Down to 4 teams, so we've had to trim a few strong performers off the list and cut the list down to 8. Goodbye to Hiller, Ovechkin, Getzlaf, Luongo, and Varlamov. You gave us a good run, but you had to go.
- Crosby / Malkin - How do you choose between the two? These guys are far and away ahead of the pack in terms of individual performances this spring. Why NBC passed on the opportunity to showcase these stars in Round 3 is a perplexing. The legend builds for these two studs.
- Malkin / Crosby - see above
- Franzen - 24 goals in 28 games over the last 2 seasons. Look out Claude Lemieux. The Mule has become the new standard of Playoff Clutch performer.
- Ward - He's the only thing standing in the way of Pens-Wings grudge match. With the way he performs in key situations, Team Canada better free up a spot for this potential 2-time Conn winner.
- Staal - Continues to score, win big faceoffs, and control the play. He won't let little brother show him up in Round 3.
- Khabibulin - As unlikely as it is to imagine Chicago beating Detroit, we have to consider the possibility. And if it happens, it will likely be due to the play of Khabibulin. He's outfought Kiprusoff and Luongo so far, so he deserves consideration.
- Lidstrom - Best defenseman in the world just keeps on doing it best in the playoffs. Contributing almost a point a game while shutting down the league's best.
- Zetterberg - Hank wouldn't mind being the first back-to-back Conn Smythe winner since Mario pulled it off 17 years ago. With 16 points in 12 games, he's making a strong case for his defense.