Role Players and Small-Market Stars Shine Brightest in the NHL Playoffs
The NHL playoffs rarely disappoint in terms of fun and drama. The first round has been a slog, but also a round tinged with upsets.
The record-breaking Boston Bruins, among the favorites in the Eastern Conference to reach the Stanley Cup Final, were dumped out early by the Florida Panthers in seven games. Over in the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers series with the Los Angeles Kings stood out as the most-exciting – only overshadowed by the Seattle Kraken eliminating the defending champions Colorado Avalanche.
Both upsets – the Panthers beating the Bruins and the Kraken beating the Lightning – went to seven games. Having the President Trophy winners and the defending Stanley Cup Champions bounced out of the playoffs — and in the same night! — is truly amazing.
Also, not having any team sweep was certainly a sign of how talented even the lower seeds have been this spring.
Teams aside, the playoffs are also about individual skill. For card collectors, the playoffs can help or hurt a players’ value. Of course, this is just the start. The playoffs are a two-month grind that involves lots of grit and some luck.
One of the biggest storylines from this first round is the ability of second-fiddle players, not the stars, to shine. Whether it meant scoring key goals or making that big play, it was the sidekicks that have shined brightest so far.
Here’s a look at six players who have done just that, while seeing their stocks go up. All figures cited below based on eBay sales and COMC.com.
Continue reading “Clemente’s Corner: 6 First Round Playoff Heroes Worth Collecting”