The Puck Prospectus metric GVT (goals versus threshold) allows us to compare players at every position to determine who the true leaders are. In the first round, our eyes and the numbers match up: Montreal Canadiens G Jaroslav Halak was the top player, backstopping the Habs back from a 3-1 series deficit to upset the Washington Capitals.
Puck Prospectus: Player Power Rankings - Round 1
To no one's surprise, Halak has been the top playoff performer thus far.
OGVT: Offensive GVT
GGVT: Goaltending GVT
DGVT: Defensive GVT
GVT: Total GVT
Rank Player Last Week OGVT/GGVT DGVT GVT
1. Jaroslav Halak, G, MON - 5.1 0.0 5.1
Comment: Nobody was better in Round 1 than the Canadiens' stopper, whose save percentage in the last three games was a supernatural 0.977. He'll need to be at his best against Pittsburgh; its offense is as dangerous as Washington's.
2. Sidney Crosby, F, PIT - 4.1 0.7 4.8
Comment: With the year he's having, is anyone surprised to see Crosby atop the playoff scoring list? Nobody has scored more than 36 points in the playoffs in 17 years, but Crosby could do it. The Penguins are now the favorite to emerge from the East.
3. Mikael Samuelsson, F, VAN - 3.8 0.6 4.4
Comment: Samuelsson was signed in the offseason to produce in the playoffs, and he's delivered beyond expectations, leading the playoffs with seven goals. His promotion to the Sedin line has been a masterstroke for Alain Vigneault.
4. Craig Anderson, G, COL - 4.1 0.0 4.1
Comment: The Avs would never have been in the playoffs if not for Anderson, and they wouldn't have won a game without him either, as they got outshot by nearly 100 shots over the series.
5. Henrik Zetterberg, F, DET - 3.4 0.5 3.9
Comment: Since the lockout, Zetterberg has 42 playoff goals and 82 playoff points, both tops in the league.
6. Daniel Sedin, F, VAN - 3.0 0.4 3.4
Comment: While Henrik still earns plaudits, being officially nominated for the Hart Trophy, Daniel's four goals and 10 points made him the better twin in Round 1.
7. Alexander Ovechkin, F, WAS - 2.8 0.4 3.2
Comment: Ovechkin put up good numbers against the Canadiens, with 10 points in seven games, but was shut out in the last two games despite firing 18 shots at Halak.
8. Nicklas Backstrom, F, WAS - 2.5 0.6 3.1
Comment: Backstrom added five goals and four assists to his gaudy regular-season totals, but put them all up in the first four games and then was blanked in the last three.
9. Brian Boucher, G, PHI - 3.1 0.0 3.1
Comment: Goaltending was supposed to be the difference between the Devils and Flyers, and so it was ... except it was the Flyers on top, with Boucher posting the lowest GAA (1.59) and highest save percentage (0.940) of any goaltender.
10. Joe Pavelski, F, SJS - 2.1 0.7 2.8
Comment: "Little Joe" was the Sharks' offensive sparkplug in the first round, leading the team with five goals and eight points. He'll need to be just as good for the next round, as the Red Wings are much stronger than the Avalanche.
A version of this story originally appeared on ESPN Insider .
Tom Awad is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
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