A lot of the time. Fans, broadcasters, and Writers, like to pin point the star players, positive or negative the pressure is a plenty for big name players. When you think Pittsburgh Penguins you think Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin. When you think of Washington Capitals you think Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin. Rarely do we shine the light on those other players the second third and sometimes fourth line players that work as hard as those more focused. Some love it that way, they love the pressure that is being put on the star players, that is when the role players step up that is there time to step in score the goal or make a diving block to win a game. Only then do some realize how special Role Players are the not so big bucks paid skaters getting the job done at the clutch times always makes for a good story. They certainly do not do it for the money, they do it because its hockey, they do it because its the playoffs they do it because they want to win, now not saying the higher paid dudes don't like winning ether. I am just giving respect to other players who pay their dues.
David Clarkson is a good example of a role player. He contributed 30 goals this season, added 14 assists and was only a minus 8 this season after having just 12 goals 6 assists and a minus 20. Minus 20. that's like Jack Johnson numbers, i think that is quite the jump! especially playing for a team like the Devils that rely on defense and low scoring games to win so when a known grinder and tough guy puts in 30 that's gotta be good.
Another good role player i like is Radim Vrabata who plays for the Phoenix Coyotes, yes i know that team is just stacked with no star studded talent but this particular player especially after the year he had certainly caught my eye. He scored a career high 37 goals , had 27 assists a 62 point season after having 48 last year.Weird thing is he has his most success when he is with a not so talented team in Phoenix.
The Coyotes have shown despite lack of star power that you can go far in the playoffs, now they are facing a 3-1 deficit in their series against LA, but no one expected this team to go all the way into the West final. Most picked them to exit in the first round. Instead they showed that by playing a team smart game they could go deep into the playoffs.
Another Team that has a lot of Role Players in it is the St Louis Blues, i don't need to remix what i said about how much they improved. (see other posts). a lot of the success and praise that went into the Blues having a great season is there coach and there goalie, but others shined to. forwards Like TJ Oshie, David Perron, Andy Mcdonald, and upcoming defenceman Alex Pietrangelo all had great years Pietrangelo had a career year having 12 goals and 39 assists. People actually thought he would be considered a Norris Trophy candidate, he is one player who has really grown into a reliable defenceman.
The Importance of Role players in hockey is so important. Being a team sport you want to make sure that those certain players contribute as much and as positively as possible.
This is James Gleason signing out. its 2:30 am i gotta go to bed!
stay classy Canada