If a player is awarded the Conn Smythe trophy, it means he had an exemplary run in the playoffs. Out of all the competing teams and players, he was the one to win MVP. Winning this award requires a player to sweat, bleed and overcome tremendous adversity.
Past recipients include Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy to name a few. The most recent names are Justin Williams of the Los Angeles Kings, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and Jonathan Quick, also of the Kings. This years’ playoffs have seen dramatic finishes, epic rivalries and heroic performances. With the final four teams getting ready to duke it out, I’ve taken a look at which player on each team deserves to win the Conn Smythe based on his overall performance so far.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Tyler Johnson
The diminutive forward has been one of not only the playoffs, but the years best stories. He exploded for 72 points in the regular season which tied him with teammate Steven Stamkos for the Lighting scoring lead.
He’s been an absolute beast in the post-season and has totalled 12 points in 13 games. He’s consistently been one of the best and most reliable forwards on the ice for the Lightning, and has displayed a knack for scoring clutch goals. Not bad for a kid that went undrafted a few years ago.
New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist
All hail the king! Lundqvist is a star on a Rangers team with legitimate Cup aspirations. Because the Rangers haven’t averaged many goals in this playoff run, Lundqvist has had to be nothing less than stellar most nights. He’s not only done that, he’s excelled in those close games and allowed the Blueshirts to grind out their wins.
He currently leads all goaltenders with a 1.60 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage. The Rangers rely heavily on Lundqvist to help them win games. He was in top form when his team eliminated Pittsburgh and Washington. He’s showing no signs of anything different going into the Eastern Conference final.
Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane
Not only is Patrick Kane a legitimate star, he already has a Conn Smythe on his resume. That right there tells me he is a proven winner with the hardware to back it up. In ten games played he has put up 13 points. Many were worried that Kane wouldn’t be ready for the playoffs after fracturing his clavicle on February 24th. Not only did he play in game one against Nashville, he has been the catalyst for much of his teams success the past two rounds.
Kane scored in every game against the Minnesota Wild and has accumulated an astounding 104 points in 103 playoff games. The Blackhawks forward is a model of consistency and has more than earned his “Showtime” moniker.
Anaheim Ducks: Corey Perry
What has yet to be said of the Ducks star in these playoffs? Perry steamrolled the competition in the first two rounds and shows no signs of letting his foot of the gas heading into the Western Conference final. The Peterborough, ON, native has scored 15 points in only nine games.
Perry has proven beyond any doubt that he is one of the elite scorers in the NHL today. His numbers have been outstanding and thus far, no team has been able to shut him down. In both opening games, against Winnipeg and Calgary, he scored four points. If that continues against Chicago, the Ducks could be looking at their first Stanley Cup berth since 2007.
It’s a great time to be a hockey fan. The four remaining teams draw ever closer to the Stanley Cup. Each has stars throughout their roster that are doing their very best to get them in a position to win. Only one player can take home the Conn Smythe. We’ve been witness to some incredible performances through the first two rounds. As the fight to lift the cup resumes, buckle up and don’t blink!