoffs right now have gone through this stage in their careers. The early Pavel Datsyuk comes to mind, as does Joe Thornton during his early days with the San Jose Sharks.
Whatever the reason, some players have a few more chips pushed to the center of the table than their counterparts, so they have more to gain with strong performances.