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The "go-to" guys, those chosen few that play in the most crucial of situations. Whether down by a goal, or up by one, all NHL clubs have their special units. Team-by-team look.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

ANAHEIM DUCKS

Pressing for a goal: Teemu Selanne, Andy McDonald, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer.

Holding a lead: Todd Marchant, Samuel Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer, Pronger, S. Niedermayer.

X-Factor: Dustin Penner and Chris Kunitz will be thrown out there in those games where they have played well, and the Ducks are pressing to tie.

CALGARY FLAMES

Pressing for a goal: Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, Kristian Huselius, Daymond Langkow, Dion Phaneuf, Roman Hamrlik.

Holding a lead: Stephane Yelle, Iginla, Marcus Nilson, Phaneuf, Robyn Regehr.

X-Factor: At 21 years of age, Phaneuf is already the Flames go-to guy along with Iginla.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

Pressing for a goal: Martin Havlat, Tuomo Ruutu, Radim Vrbata, Tony Salmelainen, Adrian Aucoin, Kyle Calder.

Holding a lead: Martin Lapointe, Bryan Smolinski, Patrick Sharp, Aucoin, Jassen Cullimore.

X-Factor: Rookie Cam Barker and sophomore Brent Seabrook will also see their share of ice time during clutch moments.

COLORADO AVALANCHE

Pressing for a goal: Wojtek Wolski, Milan Hejduk, Marek Svatos, Andrew Brunette, John-Michael Liles, Joe Sakic.

Holding a lead: Sakic, Ian Laperriere, Antti Laaksonen, Karlis Skrastins, Ossi Vaananen.

X-Factor: Steve Konowalchuk will also get some final-minute ice time when the lead is slim.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

Pressing for a goal: Sergei Fedorov, Rick Nash, Nikolai Zherdev, Gilbert Brule, Bryan Berard, David Vyborny.

Holding a lead: Sergei Fedorov, Manny Malhotra, Jason Chimera, Adam Foote, Duvie Westcott.

X-Factor: Zherdev could decide to play in Russia this season, in which case Fredrik Modin will get the call.

DALLAS STARS

Pressing for a goal: Mike Modano, Jere Lehtinen, Brenden Morrow, Eric Lindros, Sergei Zubov, Jussi Jokinen.

Holding a lead: Jeff Halpern, Lehtinen, Modano, Jaroslav Modry, Philippe Boucher.

X-Factor: Modano/Lehtinen still a great combo after all these years.

DETROIT RED WINGS

Pressing for a goal: Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Robert Lang, Jason Williams, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mathieu Schneider.

Holding a lead: Kris Draper, Daniel Cleary, Kirk Maltby, Lidstrom, Chris Chelios.

X-Factor: Lidstrom didn't win the Norris Trophy for nothing!

EDMONTON OILERS

Pressing for a goal: Ales Hemsky, Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff, Joffrey Lupul, Jarret Stoll, Marc-Andre Bergeron.

Holding a lead: Ethan Moreau, Marty Reasoner, Smyth, Jason Smith, Steve Staios.

X-Factor: With Hemsky setting them up, and Smyth and Lupul hammering them home, the Oilers could be scary in that final minute.

LOS ANGELES KINGS

Pressing for a goal: Alexander Frolov, Craig Conroy, Michael Cammalleri, Anze Kopitar, Rob Blake, Lubomir Visnovsky.

Holding a lead: Alyn McCauley, Conroy, Scott Thornton, Blake, Aaron Miller.

X-Factor: If Patrick O'Sullivan makes a strong rookie impression, he'll be out there trying to the tie game up with the rest of them.

MINNESOTA WILD

Pressing for a goal: Pavol Demitra, Marian Gaborik, Brian Rolston, Mark Parrish, Kim Johnsson, Pierre-Marc Bouchard .

Holding a lead: Wes Walz, Rolston, Gaborik, Nick Schultz, Keith Carney.

X-Factor: A lot more scoring options this year for coach Jacques Lemaire.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS

Pressing for a goal: Paul Kariya, Steve Sullivan, Jason Arnott, Alexander Radulov, Marek Zidlicky, Kimmo Timonen .

Holding a lead: Scott Hartnell, Kariya, Arnott, Timonen, Shea Weber.

X-Factor: The opposition better hope they have a TWO goal lead in the final minute, because those six are scary-good.

PHOENIX COYOTES

Pressing for a goal: Ladislav Nagy, Shane Doan, Mike Comrie, Jeremy Roenick, Ed Jovanovski, Keith Ballard.

Holding a lead: Mike Ricci, Dave Scatchard, Steve Reinprecht, Zbynek Michalek, Jovanovski.

X-Factor: Coach Wayne Gretzky will give Roenick all the ice time he needs to get his stellar career back on track.

SAN JOSE SHARKS

Pressing for a goal: Joe Thornton, Mark Bell, Jonathan Cheechoo, Patrick Marleau, Matt Carle, Steve Bernier.

Holding a lead: Curtis Brown, Marleau, Ville Nieminen, Kyle McLaren, Scott Hannan.

X-Factor: Thornton may lead the team in scoring, but Marleau will be relied upon both offensively and defensively.

ST. LOUIS BLUES

Pressing for a goal: Keith Tkachuk, Doug Weight, Bill Guerin, Petr Cajanek, Martin Rucinsky, Dennis Wideman.

Holding a lead: Dallas Drake, Tkachuk, Dan Hinote, Jay McKee, Eric Brewer.

X-Factor: As usual, when the game is on the line the Blues will lean heavily on big Tkachuk.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Pressing for a goal: Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison, Mattias Ohlund, Lukas Krajicek.

Holding a lead: Naslund, Ryan Kesler, Matt Cooke, Willie Mitchell, Sami Salo.

X-Factor: With Roberto Luongo in net, not many leads will be blown in the last minute.
 

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Go-to Guys

The "go-to" guys, those chosen few that play in the most crucial of situations. Whether down by a goal, or up by one, all NHL clubs have their special units. Team-by-team look.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ATLANTA THRASHERS

Pressing for a goal: Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa, Vyacheslav Kozlov, Bobby Holik, Niclas Havelid, Steve McCarthy.

Holding a lead: Hossa, Holik, Rucchin, Havelid, Greg de Vries.

X-Factor: Pouring much of the team's salary into two players (Kovalchuk and Hossa) obviously does not leave many options in these situations.

BOSTON BRUINS

Pressing for a goal: Marco Sturm, Patrice Bergeron, Glen Murray, Marc Savard, Brad Stuart, Paul Mara.

Holding a lead: P.J. Axelsson, Bergeron, Wayne Primeau, Zdeno Chara, Milan Jurcina.

X-Factor: Bergeron's improving face-off ability will see him out there in more situations. Twin giants Chara and Jurcina will form a wall in front of Hannu Toivonen.

BUFFALO SABRES

Pressing for a goal: Daniel Briere, J.P. Dumont, Tim Connolly, Maxim Afinogenov, Jaroslav Spacek, Brian Campbell.

Holding a lead: Chris Drury, Jochen Hecht, Paul Gaustad, Teppo Numminen, Toni Lydman.

X-Factor: Derek Roy will also see some time in both situations, as he's impressing at both ends of the ice.

CAROLINA HURRICANES

Pressing for a goal: Eric Staal, Cory Stillman, Erik Cole, Justin Williams, Rod Brind'Amour, Frantisek Kaberle.

Holding a lead: Scott Walker, Brind'Amour, Staal, Kaberle, Bret Hedican.

X-Factor: Brind'Amour is the horse that the 'Canes will ride whenever they need some clutch results.

FLORIDA PANTHERS

Pressing for a goal: Todd Bertuzzi, Olli Jokinen, Gary Roberts, Nathan Horton, Jay Bouwmeester, Mike Van Ryn.

Holding a lead: Joe Nieuwendyk, Jokinen, Roberts, Bouwmeester, Ruslan Salei.

X-Factor: Veterans Nieuwendyk and Roberts have "been there" and "done that", no question about it.

MONTREAL CANADIENS

Pressing for a goal: Sergei Samsonov, Saku Koivu, Alexei Kovalev, Michael Ryder, Sheldon Souray, Andrei Markov.

Holding a lead: Koivu, Steve Begin, Radek Bonk, Craig Rivet, Mike Komisarek.

X-Factor: Captain Koivu to the rescue, whenever the Habs need the boost.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS

Pressing for a goal: Scott Gomez, Patrik Elias, Brian Gionta, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brian Rafalski, Paul Martin.

Holding a lead: John Madden, Jay Pandolfo, Grant Marshall, Colin White, Richard Matvichuk.

X-Factor: Being so far over the salary cap limit at this point, much of the above could drastically change as the Devils try and trade their salary down.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Pressing for a goal: Alexei Yashin, Miroslav Satan, Jason Blake, Mike York, Alexei Zhitnik, Chris Campoli.

Holding a lead: York, Blake, Mike Sillinger, Brendan Witt, Zhitnik.

X-Factor: If sophomore forward Robert Nilsson gets off to a good start, he will be relied upon as well.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Pressing for a goal: Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan, Martin Straka, Michael Nylander, Petr Prucha, Karel Rachunek.

Holding a lead: Matt Cullen, Shanahan, Jagr, Marek Malik, Michal Rozsival.

X-Factor: If Sandis Ozolinsh puts his personal demons behind him, he'll replace Rachunek when they need a goal.

OTTAWA SENATORS

Pressing for a goal: Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson, Mike Fisher, Wade Redden, Tom Preissing.

Holding a lead: Antoine Vermette, Alfredsson, Fisher, Redden, Chris Phillips.

X-Factor: Andrej Meszaros will also take on a lot more responsibility this season.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

Pressing for a goal: Peter Forsberg, Simon Gagne, Mike Knuble, Jeff Carter, Joni Pitkanen, Mike Richards.

Holding a lead: Michal Handzus, Forsberg, Gagne, Derian Hatcher, Mike Rathje.

X-Factor: If Keith Primeau can battle back from his concussion woes, he'll be out there to help hold the lead.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Pressing for a goal: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Colby Armstrong Mark Recchi, Sergei Gonchar, Ryan Whitney.

Holding a lead: Recchi, Crosby, Armstrong, Whitney, Brooks Orpik.

X-Factor: "Sid the Kid" would play 60 minutes if he could.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Pressing for a goal: Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Vaclav Prospal, Dan Boyle, Filip Kuba.

Holding a lead: Tim Taylor, Richards, Rob DiMaio, Cory Sarich, Luke Richardson.

X-Factor: Richards is their money player -- both literally and figuratively!

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Pressing for a goal: MatS Sundin, Darcy Tucker, Jeff O'Neill, Kyle Wellwood, Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle.

Holding a lead: Michael Peca, Sundin, Matt Stajan, Kaberle, McCabe.

X-Factor: Coach Paul Maurice will be quick to replace O'Neill with Alexander Steen if O'Neill falters again this year.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

Pressing for a goal: Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Dainius Zubrus, Richard Zednik, Brian Pothier, Steve Eminger.

Holding a lead: Ovechkin, Brian Sutherby, Chris Clark, Pothier, Eminger.

X-Factor: With no elite defensive defensemen on hand, Pothier and Eminger will be out there more than they should.
 

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The "go-to" guys, those chosen few that play in the most crucial of situations. Whether down by a goal, or up by one, all NHL clubs have their special units. Team-by-team look.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Holding a lead: Michael Peca, Sundin, Matt Stajan, Kaberle, McCabe.
I wouldn't consider Mats Sundin, Bryan McCabe or Tomas Kaberle players to keep out there ot hold on to a lead. Steen would be better in that situation over Sundin, and McCabe and Kaberle have shown time and time again that they can't do it.

McCabe because he can't think and act fast enough, and Kaberle because he's too weak to fight off the assualt on net in the last minutes of a game. That's why the Leafs hanging on for dear life, is almost literally them hanging on for dear life.:laugh: As funny as it is to watch sometimes, it still hurts. Unfortunately, that's probably the way it's going to be again this year.

I'd like to see Kubina in one of those places, and I guess since there's no one left to fill the holes, they'll just have to force Kabs in there anyway. :dunno: but I hope Colaiacovo steps up big time and takes on a huge role this year.
 
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