Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final foreshadowed that the playoffs will ultimately be decided by offense.
The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins by the score of 4-3 in triple overtime on Wednesday. Defense ruled the overtime periods, but equal offensive onslaughts forced the extra time in the first place. If the series’ high-scoring trend continues, here are the goal scorers most likely to be the difference in the outcome.
4. C Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Toews has only scored one goal in the postseason thus far. He sneaks on to this list due to his impressive 23 in the regular season, which tied him with Patrick Kane for the team lead and fifth in the NHL.
The Calgary Sun’s Randy Sportak blames timidness to shoot the puck for Toews’ scoring drought:
Whatever is holding Toews back, he still possesses the talent to explode offensively.
3. RW Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks
Hossa didn’t score nearly as many goals as Toews in the regular season (17), but he’s been the superior offensive performer in the playoffs. He’s third on the team in postseason goal scoring with seven. The right wing scored a goal in Game 1 of every series except the Stanley Cup Final, so he’s due.
2. RW Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Kane, like Toews, hasn’t equaled his dominant regular-season goal-scoring numbers. He, at least, caught fire at the end of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings, scoring four goals in the final two games, including a hat trick in Game 5.
The 24-year-old only scored two goals in the playoffs prior to that hot streak, but he proved against the Kings that he’s more than capable of exploding any game.
1. C David Krejci, Boston Bruins
Chicago has the greater wealth of scorers, but it doesn’t have Krejci, who is the NHL playoff leader in goals scored. His nine goals give him at least two more than everyone on this list. He notched a hat trick against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round and scored four goals in a span of three games in the Eastern Conference Final vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins.
More than any other player, it would be a surprise if Krejci doesn’t leave his mark on the finals as a scorer.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.