NHL Playoffs: Big Names That Could Be Difference Makers

As the NHL Playoffs have begun each team will have their time to shine. Those teams will also have players that will shine and make a difference. These players could help them win a series that could lead to their team winning the Stanley Cup. The team will lean on these players to score big goals or assist on a goal. That player could also be the one who stops the puck. Here is one player from each of the Eastern Conference teams that can make a difference.

Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Stamkos has had one of the better seasons of his career. He is the captain and has been a great leader all season. Stamkos scored 40 goals during the season. He also has been playing on the penalty kill. He is a vital part of the Lightning offense. If the Lightning wins the cup, he will be a big part of it.

Cam Atkinson (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Atkinson was the only 40 goal scorer for the Blue Jackets. He was a big part of why the Blue Jackets made the playoffs. If the Blue Jackets are to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round, they will need him to produce. He is a leader that can help show the younger players how to win.

Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Crosby has been the leader for the Penguins for a long time. The Penguins had a good season. They will need him if they are going to get by the New York Islanders. The Islanders are one of the best defensive teams in the league. They have shown they can shut down big-name players. Crosby will have to overcome this and help send the Penguins to the next round.

Robin Lehner (New York Islanders)

Lehner has been a new player since coming from the Buffalo Sabers. He is a big reason the Islanders are in the position they are in. If they are to beat the Penguins, he will have to minimize them from scoring. Defense wins championships and the main part of that is the goalie. Lehner will help the Islanders move on to round 2.

Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)

He was the one a year ago that put the Capitals on his back. He would lead them to a Stanley Cup. The Capitals will once again need him to be a big part. He has put the Capitals in the driver’s seat to win another Stanley Cup. They will have trouble getting past the Carolina Hurricanes if he isn’t a big part.

Justin Williams (Carolina Hurricanes)

Williams is a big part of the Hurricanes as a whole. Williams has been one of the leaders that the Hurricanes has leaned on. The Hurricanes are one of the surprise teams of the NHL. They have been criticized for celebrations. The Hurricanes will need him if they want to get past the Washington Capitals.

David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins)

Pastrnak is a big part of the Bruins offense. He plays on the top line which has helped the Bruins earn 107 points this year. They were tied with Calgary Flames and only had the Tampa Bay Lightning ahead of them. The Bruins will need him as they play against one of their rivals in the Toronto Maple Leafs. He will be very valuable if the Bruins are to make a run at the Stanley Cup.

Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs)

The Leafs will need Matthews to do just what he did during the regular season. He will need to help leave a young Leafs team that many thinks will not make out of the first round. The Leafs will lean on him to score goals. They want to get the monkey off their back and get by the Bruins. Matthews will need to show up big if that is going to happen.

Who are the players that stand out? Leave a comment below.

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