Conn Smythe Watch: Tyler Johnson takes command in Cup Final

TAMPA, FL - JUNE 06: Tyler Johnson #9 of the Tampa Bay Lightning looks at referee Kelly Sutherland #11 and points to his second period goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during Game Two of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on June 6, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via 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 (3)

To win the Conn Smythe, you need to catch the breaks. Johnson’s softy goal against Corey Crawford in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Blackhawks was huge for the Lightning. He still has the playoff goals and points lead at 13 and 22 respectively.

2. Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks (1)

Keith has cooled off a little bit in the Cup Final. He has just one assist and an even rating in the two games. And – gasp – has averaged under 30 minutes per-game through two contests. His lowest total in Games 1 and 2 was 28:52. Slacker.

3. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (10)

Since our last ratings, the Chicago captain shut down Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf and broke Anaheim goaltender Frederik Andersen. But he’s been neutralized a bit by Tampa was just one assist through two games.

4. Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning (7)

The playoffs’ second-leading scorer scored a goal and added an assist in Game 2 against Chicago. Just incredible hands on his deflection goal.

5. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (5)

Perhaps a return to playing with Kris Versteeg and Brad Richards is what Kane needs. Playing mostly with Toews and Brandon Saad in the Cup Final, Kane has been held pointless.

6. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning (NR)

How will he look in our next rankings? First we need to find out if he’s healthy after exiting Game 2 in the third period with an unspecified issue. Goaltenders always seem to find their way into the Conn Smythe conversation. If Tampa wins, he’s got a shot. If Chicago wins, no way Corey Crawford’s getting the trophy.

7. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning (NR)

The slick Swede broke a five-game pointless streak in Game 2 with an excellent two assist, plus-2 rating outing. He was smooth, fast and Chicago had no answer for his size and mobility. If he picks up his game in the Cup Final, he could turn into a Conn dark horse.

8. Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks (NR)

In his last six games he’s had four goals. He’s a defenseman! Even the virtuoso Keith only has two goals all playoff.

9. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning (NR)

Dude’s about three on-the-mark one-timers away from vaulting himself into the top five. You always have to pay attention to the one they call Stammer.

10. Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks (NR)

One of these days, someone will reward Marian Hossa for his amazing all-around play. It probably won’t be this year if Chicago wins, but he’s had six points in the Hawks’ last seven games.

In the hunt: Andrew Shaw, Valtteri Filppula, Alex Killorn

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