We're weeding down the field of guys still in the running for the JDA. Of course, this Conference Finals section is usually the make or break period, as John Druce and the Capitals were eliminated in the Prince of Wales Finals by the Boston Bruins in 1990. But now, we get to the nitty-gritty for the players looking to be the next Druce. As always, goals count more than assists.
IN THE RUNNING
1. Sean Bergenheim, Tampa Bay Lightning (7g, 1a): In 11 games, Bergenheim has been a force for the Bolts, leading them in goal scoring and tied for the playoff led, as well. A guy who was a journeyman is making a name for himself and actually showing how smart Steve Yzerman as a GM for picking him up in late Summer off the free agency market.
2. Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks (6g, 6a): Couture is in the running for the Calder Trophy, but at the same time-- I don't think anyone really thought he could explode like this, being primary scoring for the Sharks in the playoffs. Though he could be a household star soon, the young forward is a guy who will be the primary scorer in the next two years, for sure.
3. Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins (5g, 6a): Leading the Bruins in points, the aggressor for the Bruins is getting the goals in the grimy places, as he has a nose for the net.....so to speak. While the top guys for the Bruins have been crippled for one reason or another, Marchand is showing the prowess that he had in the junior leagues and making it finally translate when it's needed most.
HONORABLE MENTIONS (But Eliminated): Joel Ward, Nashville Predators; James van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia Flyers.