Creating the Perfect Player

Mix scary speed, spooky intuition, steely nerves and the most potent shots you can find. . . . Add ice
October 07, 2007

Ice Vision
SIDNEY CROSBY, Penguins

For all hisattributes, it's how he sees a play developing that makes the centertranscendent. Says winger Colby Armstrong, "He tells me I was open. I tellhim I wasn't. I look at the film, and he's right."

Cool UnderFire
CHRIS DRURY, Rangers

No butterflies inthis stomach. Drury's ethereal calm when the game is on the line helps explainwhy the eight-year veteran has so many clutch goals--including 15game-winners--in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Slap Shot
SHELDON SOURAY, Oilers

No contest. Hisshot hit 100 mph in the All-Star skills competition, and no one's slapper ismore lethal in games than Souray's. His 19 power-play goals last season set arecord for defensemen.

PunchingPower
DEREK BOOGAARD, Wild

They don't callhim the Boogey Man for nothing. His single-blow KOs are legend, and there arefew players left who will even fight him. The reach of the 6' 7"270-pounder is as scary as his power.

StrongSkating
ALEX OVECHKIN, Capitals

The thick-thighed,6' 2", 220-pound winger has astonishing balance: Once last season he cut aturn so tightly while carrying the puck that the rivets fastening the blade tohis boot popped loose.

HockeySmarts
NICKLAS LIDSTROM, Red Wings

The five-timeNorris Trophy winner and Detroit captain is like a chess grandmaster: He alwaysmakes the right move and never leaves himself out of position. Teammates callhim "the perfect human."

Courage
SAKU KOIVU, Canadiens

He fought offlymphoma in 2002 and came back from a 2006 left-eye injury that cost him someperipheral vision. One measure of this captain's heart: his career-high 75points last season.

Wrist Shot
JOE SAKIC, Avalanche

Quick, hard andaccurate. He'll unleash that wrister while streaking down the wing or even whenhe's hovering at the point. Sakic rarely takes a slap shot, and his 610 careergoals say he rarely needs to.

Soft Hands
JOE THORNTON, Sharks

He can feather apass at any distance and can settle a puck arriving at any speed. "Softhands--for a big man" is how he's often praised, but Thornton's mitts aremore supple than any little guy's.

Swiftness
MARIAN GABORIK, Wild

Groin injurieshave slowed the winger since he was the fastest skater in the '03 All-Starskills competition. But when he's healthy, no one goes from zero to blur--withthe puck--like Gaborik does.

TWO PHOTOSLOU CAPOZZOLA (CROSBY) TWO PHOTOSJEFF VINNICK/GETTY IMAGES (SAKIC) TWO PHOTOSJIM MONE/AP (BOOGAARD) TWO PHOTOSPHILLIP MACCALLUM/GETTY IMAGES (OVECHKIN)
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)