Conn Smythe Watch: Jonathan Toews continues rise

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CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 10: Jonathan Toews #19 celebrates his second period goal with Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks against the Tampa Bay Lightning during Game Four of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on June 10, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 10: Jonathan Toews #19 celebrates his second period goal with Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks against the Tampa Bay Lightning during Game Four of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on June 10, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Welcome 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. Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning (1)

No. 1 on the playoff scoring sheet, No. 1 in your Conn Smythe watch hearts. If he leads the postseason in scoring and Tampa wins the Stanley Cup, he’ll likely get the Conn. But he needs to shake loose a little bit against the Blackhawks. Through four Cup Final games he has one goal and one assist.

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2. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (3)

In big and important moments for the Blackhawks, he has been there to show Chicago the way. He only has two points in the Cup Final, but he has won over 57 percent of his draws every game and played over 20 minutes per-night. He just does everything so well. His goal in Game 4 helped settle Chicago down.  

3. Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks (2)

In the Cup Final, Keith hasn’t quite been the extraordinary orchestrator he was in his previous three series. So basically he’s gone from virtuoso to just really good, which is fine.

4. Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning (4)

He’s the playoffs’ second-leading scorer. Arguably, he has been Tampa’s best forward against Chicago with three points in the four Cup Final games.

5. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning (7)

The blueliner has been a beast for the Lightning in the Cup Final. Just think, he was not rated before the series started. He has been maybe the best all-around player in the Cup Final with four assists and averaging over 26 minutes per-night.

6. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (5)

The one they call ‘Showtime’ has just one assist in the Cup Final. Goo. He’s had his chances, but with Kane – when he’s not scoring he’s not as effective as Toews or Keith. One offensive outburst and he may shoot up the rankings.  

7. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning (6)

This is a tough call. Bishop gutted out a 36-save performance in Game 3 after being injured in Game 2. But he sat out Game 4. Andrei Vasilevskiy actually picked up the Game 2 win even though he only played 9:13 total.  

8. Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks (10)

Hossa has 17 points. He has a plus-7 rating. He plays over 20 minutes per-night. Typical Hossa. He’s an incredible hockey player, but he always gets outshined by the other Blackhawks.

9. Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning (NR)

The third triplet often gets overlooked. But 16 points in 24 games – including eight goals – is pretty solid, though he’s only had one in the Cup Final.

10. Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay Lightning (NR)

The Harvard man has shown some sick mitts in the Stanley Cup Final. His deflection in Game 1 was incredible. Corey Crawford never saw Killorn's Game 4 score. 

In the hunt: Andrew Shaw, Valtteri Filppula, Steven Stamkos, Brandon Saad, Brent Seabrook

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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