Star Players Need to be Stars, but Anyone Can be a Hero
The Carolina Hurricanes had stars that rose in the playoffs.
Every Stanley Cup Champion has their fair share of star players. From the Sidney Crosbys and Patrick Kanes of the world, these guys are counted on to produce and are expected to produce when things get heated up in the postseason. While these types of players are vital to playoff success, anyone can come up clutch and be a hero.
Tying back into depth is key, championship teams get contributions up and down the lineup from anyone and everyone.
Last playoffs the Canes were getting that contribution up and down the lineup. In just 15 games they had four guys in double digits in goals and another three who were hovering in that territory. While you’d expect guys like Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen to produce, to see someone like Slavin put up 11, Foegele 9, Staal 10, McGinn 6, etc. is really encouraging.
While Warren Foegele was probably the MVP of the Washington series, with his finger prints all over the ice in more than one way, it was Brock McGinn’s double overtime goal that is arguably the most memorable moment.
Of course none other than Mr. Game 7 himself, Justin Williams, was there to set up the play that sent Carolina onto the second round, but going into the game, may fans probably weren’t thinking the winning goal was going to come off of McGinn’s stick in double overtime.
This holds true every season. There’s always someone somewhere that goes a bit under the radar who makes that big play for his organization. Even former Hurricane Bryan Bickell made a name for himself in the playoffs, earning that lucrative contract that forced the Chicago Blackhawks to package him with Teravainen to clear cap.
It is these contributions form more depth players that will determine if a team will be successful in the postseason. With the margin for error so small, your role players are counted on now more than ever.
The Hurricanes seemed to have paid more attention to addressing this by bolstering their depth at the NHL level both in the offseason with the signings of Ryan Dzingel and Jake Gardiner as well as at the trade deadline with the trades for Vincent Trocheck, Brady Skjei and Sami Vatanen.