Stars outside the spotlight can carry their teams deep
Every team's playoff hopes lie in the hands of its best players. While you need everybody to be contributing, there's a reason we still hear the platitude "You need your best players to be your best players." Some of them -- like Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk and Claude Giroux -- are obvious. Others are more subtle, either because their stats are less flashy or their reputation is less well-established.
As the 2012 playoffs begin Wednesday, there are several players whose impact on their team's potential postseason success far outweighs their reputation. The following are four of the most noteworthy, starting with a pivotal pivot in Boston and an underrated blueliner in New York.
To get access all of ESPN Insider's NHL playoff content, become an Insider today.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Flyers beat Penguins for second straight day
- Peverley gets standing ovation at Stars game
- Red Wings recall winger Tootoo from AHL
- Penguins' Neal diagnosed with concussion
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- '47 Brand Women's Boston Bruins Top View Long Sleeve Black Crew Shirt