1. David Krejci is the trigger man for Boston’s offense during the postseason, and leads all NHL playoff players with nine goals and 21 points. He is the playmaking force that centers bookend power forwards Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic, and when they’re going well it leaves all kinds of room, time and space for No. 46 to operate all over the offensive zone. While some of Krejci’s elevated production this spring could be attributed to the thrill of playing in front of a boyhood idol like Marian Hossa, this isn’t the first time Krejci has raised his game during the playoffs.

The 27-year-old also led the NHL with 12 goals and 23 points during Boston’s Stanley Cup run two years ago, and elevates from a solid first line center to a point-per-game offensive superstar during the postseason. He now has 29 goals and 68 points with a plus-32 rating in 74 career playoff games, and will be the top player that the Blackhawks will be looking to shut down once the series gets going.

2. Tuukka Rask was the biggest question mark for the Bruins heading into this season, and he’s answered each of those questions about his abilities as a No. 1 goaltender with a successful exclamation point. During the regular season Rask backstopped the Bruins to a second place finish in the Northeast Division, and finished just outside the Vezina Trophy finalist voting with a 19-10-5 record with a 2.00 and a .929 save percentage along with five shutouts.

But the Finnish netminder truly emerged from Tim Thomas’ shadows during the playoffs, when he outplayed James Reimer and Henrik Lundqvist in the first two rounds, and posted a .985 save percentage against the high-powered Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference finals. His 53-save performance in a double-overtime win against the Penguins in Game 3 effectively broke Pittsburgh’s spirit, and assured that the Bruins would be back in the Cup Final. While Rask doesn’t engage in goalie gymnastics like the athletic Thomas would regularly, the economic Finnish goalie keeps very quiet between the pipes with good positioning quick post-to-post agility.

3. Patrice Bergeron is Boston’s version of Jonathan Toews, plain and simple. Never out of position and always committed to playing at full tilt on both ends of the ice, Bergeron is one of the few NHL centers better than Toews in the face-off circle. As with Toews, Bergeron is also a formidable offensive presence for the Black and Gold, and has been particularly good in the clutch this season. The reigning Selke Trophy winner scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in the epic Game 7 comeback in the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and potted the game-winning strike in double-overtime against the Penguins as well.