History demonstrates that shutdown players, or SDPs, are key ingredients in the recipe of a Stanley Cup champion. Where would last year's champions, the Detroit Red Wings, have been without top defensive players such as Kris Draper, Dallas Drake and Daniel Cleary shutting down high-scoring opponents such as Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Marian Hossa? After all, the Penguins scored just 10 goals in six games of the Stanley Cup finals last season.
Would the Ducks have won the Cup in 2007 without the top defensive line of Travis Moen, Sami Pahlsson and Rob Niedermayer shutting down Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley of the Ottawa Senators? These SDPs might not always make for exciting hockey, but whichever teams shut down their opponents are the ones most likely to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup in June.