This was a little difficult to put together, because certainly, a team's loss or losing streak during the playoffs doesn't usually stem from one single player's folly or mistake.
However, there are those players who, prior to the postseason, have had a heightened level of expectations and/or pressure placed on their shoulders.
Although this list may not contain the lowliest of contributors for their respective teams, it is through my perspective and hopefully others as well that listed players have shown up on this list.
Please share comments and questions, as there were a few teams were I wasn't too sure who to pick, and others whom I'm sure will raise said questions from readers.
One of two ties I came across on this list. The Ducks were leaning on Dan Ellis before game one to help get past the Predators into the round of eight. Unfortunately for Anaheim, Nashville simply outplayed them and took advantage of their defense, ultimately leading to a dismantling of Ellis.
Also on the unfortunate side is that Ray Emery was the one on which they placed their dependency after they yanked Ellis from the net. Sure, he helped them win Game 2, but Emery's efforts still haven't been able to cut it against Mike Fisher and the Preds. While this one may not have been much of a shocker, it is certainly true.
Tim Thomas could easily have been the scapegoat for this slot, but I chose to include Milan Lucic for this one.
The regular contributor for the Bruins had been nothing but quite against the Canadiens. He hasn't registered a single point so far, but has managed to rack up a plus/minus rating of minus-two.
Certainly not the only one who needs to pick up the slack on this Boston squad, but Lucic could easily help lead the way if he picks up his production.
So what if he is still considered a youngster? This is absolutely the time to prove yourself for years to come, or at least until next season, for that matter.
Ennis, who was one point shy of the 50 point mark this year, has not made an impact whatsoever. He has managed, however, to have been sent to the "sin bin" once, along with eight shots to no avail.
As one of the veterans and returning members from last year's championship team, most would expect for Hossa to lead the way.
Much to the liking of the Canucks and their fans, Hossa hasn't been able to do anything on the ice, whether it be in Vancouver or on home ice in the United Center.
I was quite surprised to find out how productive this "veteran's veteran" (knowing the stud veterans who fill out Detroit's roster) was during the regular season. I was even more surprised to find out that he was also practically unproductive, just as his fellow "underperformers" have been through the playoffs so far.
Unfortunately for Mr. Bertuzzi, he was the one who caught my eye, because I was considering Hank Zetterberg for this collection. He is the only one who hasn't seen to the ice in this series.
Yeah, that's how awesome the Wings are playing hockey right now.
Last night, in the highest scoring game of the playoffs so far, Jarret Stoll finally received one point for an assist.
Prior to that, the trusty Kings center hadn't done squat, with the exception of getting a one game ban from the league for an uncontrolled hit.
Even though the Kings have faired well against the well suited Sharks, it would be that much better for Stoll's services to be affective, especially if they want to advance.
He may be a rookie defender, but it doesn't seem as if Subban has had any dificulty placing himself in the limelight, so I'm surprised he hasn't done so to this point in the 2011 NHL Playoffs.
After mustering up 38 points during the regular season as a rookie defenseman, it seems that he hasn't been able to find his groove against the Bruins, even though they completely owned them in the first two tilts of this series.
Lucky for P.K., his forward teammates have done their jobs well.
This was a tough call as well, so please open thy eyes/ears.
During the regular season, Rinne, among goalies who appeared in 30-plus games, had pretty awesome stats, including the second best save percentage behind Boston's Tim Thomas.
Both goals allowed average and his save percentage have increased, and decreased, respectively.
If the Predators want to finish of the Ducks, then their skaters need to keep doing what they are doing, but Rinne needs to step his game up a little bit.
This one should come to all of us as a no-brainer.
Indeed, Gaborik has registered an assist so far, but it still hasn't made much of an impact. Other than Lundqvist and Dubinsky, the Rangers haven't had someone to spark their play, which, under the circumstances, has been electrifying against the Captials.
When it comes to Gaborik, he has garnered a matter of respect from opponents from around the league, but during this series, it has seemingly allowed the Caps to free up more responsibility for other threats.
Bobrovsky in the foreground.
Of all underperformers I chose, this one was the least accusative, rather judgemental.
I thought about going with captain Mike Richards, but I knew that I would get instant negative feedback, mostly because they're winning and he has at least registered a point.
Instead, I've gone with rookie netminder Sergei Bobrovsky.
I must say that I wasn't too surprised to see him get pulled after being completely owned in Game 1.
As the regular season wound down, I noticed that there was a tendency for Bobrovsky to get pulled—at least more than any other goalie I saw.
Luckily for the Flyers, they have a fairly decent backup in Brian Boucher.
While Stempniak might not be an average household name, he has been for Coyotes fans over his last two seasons with Phoenix.
Coming off of his most productive year to date, it's a shame that Stempniak hasn't been able to showcase his skills against the powerful Red Wing blueliners. Through three games, this near 40-point scorer hasn't registered a point and has a plus/minus rating of minus-two.
If the 'Yotes want to make like Chicago and fight for another game in the playoffs, he will need to display those skills to the fullest extent if he intends to help the cause.
When the Dallas Stars traded for Alex Goligoski, they were looking for a young defender who could help bolster their blue-line defense. That is exactly what they got, but they still didn't make the playoffs.
In return, one of the players the Penguins received was James Neal, who was having a great season for the Stars.
When he arrived in Pittsburgh, however, his production hit a stand still, in which over the last 20 games of the regular season, he only tallied six points.
Like the rest of Neal's season after the trade, his playoff production is just as lowly, with zero points.
It isn't his fault entirely, though; having to adopt a new style of play with a team meshing so well even without Crosby and Malkin was probably difficult. I'll put it this way—Neal struggled in the Steel City, while Goligoski thrived in D Town.
Prior to last night's shootout between the Sharks and the Kings, Patrick Marleau was going to accompany Thornton on this list, but he posted a goal and an assist.
When I had previously wanted to select Mike Richards for Philadelphia's under-performer, I knew that I would be reprimanded. A captain's worth on and off the ice can't really be judged, because we don't know how his tactics are helping or hurting the team.
The same goes for Joe Thornton.
But for Thornton, 70 points from the regular season and the effort to get those have not translated into the postseason as he, Todd McLellan or any Sharks fan would have hoped.
Leadership can be good for others, but more often than not, a captain's words can't affect their level of play like others. Thornton needs to pick it up.
Stamkos being denied.
Steven Stamkos was playing some of the best hockey we saw out of any skater during the regular season.
With only one assist through game three against the Penguins, Stamkos has been silent compared to the rest of the impressive skaters on the Lightning roster as well as others participating in the NHL Playoffs this year.
Martin St. Louis and Eric Brewer have been leading the way for the most part, but it's time for Stamkos to prove that you don't need playoff experience to play spectacularly in them.
Obviously, Raffi Torres wasn't one of the most actively contributing players on the Canucks this season, but he contributed 29 points, nonetheless.
Prior to the playoffs, Torres received a four game ban for a dangerous hit on Jordan Eberle of the Edmonton Oilers. Instead of contributing in a good manner so far in the playoffs, Torres has only proved that he belongs in the class of villains with the likes of Matt Cooke and Sean Avery.
I find it hard to believe that he hasn't been able to do something right during their three game span of romping the Blackhawks. I'm sure even Canucks fans were shocked to see that Torres wasn't given another ban after he leveled and unsuspecting Brent Seabrook in Game 3.
There isn't really any words of encouragement or improvement needed to be said about Torres, other than he needs to stop being stupid.
As a Caps fan, I hate to put Backy on this list, but in my opinion, he needs to be.
When you've come to be known as one of your teams top three players over the past couple of seasons, you damn well need to be producing, especially after last year's first round mess against the Habs.
After being denied a seemingly simple layup past Henrik Lundqvist, I'll admit that I was a little upset. Disappointed, rather. I'm not doubting NIck Backstrom in anyway, and I believe he'll find his touch, but let's pick it up, Backstrom!