Five Star Players That Need to Step Up Their Games
In this year's postseason, we have seen a lot of the league's best players go quiet at the wrong time. These players are either struggling to score goals, having trouble producing, not coming up with the big save or just being a non-factor in general.
With that in mind, here are five players that need to get their games in order and do the things that have made them successful in this league so that they can help their respective hockey clubs when it matters most.
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
There is still no doubt that Sidney Crosby is the best hockey player in the world right now.
He proved that once again in the regular season as he led the league in points (104 points on 36 goals and 68 assists) while also being his team's, and perhaps the league's, most valuable player. He showed once again that when healthy, there is no one better.
However, in this year's playoffs, Crosby has had trouble offensively. He may have four assists, but he has yet to score a goal and only has taken 12 shots in four games.
If the Penguins want to not only break their 2-2 series tie with Columbus Blue Jackets tonight, Crosby needs to step up and be the offensive machine that he is more than capable of being.
Ryan Miller, St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues are easily one of the best teams in the NHL and when they acquired goaltender Ryan Miller from the Buffalo Sabres, many in the hockey world thought that would put them over the edge and make them a dangerous team come playoff time.
In playing with both the Sabres and Blues this season, Miller put up more than respectable numbers. In 59 games, the 33 year old went 25-30-4 with a 2.64 goals against average, a .918 save percentage, and one shutout. Considering the fact that he spent the majority of this season with one of the league's worst clubs in the Sabres, those are solid numbers.
While he has not been horrible in his team's first round match-up with the Chicago Blackhawks, Miller has not been lights out either. Down 3-2 in the series, Miller has a 2.32 goals against average and a .911 save percentage, which again, isn't terrible, but certainly not great either in five games.
If the Blues really want to be considered contenders, not only do they need to win their next two games against the Blackhawks, but Miller needs to be one of the main reasons why that happens.
Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks may be up 3-2 in their series with the Blues, but it has not been because of the play of one of their best forwards.
During the regular season, Marian Hossa was one of his team's best players. He was fifth on the team in scoring with 60 points (30 goals and 30 assists) and seemed destined to be a major factor in this year's playoffs.