Center: Johan Franzen (Detroit)
Franzen had a mediocre regular season, posting a total of 38 points (27 G, 11 A), but has exploded in the playoffs. He has scored a total of 14 points in 10 games so far. His 11 goals and four game-winning goals are both tops in the playoffs. Nine of his 11 goals have come in the last four games, including two hat tricks. He is currently producing a point for every 13 minutes of ice time. His plus nine rating and 47 shots are second and third in the playoffs, respectively.
Franzen also has four power play goals and two short-handed goals, making him a threat on the ice at all times. Most importantly, though, Detroit is 6-0 when Franzen scores a goal.
Notables: Daniel Briere (Philadelphia, 8 G, 6 A); Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh, 6 G, 8 A); Mike Ribeiro (Dallas, 3 G, 11A)
Left Wing: Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit)
Surprise, surprise, another Red Wing. I try not to double up, but Zetterberg has the best numbers of any left winger by far. So far this postseason, Zetterberg has 13 points (7 G, 6 A). He is also plus ten, has three short-handed points, and has registered 54 shots (5.4 shots per game), leading the league in each category in the process.
Detroit is 5-0 when Zetterberg scores a goal, and he had nine points in Detroit’s four-game sweep of the Colorado Avalanche in the second round.
Notable: Brendan Morrow (Dallas, 7 G, 4 A)
Right Wing: Jaromir Jagr (New York Rangers)
After having what many considered to be a subpar regular season, producing 71 points in 82 games, Jagr has come to life in the postseason. He has scored a total of 15 points (5 G, 10 A) in just ten games. No other right winger has even broken ten points so far this postseason.
It has been Jagr's most productive postseason since the 2000 playoffs, when he put up 16 points in 11 games. Unfortunately for Jagr, his efforts were not enough for the Rangers to advance.
Notable: Alexei Kovalev (Montreal, 5 G, 6 A)
Defense: Stephane Robidas (Dallas)
After having a tremendous first round with six points, Robidas has slowed down slightly, posting only two assists in the second round. One of these was the assist on the game-winner from Morrow in the quadruple-overtime game six.
Robidas’ defensive abilities have exceeded anyone in the NHL so far this postseason. He has thrown 59 hits this postseason, making his presence felt on the ice. Hitting will be a factor if Dallas ends up playing the Flyers in the finals (this probably won’t happen). But Robidas’ most important attribute is his shot-blocking ability. Robidas has blocked 23 shots through two rounds, including seven alone in the quadruple-overtime thriller that eliminated the Sharks.
Defense: Sergei Gonchar (Pittsburgh)
Five points (1 G, 4 A) in nine games is what Gonchar should be producing at this point in the season, in 25 minutes a game during the playoffs.
Four of his points have come on the power play—which is to be expected, given the efficiency of the Pittsburgh power play. But Gonchar’s best attribute so far has been his ability to get back on rushes and block shots. He has 22 blocked shots, most of which have come at some big points in each round.
Notables: Brian Campbell (San Jose, 1 G, 6 A); Niklas Kronwall (Detroit, 0 G, 8 A); Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit, 2 G, 5 A)
Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh)
At the beginning of the playoffs, there was some uncertainty as to whether Fleury would be starting in net for the Penguins, but he has gone above and beyond the call of duty so far in the postseason.
He is currently tied with Detroit’s Chris Osgood with a .937 save percentage, and is second to Osgood with a goals against average of 1.76.
He also boasts an 8-1 playoff record, leading all goalies in shutouts with two. While Osgood is currently 6-0 with a better save percentage and goals against average, he also has a better defense in front of him than Fleury does.
Notables: Chris Osgood (Detroit, 6-0, .937, 1.52); Marty Turco (Dallas, 7-4, .916, 1.98)