So, two rounds in
the books and despite some interesting twists, it should come as no surprise at
who the final four contestants will be.
All four teams have been there and won it and are looking for their 2nd
go at the Cup in 5 years.
Despite the presence
of four worthy teams, I'd have to go out of my way not to recognize that the
Penguins are still heavy favorites here.
And from those Penguins come at least 7 worthy candidates for the title
of Playoff MVP. Normally, at this time
of year, I present the top 10 contenders for the Conn Smythe, drawing a few
from each squad; however, given my belief that Pittsburgh will likely wrap this
thing up with relative ease, it's pointless to go through that exercise. Instead, I will focus on the most likely
scenario: Who should get the trophy when the Penguins win the Cup.
1. Thomas Vokoun
It's hard to fathom
now, but the Penguins truly were in trouble in that opening round series with
Fleury between the pipes. Thanks to
off-season Shero brilliance, Coach Bylsma had an obvious answer. And it worked. With so much fire power up front, what this
team needed more than anything was for someone to just stop the bleeding. Vokoun did that and more. He has arguably been the best goalie in the
playoffs, and the one indispensable piece in this Penguin lineup. He's going to have to be good versus the Bruins,
and potentially great against the Hawks (should that happen), but that just
means he'll have to keep doing what he's been doing his whole career.
[Read the rest of this post at the Shark Blog...]