NHL 2011 Playoffs: Who Will Take a Starring Role for the Sharks or Canucks?

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NHL 2011 Playoffs: Who Will Take a Starring Role for the Sharks or Canucks?
Rich Lam/Getty Images

The Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks are set to be battle in the Western Conference Finals. As is fitting for the top two ranked teams in the Western Conference, they both have fairly deep rosters with an abundance of stars.

Stars in the regular season at least.

One of these two teams, both perennial playoff underachievers, will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, and hopefully win their first Stanley Cup.

Any Stanley Cup team has players that step up to take on an iconic role.

The Sniper and the Playmaker who conspire to provide the bulk of the offensive production.

The Conn Smythe winner, who is seemingly everywhere on the ice, doing all the little things necessary to win and also providing clutch goals. 

The Tenacious Defender, a nasty piece of business who makes opposing forwards pay for daring to cross his blueline or crowding his goalie.

The Goalie, who simply provides the necessary saves when the game is on the line.

Of course, any Stanley Cup–winning team also has great supporting players, but they all have five players who fit these roles and who drive the team to success.

If you think back to past Stanley Cup–winning teams, who can easily see how these roles were filled. For example, last year Patrick Kane was the Sniper for Blackhawks, Jonathan Toews was the Conn Smythe winner, etc.

Now let's compare the players who seem to be filling these roles for the Canucks and Sharks in 2011.

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