Welcome to our Conn Smythe Watch. This one is a just a glimpse at the current picture. Last list's ranking is next to each name. Who are the current favorites for playoff MVP? Glad you asked.
1. Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks (3)
With the Blackhawks one win away from a Stanley Cup, Keith’s value to the team this playoffs has become crystal clear. Without his ability to play 31:09 per-night, there’s no way the Hawks would have come this far. Imagine the team going with a three D rotation.
2. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (2)
Chicago’s leading scorer this playoffs with 21 points. He’s won 55.4 percent of his face offs. He has been a puck possession beast this postseason. He basically won Chicago’s series against Anaheim. You can make a real argument for him.
3. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning (5)
Not the best of games for Hedman in Game 5, but he's still been a monster for the Lightning this postseason.
4. Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning (1)
He’s still the playoffs leading scorer. If Tampa makes a comeback in this series … but he needs to score more than one goal in the Cup Final to have a chance at the Conn Smythe.
5. Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning (4)
Still the playoffs second-leading scorer. If he magically comes back and leads Tampa to a Stanley Cup win, how can you not give him the Conn? But as of right now, his status is up in the air after he went flying head-first into the goalpost in Game 5.
6. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (6)
He hasn’t scored a goal in the Cup Final. But what if he has a hat trick in Game 6? He’s still Chicago’s second-leading scorer and was dynamic for the Hawks in their second-round win over the Minnesota Wild. The Conn’s for the whole playoffs, not just the Cup Final.
7. Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks (8)
Hossa’s almost been a point-per-game player for Chicago and played in all situations. He never seems to ever get his due. He probably won’t for the Conn Smythe, but we can at least give Hossa the love he deserves on this blog by moving him up one spot in our watch.
8. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning (7)
We dropped Bishop one spot for his miscue with Hedman on Sharp’s Game 5 goal. He has actually been really good this series, especially the last two games he has played, stopping 63 of 67 shots on goal.
9. Antoine Vermette, Chicago Blackhawks (NR)
He’s had three game winning goals this playoffs, all in one-goal games and done a great job anchoring the Hawks’ third line. He’s also won 58.7 percent of his face offs.
10. Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning (9)
The third triplet still has 16 points in 25 games this postseason, which is excellent. He’s going to have to step up if Kucherov can’t go the rest of the series.
In the hunt: Andrew Shaw, Alex Killorn, Valtteri Filppula, Steven Stamkos, Brandon Saad
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