The San Jose Sharks have two wins in the Western Conference semifinals. Like every team that wins games after the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, there are certain players emerging as leaders.
Right now, those players are in contention to be San Jose's most valuable players. If they can lead the team past the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and win the Western Conference Finals, they will become candidates for the Conn Smythe Award given to the best postseason player.
Only five Sharks teams have ever finished with more than their six wins. Patrick Marleau was part of all three previous teams to get more than seven, and the coaches and most of the core players have been to the next round twice.
Other players have the experience elsewhere in the NHL. They know what it takes to win at this level.
More than anything, this is their last chance. They know it and the fans know it. At least one of the core will be gone before next season, and they are playing like it.
Thus, merely examining San Jose's best players would only make a list that anyone could rattle off. The difficulty is in ranking six very good performances...