The top players in the Stanley Cup playoffs have all played different roles for their teams, from Boston's David Krejci leading the NHL in postseason scoring to Jonathan Quick carrying the Los Angeles Kings to a second straight conference finals appearance. Their performances have kept their teams alive as the Cup finals draw closer.
There are several other players who deserved consideration for this list, but their teams were eliminated in the second round.
And quite frankly, given the number of players who have been outstanding going all the way into the current third round, we had to have some type of demarcation line, and those whose teams didn't make the conference finals were unfortunately cut from the list.
Still, we would like to recognize several of those whose seasons ended sooner than they would have liked: Antti Niemi and Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks), Henrik Zetterberg and Jimmy Howard (Detroit Red Wings), Daniel Alfredsson and Kyle Turris (Ottawa Senators) and Derick Brassard (New York Rangers).
Now, let's look at the 12 players from whom this year's Stanley Cup MVP will likely come from.