2011 NHL Playoffs: Full Report Cards for the Top 20 Superstars Still Alive

Mark Della Posta@markdellapostaContributor IIIMay 13, 2011

2011 NHL Playoffs: Full Report Cards for the Top 20 Superstars Still Alive

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    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 24: Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks skates off the ice after giving up the winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Unite
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The first two rounds of this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs have simply been outstanding. We've had major upsets, breakout performances and big time disappointments.

    With the first and second rounds behind us, a number of players are beginning to emerge as potential Conn Smythe Trophy candidates.

    On the other side of the coin, however, a few stars have drastically underperformed and are making their coaches and general managers look bad.

    Here are the full report cards for the top 20 superstars still alive.

Thomas Kaberle: F

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 06:  Tomas Kaberle #12 of the Boston Bruins is tripped by Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 6, 2011 in Boston, Massa
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Kaberle was brought in as the final piece to the Bruins' Stanley Cup puzzle. They paid a big-time price for the former Maple Leaf and may be regretting it now.

    Kaberle has been a non-factor in the Bruins' two series victories thus far. In 11 games, the Czech defenseman has only three assists, six blocked shots and a putrid giveaway/takeaway ratio.

    Despite his offensive abilities, he hasn't helped the Boston power play in the slightest. The Bruins have only two goals through the first two rounds.

    He invisible on most nights and simply hasn't lived up to the hype.

    Once a Leaf, always a Leaf.

Mikael Samuelsson: F

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    GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 08:  Mikael Samuelsson #26 of the Vancouver Canucks skates with the puck during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on March 8, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Canucks defeated the Coyotes 4-3 in overtime.  (Ph
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    When Samuelsson was signed last year, it was expected that his goal-scoring ability and Stanley Cup experience would help lead the Canucks to the promise land.

    That hasn't happened. Samuelsson has scored only one goal thus far and has failed to be a key contributor in any facet of the game.

    He hasn't even been able to produce when playing next to the Sedins.

    That alone could have warranted him an F.

Steven Stamkos: D

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    TAMPA, FL - MAY 04:  Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the Washington Capitals in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the St Pete Times Forum on May 4, 2011 in Tampa, Florid
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Stamkos hasn't looked good in this year's playoffs. Rather than be the go-to guy for his teammates, Stamkos has been merely a support player for the Bolts.

    In 11 games, Stamkos has only four goals and two assists. He's taking less shots than he did in the regular season and has become a less important component of Tampa's offense because of it.

    Although he hasn't been terrible, he hasn't played anywhere near his abilities. For this, Stamkos gets a D for his performance in the first two rounds.

Daniel Sedin: C

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 7: Daniel Sedin #22 of the Vancouver Canucks gets hauled down by Shea Weber #6 of the Nashville Predators during the second period in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 07
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    The league's leading point scorer and Hart Trophy favorite started off his playoffs on a tear. In his first three games, Sedin had five points.

    Then Dave Bolland returned from injury. Bolland was able to shut down Sedin, limiting him to two points and a minus-six rating in the following four games.

    Things didn't get any easier against the Predators. Playing against Shea Weber, Daniel Sedin scored only three points, accumulating a minus-seven rating along the way.

    If the Canucks are to have any chance of advancing to the finals, they're going to need their big guns to dominate the way they do in the regular season.

Henrik Sedin: C

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    NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 09:  Henrik Sedi #33 of the Vancouver Canucks and Colin Wilson #33 of the Nashville Predators fight for the puck in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals at the Bridgestone Arena on May 9, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo
    Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

    See previous slide.

Milan Lucic: C

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    BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14:  Milan Lucic #17 of the Boston Bruins is hit by Travis Moen #32 of the Montreal Canadiens in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 14, 2011 in Boston, Massach
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Lucic was a force throughout the regular season. He had emerged as the Bruins' best sniper and still managed to strike fear into the hearts of his opponents on a nightly basis.

    Then came the first round of the playoffs.

    Other than a boarding penalty against Jaroslav Spacek, Lucic was a non-factor throughout much of the first round.

    He was often invisible on the ice and wasn't getting the offensive chances that a player with his abilities should have been getting.

    He did rebound slightly against the Flyers, however, scoring three points in four games.

    If the Bruins are to be make the finals, they'll need Lucic to pick up his offensive game. If he can't do that, he'd better compensate by dishing out pain like so few players can.

Patrick Marleau: C+

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    DETROIT - MAY 6: Patrick Marleau #12 of the San Jose Sharks skates against the Detroit Red Wings in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 6, 2011 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by G
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    If not for the game-winning goal he scored against the Wings, Marleau would have gotten a much lower grade.

    Once again, Marleau's playoff performance has been sub par. Despite his tremendous and seemingly perennial regular season success, Marleau just can't seem to put it all together come playoff time.

    This former second overall pick should be doing much better than his six points in 13 games.

    Hopefully, for his sake, that big-time goal he just scored spurs him on to bigger and brighter things.

Dany Heatley: B-

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    DETROIT - MAY 6: Dany Heatley #15 of the San Jose Sharks controls the puck while playing the Detroit Red Wings in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 6, 2011 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michiga
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Dany Heatley was brought to San Jose for one reason: his ability to fill the net.

    After a strong first season with the Sharks, scoring 39 goals, Heatley slumped to 26 this year. His poor play has continued into the playoffs.

    In 13 games, the former 50-goal man has lit the lamp only three times.

    Heatley should be one of his team's offensive leaders rather than a secondary scoring option.

    Heatley manages to avoid a C simply because he's been able to contribute in other ways. Through 13 games, he's managed to dish out 20 hits and block 11 shots.

    Basically, he's managed to remain relevant.

Dennis Seidenberg: B

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 02:  Dennis Seidenberg #44 of the Boston Bruins clears the puck during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 2, 2011 in Ph
    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    Where did this guy come from?

    After bouncing around from team to team throughout his career, Seidenberg seems to have found a home in Boston.

    Seemingly out of nowhere, Seidenberg has emerged as one of his team's best puck movers. He's tallied six points in 11 games, a plus-eight rating, 31 blocked shots and 27 hits.

    He's also been playing nearly half an hour a night.

    Who needs Thomas Kaberle?

Logan Couture: B+

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    SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 08:  Logan Couture #39 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates after he scored a goal to put the Sharks up 3-1 over the Detroit Red Wings in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilio
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    What more could you ask for from a rookie?

    Couture has so far followed up his 32-goal rookie season by scoring nearly a point per game in his first trip to the playoffs.

    Not only are his offensive numbers impressive, but Couture is chipping in on the defensive end as well.

    In 13 games, Couture has amassed a plus-three rating, 10 takeaways and 18 blocked shots.

    This youngster is for real and will be a centerpiece in San Jose's long-term future.

Dan Boyle: B+

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    SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 08:  Dan Boyle #22 of the San Jose Sharks in action against the Detroit Red Wings in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 8, 2011 in San Jose, California.  (Photo
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Once again, Dan Boyle is the engine that powers the San Jose Sharks.

    He's playing over 25 minutes a game and has 13 points in 11 games.

    He's making sharp outlet passes and is moving the puck up the ice with ease.

    The only thing keeping Boyle away from an A is his minus-two rating. If he tightens up his defensive game, he could help vanquish all the nasty playoff memories in San Jose.

Zdeno Chara: B+

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 04: Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins celebrates teammate David Krejci's goal in the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers  in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Defensively, Chara has been his usual dominant self.

    Through 10 games, Chara has 24 hits, 17 blocked shots and has a plus-11 rating. His only hiccup came early in the first round against Montreal, but that was likely the result of a virus he was struggling with.

    The only thing currently keeping Chara away from an A is his offensive output.

    Despite having one of the more deadly shots in the world, Chara has scored just two goals, only one of which came on the power play.

    The Bruins need to find a way to integrate Chara and his cannon into their power play.

Roberto Luongo: B+

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - APRIL 30: Jerred Smithson #25 of the Nashville Predators and Ryan Kesler #17 of the Vancouver Canucks watches the puck shot by Matt Halischuck #24 (not pictured) of the Nashville Predators hit the back of the net after getting past goa
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    Aside from his mini two-game meltdown in the first round, Luongo has been stellar in this year's playoffs.

    In 13 games, he has a .917 save percentage, a 2.25 GAA and two shutouts.

    He was especially impressive against Nashville, where he was the deciding factor on most nights.

    After finally beating the Hawks when it matters, Luongo seems to have regained the swagger that made him an all-world goalie.

Joe Thornton: A-

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    SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 12:  Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates after they beat the Detroit Red Wings in Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 12, 2011 in San Jose, Califo
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Joe Thornton is finally playing like an elite level player when it matters most.

    Throughout the 2011 Playoffs, Thornton has been demonstrating the fire and desire that his critiques have been waiting to see since being drafted by the Bruins.

    Jumbo Joe has been dominant in the faceoff dot, is scoring nearly a point per game and logging significant minutes for his teammates.

    Is this finally Thornton's year?

Vincent Lecavalier: A-

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01:  Vincent Lecavalier #4 of the Tampa Bay Lightning passes the puck during the game against the Washington Capitals in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinal during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Verizon Center on Ma
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    There was a point in time, back in the 2006-2007 season, that Vincent Lecavalier was the best player in the world.

    He then seemed to regress over the following few seasons.

    Until now.

    The 2011 Playoffs seem to have rejuvenated Lecavalier. In 11 games, he has 12 points, is a plus-five and is once again dangerous every time he touches the puck.

    If the real Vinny is truly back, the Bruins are in trouble.

Tim Thomas: A-

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 06:  Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins celebrates the win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 6, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. The
    Elsa/Getty Images

    I cannot understand how this guy is an NHL goaltender.

    He looks and plays like some guy who didn't show up for a ball hockey game because he had a bit too much to drink the night before.

    Despite his complete lack of skill or technique, Thomas has managed to steal enough games for his team to qualify for the conference finals.

    Although he had a few shaky starts against the Habs in the first round, Thomas has rounded into form and is now getting in front of pucks like only he can.

Dwayne Roloson: A

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    TAMPA, FL - MAY 04: Dwayne Roloson #35 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the Washington Capitals in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the St Pete Times Forum on May 4, 2011 in Tampa, Florida
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Dwayne Roloson is currently the playoff leader in save percentage and goals-against average.

    That's not a typo.

    Roloson may be the single most important acquisition over the past year. He turned the Lightning from a pretty good team to one capable of competing for a Stanley Cup.

    The last time Tampa Bay had a goalie playing this well...

Patrice Bergeron: A

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 02:  Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins faces off with Ville Leino #22 of the Philadelphia Flyers during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 2, 2
    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    Through the first two rounds of playoffs, Bergeron has been dominant.

    His 64.2 faceoff percentage ranks him first among active forwards by a wide margin.

    He was the most dangerous forward for the Bruins in the first round, giving the Habs more than they were able to handle.

    He then continued his impressive play against the Flyers, scoring five points in four games.

    It's a shame he might miss the next round due to yet another concussion. The Bruins will need their best forward if they are to have any hope of bringing the Cup back to Beantown.

Martin St-Louis: A

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    TAMPA, FL - MAY 04:  Martin St. Louis #26 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal at 16:52 of the third period against the Washington Capitals in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the St Pete
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    In the first round, St-Louis lost most of his front teeth, proceeded to stay in the game and score three points.

    That alone should warrant him an A.

    The Hart candidate was his team's best player through the regular season and has kept it up during the most important part of the year.

    Through 11 games, he leads his team in scoring with 13 points and is providing the leadership needed to reach the promised land.

    If it weren't for his minus-five rating, St-Louis would have gotten the A+.

Ryan Kesler: A+

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 7: Ryan Kesler #17 of the Vancouver Canucks skates with the puck while being pursued by Mike Fisher #12 of the Nashville Predators during the third period in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanle
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    If the Canucks end up winning the Stanley Cup, Ryan Kesler would be the Conn Smythe winner.

    Against the Hawks, Kesler was able to shut down Jonathan Toews like no one else has been able to do in big game moments.

    Against the Nashville, he turned up he offensive game and scored 11 points in six contests.

    He's been both the best defensive and offensive forward of the playoffs and is well deserving of a A+ for his performance.