By popular demand, Puck Daddy takes its Conn Smythe Watch from the evening Three Stars to every morning of the postseason. Keep in mind that we factor in the probability of a long playoff run into these choices. Who are the current favorites for playoff MVP? Glad you asked.
1. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
Kopitar’s three assists in Game 1 gave him 13 points in eight playoff games – best in the NHL – and a plus-5. He’s also contributed some outstanding defense thus far this postseason.
2. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Toews now has four goals and five assists in the playoffs, including three game-winners and an overtime goal. The 2010 Conn Smythe victor is also winning faceoffs at a 61.8 percent clip.
3. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
Getzlaf has nine points in six games, and the Ducks need him to shine in a critical Game 2 vs. LA.
4. P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens
Subban has nine points in six games is tops among defensemen in the playoffs, and is skating 27:31 per game.
5. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Rask has a .939 save percentage and a 1.71 GAA for the postseason, tops for goalies with more than four appearances.
6. Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins
Malkin now has four goals and six assists in eight games and six points in his last three games.
7. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Kane’s five goals are tied for the NHL playoff lead, but he was pointless in Game 2 vs. the Wild.
8. Marian Gaborik, Los Angeles Kings
Gaborik had the game-tying and game-winning goals in the Kings’ Game 1 win, giving him 5 goals in the playoffs.
9. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Lundqvist has a 2.07 GAA and a stellar .942 even-strength save percentage. Now, about that goal support, Mr. Vigneault …
10. Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild
Parise is second in the playoffs with 11 points but was torched for a minus-3 in Game 2.