Two games into the second round, Kesler had yet to score a goal in this year's playoffs, though it wasn't for lack of opportunities, as he had the second-most shots on goal and the best plus-minus (+3) amongst the Canucks. It's been his overall game however, especially defensively, which has observers suggesting Kesler's been the Canucks best player so far this spring. It's only a matter of time until the goals start coming.
Dwayne Roloson, Tampa Bay Lightning
If anyone had suggested prior to the playoffs the 41-year-old Roloson would be among this postseason's leading goalies, no one would've believed it. As of May 2, Roloson had the second-best goals-against average (1.80) and led all goaltenders in save percentage (.947). Without his acrobatic play, the Bolts probably wouldn't have made it to the second round, let alone built a 2-0 series lead over Washington.
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
The Predators captain has been leading by example and is a big reason his club has been so difficult to play against this postseason. Weber's not only among his team's leading scorers but also ranks with this spring's highest scoring defensemen. He leads the Predators in power-play goals (2) and has the second-most hits and blocked shots on the team.
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
The NHL's best all-round player continues to be Detroit's best in the postseason. Entering this week, Datsyuk led the Red Wings in points and shots on goal, led all Detroit forwards in ice time (20.31) and blocked shots (8), and was their best face off man (55.7 percent). Despite the Wings dropping the first two games of their second-round series vs. San Jose, a proven playoff performer like Datsyuk gives them a good chance to rebound.
Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capitals
The 23-year-old Neuvirth continued to handle the pressure of his first NHL postseason. Two games into the second round, he had the best goals-against average (1.77) and fourth-best save percentage (.928) of all playoff goalies, and was one of the major reasons the Capitals advanced to the second round.
Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Early in the first round against the Los Angeles Kings, Thornton appeared to be struggling, but his performance noticeably improved by the start of the second round. He's tied for third on the Sharks in points, leads the club in game-winning goals (including the series-clincher over the Kings) and has the second-best face off percentage (63.5 percent) of all postseason players.
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
Somewhat overshadowed by better-known teammates like Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara, Bergeron's 10 points entering this week made him the Bruins leading scorer as well as tied him for second overall among playoff scorers. Those 10 points are one shy of Bergeron's career postseason best, and he could reach or exceed that mark in fewer games than it took him to reach it a year ago.
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Giroux served notice during the Flyers’ march to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final when he was a top playoff performer, and this spring he's continued that trend, sitting atop the playoff scoring race with 11 points entering this week. He was this spring's assist leader (10), led all Flyers with hits and had the second-most blocked shots among Philadelphia forwards.