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Who Will Win the Conn Smythe Now?

by chewy 19. June 2013 07:45

With just a few games left to be played in this year's playoffs, the field for the MVP honors has narrowed itself down a bit; however, this may be one of the toughest seasons in recent memory to pick a clear-cut winner.  The choice obviously depends most upon who wins the Cup.  After that, there are a number of candidates on both side worthy of consideration.  Here are the front-runners at this point, heading into Game 4:

 

1. Tuukka Rask (BOS)

If there is such thing as a front-runner in this MVP race, it would have to be Rask.  He has been unbelievable in net, largely making up for the paltry goal-scoring of the Bruins over the past 2 series.  His GAA of 1.64 and save percentage of .946 are best in the league by a long shot.  Without his brilliance in round 3, the Bruins couldn't have so easily dispatched of the Pens.

 

2. David Krejci (BOS)

Krejci leads the league in playoff scoring with 23 points.  He's tied with Patrick Sharp for tops in goal scoring with 9.  The production has slowed down in the finals.  He has just 2 assists and no goals in the Finals through 3 games.  Even without his scoring, his puck control and overall play have been outstanding.  The Bruins are a well balanced team, but Krejci has emerged as the go to guy in the playoffs.

 

 

3. Marian Hossa (CHI)

Sometimes the best way to gauge the value of a player is in their absence.  With Hossa out in Game 3 of the Finals, the Hawks struggled to generate opportunities.  His 2-way play has surpassed that of captain Toews, who has been somewhat absent during this postseason.  If Chicago is to come back and claim the Cup, they will need a healthy Hossa to do that.

 

4. Corey Crawford (CHI)

Despite being perceived as a potential weak link, Crawford has been outstanding throughout the playoffs.  Were it not for the overshadowing brilliance in the opposite net, Crawford may be the front runner in this column.  His numbers speak for themselves: GAA of 1.73, Save Percentage of .936.  If he can add 3 wins to that total, Crawford may have a Trophy on his shelf.

 

5. Zdeno Chara (BOS)

His offensive production has been very good (12 points in 19 games), but it is his hulking defensive presence that has him in the running for the MVP honors.  He has owned the region in and around Rask's crease, helping the Bruins keep some of the best offensive talents in the league in check.

 

Other possibilities, should they do something special in the last few games:

  • Nathan Horton (BOS) - like Hossa, he was missed greatly when absent from his lineup.  His +22 is tops.
  • Patrick Sharp (CHI) - leads the Hawks in points and goals
  • Milan Lucic (BOS) - 85 hits are best in the league.  He came up clutch early in the playoffs.

 

And in the category of unsung hero, as much as it pains me to say this… Jaromir Jagr (BOS) has been everything and more the Bruins had hoped for.  Had just one or two of his 55 shots on goals gone in the net, he may have made the conversation above.  He has been dominate on both ends of the rink, despite his advanced age.

 

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