Goalscorers and playmakers tend to get all the attention when a team is winning.
They're capable of impacting the game in a way that few players can. They get fans out of their seats and they load up the highlight reels of all your favorite morning sports shows.
When things are going well, the spotlight shines brightly upon them. Fans shower them with praise and adoration.
They're the guys the fans pay to see, and they rake in the big paychecks because of it.
Unfortunately, there are always some players that don't get the respect they deserve. Every successful team needs a certain player aside from the ones who fill the net on a nightly basis.
They need players who dish out hits, dive in front of 100 mph slap shots, crash the opposing crease and simply sacrifice their bodies for the good of the team.
They are counted upon to chip in offensively when the star players are in a slump and are called upon to bring some energy to the team when it's faltering. They're also routinely relied upon to shut down the best offensive players on the other team.
Here are the most important support players in the game today.