Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/07/13 at 03:47 PM ET
from Sean McIndoe of Grantland,
This year’s NHL playoffs have featured plenty of sights that fans aren’t accustomed to. We have rare appearances by teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders, veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester’s long-awaited postseason debut, and the first Ottawa-Montreal matchup in 86 years.
And yet, a lot of it still feels familiar. That’s because no matter which teams are involved or how they match up, there are a few things you can count on each year. The names might change, but there are certain types of players that always seem to make an appearance. Here are the 10 players you can expect to meet every year in the NHL playoffs.
The rookie call-up who looks like a 14-year-old
Every NHL rookie looks impossibly young, which is why watching old drafts is so much fun. But it’s even more noticeable in the playoffs, when the intensity is off the charts and all the veterans look like Grizzly Adams.
That’s especially true when a combination of injuries and desperation forces your favorite team to turn to some call-up who spent the season buried in the AHL. You’re not really familiar with him, but you read up on the scouting reports and listen to the talking heads, and you convince yourself that this kid really could have an impact. Then the camera cuts to him on the bench, all earlobes and Adam’s apple, and he looks like his only goal for the game ahead is to not wet himself.
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