After a thrilling first round in the NHL Playoffs this year, there are still a bunch of players and teams competing for the cup who deserve it more than others. Love them or hate them, these NHL stars could really make their careers blossom after hoisting the silver trophy in a few weeks time. On the other hand, some of the names on the list need the cup in order to avoid falling into hockey oblivion. So let the arguments begin!
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have led the Blackhawks to the top of the NHL elite this season. They're young, they're awesome and they would love to add Stanley Cup rings to the Olympic medals they received in Vancouver.
Jimmy Howard is in the running for the Calder Trophy for best rookie in the NHL this year, and has powered the Red Wings to their spot in the 2nd round. Winning as a rookie starting goalie will only ignite Patrick Roy comparisons and whispers of future greatness.
Joe is one of the best players and playmakers in the NHL and undoubtedly a future hall-of-famer. Unfortunately he's never won a cup, a huge damper on an illustrious NHL and international career.
The team that has won the most Stanley Cups in NHL history has been in a bit of a drought over the last...17 years. They're a great team with a great history and this year could be the one to put them back on top.
The Vancouver goalie who backed Team Canada to a gold medal a few months ago has never won the cup and is having a great year this season. He is also one of the best goalies left standing in this year's playoffs. So, it could happen.
Pittsburgh's dynamic duo led their team to the cup last year and each had great performances this year. Winning the cup this spring would vault them to a status deserving of Gretzky/Kurri comparisons and the beginning of a dynasty.
The Pens won last year and winning this year would break the chain of non-repeaters in the NHL. Win again, keep the big players and...did someone say dynasty?
He's awesome. He's loyal to Vancouver. He's really awesome, and no one noticed him until this year. He really deserves it.
Boston's rookie goalie has been nearly perfect this postseason, a continuation of his performance in the regular season. He took over against Buffalo, and is looking like he's going to keep it up against Philly. And he's a rookie. Sounds too good to be true.
Love him or hate him. He's really tried to be on cup-capable teams over the last few years after all the crap he went through in Atlanta. He's an amazing scorer and a big part of Chicago's success this year. He truly deserves it.