Seeing as how the playoff traditions have kicked off in full here, with the player by player preview, our guide to playoff beards, the Beard of the Day, it's time to bring in another that I've done for all four years we've been here at SCH. It's time to play "Who's Your John Druce?"
For those new to our little game, John Druce was a middling winger on the Washington Capitals in the 89-90 season. He scored eight goals during the regular season, mostly plotzing along on the 3rd and 4th lines. However, in the 90 playoffs, Druce exploded for 14 goals in 15 games as the Caps moved on to the Conference Final. So this is the time you get to pick which unexpected Hawks player will contribute greatly to whatever the Hawks' run is going to be.
I took Viktor Stalberg off of the list, as he was on it last year. But when you're a 20+ goal scorer, not only would it not be a surprise for you to score in the playoffs, your team is counting on it. So Stals doesn't qualify any more.
I thought seriously about picking Michael Frolik if I thought he was going to get enough games. But we already know that he's going to be scratched to start and who knows when or if he might crack the lineup.
I've been wailing about this all season, so there's no point in wavering now. From the moment he signed I thought Andrew Brunette would be a playoff weapon. Games tighten up, power plays matter more, everything comes from play around the net. This is all Bruno's specialty. His hands and vision when in close could be invaluable against a stout goalie like Mike Smith. The power play is more likely to rebound from plays around the net than it is from Toews, Kane, and Hossa creating magic through sheer talent.
I thought more of it would be from Bruno at even-strength, and at some point I'm willing to be he returns to the top line with Hossa and Toews when they need to put Kane somewhere else to spread out the scoring. I'll stick with my guns here, and go with Bruno.