The morning after each Stanley Cup Final game, Puck Daddy will break down the field for the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP.
1. Jon Quick, Los Angeles Kings
Quick's puck-handling gaffe led to a critical Devils goal in Game 5, but he was solid the rest of the way. His 1.43 GAA and .946 save percentage remain preposterously good numbers, along with a 15-4 record. If he bounces back in Game 6 by outplaying his rival across the ice, the Conn should be his. However ...
2. Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
We need to start talking about Brodeur Giguere'ing this thing.
Brodeur is the reason the Devils are still vying for the Cup, outplaying Quick in Games 4 and 5 while continuing to be the catalyst for his team. His GAA is 2.00 and his save percentage is .922. If the Kings win the Cup in Game 6, it's difficult to imagine Quick not getting MVP honors; that said, if Brodeur is the difference in Game 6 and then plays valiantly in Game 7, might a sentimental media voting block decide to give him the Conn as a tribute and for the odd nostalgic twist after Jean-Sebastien Giguere won MVP in a losing effort against the Devils in 2003?
3. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
He's still tied with Ilya Kovalchuk for the playoff points lead with 19, after Kovalchuk had an assist taken away from him during Game 5. He's a plus-15 for the playoffs. When asked if MVP thoughts had crept into his mind before Game 5, Kopitar said: "No."
4. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Brad Doty Drew Doughty has 14 points for the playoffs, skating to a plus-12 and playing 26:04 TOI per game. For what it's worth, I heard there are some voters who'd like to see Doughty win MVP honors for his stellar play during the tournament. But can he hop over Quick and Kopitar?
5. Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils
Interesting number for Kovalchuk in Game 5: 18:34. That's his lowest time on ice during the playoffs. He had a strong game despite one shot on goal and a minus-1. He also threw the body a bit, defying talk that he's injured.
6. Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils
The Devils rookie has 12 points in 23 games, a plus-11 and at least three monumental goals for New Jersey in their run.
7. Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings
The Kings captain had three shots in Game 5, and he's still fourth in the playoffs with 17 points and tied for the lead with a plus-15.
8. Bryce Salvador, New Jersey Devils
Salvador is tied with Doughty for the playoff scoring lead for defensemen with 14 points, scoring his fourth goal of the postseason in Game 5. He's been the Devils' best D-man while skating 22:28 per night.
9. Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils
Parise broke through in Game 5 with his first goal since May 23 and first point of the Final, despite skating a minus-1. He has 15 points for the playoffs.
10. Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings
Carter's gone quiet in the last two games, following his minus-3 in Game 4 with a scoreless Game 5. He has 11 points, including six goals, for the postseason, including two game-winners.
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