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2013 NHL Playoffs: A look at the early Conn Smythe candidates

May 31, 2013, 5:15 AM EDT

San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Five Getty Images

We’ve officially reached the midway point of these Stanley Cup playoffs.

Sixteen teams began the post-season and there are now just four remaining. It’s early, yes, but worth having a look at the early candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff M.V.P.

  • Jonathan Quick: The L.A. Kings goaltender, and winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy a year ago, has returned to that form in these playoffs. He was excellent in the Kings’ first two games of these playoffs but one could argue not good enough in back-to-back losses to St. Louis. Since then, he’s been nearly unbeatable. Look at the stats page on NHL.com. In these playoffs, Quick leads all NHL goalies in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts. In wins, he’s tied for first with two other netminders.
  • Sidney Crosby: The captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins is currently third in playoff scoring and tied with his teammate,Pascal Dupuis, and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp in goals. Had six points in the final four games of the Eastern Conference semifinal to help knock off the Ottawa Senators.
  • David Krejci: The Boston Bruins’ forward might not get the same accolades as a Sidney Crosby, but he leads all players in playoff scoring. Did anyone else remember that he’s had strong playoff contributions before, like, say in 2011, when he had 23 points in 25 games and the Bruins won the Stanley Cup?

Here’s a look at three more potential candidates:

  • Corey Crawford, goalie, Chicago Blackhawks
  • Kris Letang,defenseman, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Patrick Sharp, forward, Chicago Blackhawks
  1. mj1818 - May 31, 2013 at 6:11 AM

    No Malkin?

    • handsofsweed - May 31, 2013 at 6:57 AM

      Vokoun and Raask are both very close to this list, I’d have to imagine. Both will have ample opportunity to join it here shortly.

  2. papajack1259 - May 31, 2013 at 6:57 AM

    How about the Kid from Boston? Krug

  3. titansbro - May 31, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    Rask should be on the list as well.

  4. pastabelly - May 31, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    I would have to favor Bergeron over Krejci and if Boston upsets Pittsburgh, it will be because Bergeron slows down Crosby. There is no doubt that David Krejci is a great playoff performer. He’s just not at Bergeron’s level. Bergeron also scored the last minute game 7 goal to tie Toronto and the winner in overtime. He gets overlooked too much and this aricle is no exception.

    • itsallniceonice - May 31, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      Completely disagree. Krejci carried the Bruins past the Leafs and his defensive match up should be no less difficult than Bergerons against Pitt. Bergeron has been great but Krejci has been unreal as usual.

  5. jacketsfan7 - May 31, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    No Vokoun OR Rask?

  6. myroncopesflask - May 31, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    It will either be Geno or Quick. If Quick stands on his head and shuts down the Pens when they play he will deserve the award and there will not be an argument.(Don’t worry that will be the finals matchup) My money is going on Malkin…I realize that Boston is going to play Chara against his line but one thing that is not being talked about is how much the Boston players hate playing James Neal. He really gets under their skin and always gets their attention. Malkin runs away with the scoring lead in this series. You heard it here 1st! 1975

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 31, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      Ok. Make sure to repost this comment after the final game of the SC final.

      • myroncopesflask - May 31, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        Already have the screen grab saved for you buddy! 1975

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 31, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        :-) Thanks!

    • adambballn - May 31, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      Kings fans feeling awfully cocky… and why wouldn’t they, the team they’re playing lost a whooping 7 out of 48 games in regulation this season… I’m sure the Kings are just going to roll over them.

      • dannymac17 - May 31, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        regular season means so much, especially to the Kings.

      • fpstratton - May 31, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        This Kings fan isn’t feeling cocky, I assure you. A better adjective would be thankful for Jonathan Quick and relieved that we have made it to the final four. Chicago should be the toughest test yet.

  7. buffalomafia - May 31, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    How can Cynthia Crosby be a candidate when she was hurt this season?

    Yeah I know she put up some good numbers but these other candidates played through injuries & tough times?

    • islesjb - May 31, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      Conn Smythe is for the playoffs bruh. Even though he did miss the opening game of the playoffs, your point isn’t valid

    • hockeyfan1701 - May 31, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Your lack of hockey knowledge is only surpassed by your lack of maturity.

    • fpstratton - May 31, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      Not a Sidney Crosby fan, but he is a phenomenal player and talent.

  8. drewsylvania - May 31, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Do all Pens fans act like the crowd that infests this site?

  9. sjsharks66 - May 31, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    What about Vokoun and Krug?

    • fpstratton - May 31, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      Excellent choices, too, but Vokoun plays on a team that can roll out a seven-goal game at any time. Quick just doesn’t have the margin for error than Thomas does, even though he really gave the Penguins a lift. Krug has been excellent, but isn’t as valuable to his team in these playoffs as Quick is to his…this could change in the next few weeks, however.

  10. blomfeld - May 31, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    “QUICK is your 2013 Conn Smythe winner !”

    That would be the obvious choice if the selection were to be made today. But it isn’t and so any kind of speculation at this point is meaningless. We’re only at the halfway pole and most of the action which goes to determining the eventual Conn Smythe winner has yet to be played.

  11. capsrockva - May 31, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    I want the Bruins to knock out the Pens and then I’ll root for a western conf. team

  12. kingsforever - May 31, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    I don’t even like Quick (Team Bernier) but he deserves it hands down

    • pennerismyhomeboy - May 31, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      What’s wrong with you? haha

      • fpstratton - May 31, 2013 at 4:59 PM

        There are still a surprisingly large contingent of people in So Cal that continue to favor Bernier over Quick because he is less prone to giving up rebounds, but I would say to those people that, with all due respect, and given Quick’s achievements now over two playoff seasons, it’s time to bang another drum.

  13. malkinrulez - May 31, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    My money is on Geno

  14. dannymac17 - May 31, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Well if Quick gets the Kings to the SCF, then you have to give it to him. Besides the first 2 games, he really has been lights out.

  15. fpstratton - May 31, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    The scoring in these playoffs has been low. The goaltenders have dominated, and the best goaltender has been Jonathan Quick without a doubt. While the rest of the Kings have not matched their level of a year ago, when they had territorial advantage in every series, Quick has kept them alive in these playoffs. I think it’s an easy decision….so far. However, lots of hockey is still to be played so any discussion of Conn Smythe Trophy candidates is premature at this point.

    • mordock57 - Jun 1, 2013 at 4:26 AM

      Ummm… the scoring has been low… except for the Penguins, who are scoring more goals per game than any team since the 80′s….. so, yeah… Would you like to rephrase your statement to perhaps the Western Conference or something?

  16. luvusa1 - May 31, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    @myroncopesflask: give it up already with the 1975…so obsesses with the Flyers are ya? Pathetic.

    • fpstratton - May 31, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      Saw the Broad Street Bullies documentary the other night. Regardless of how one feels about their play, and many outside Philly hated them, it was gratifying to see a bunch of athletes bond with their community the way these guys did and actually hang out at regular places. I don’t think we would see that today. Great documentary, by the way.

      • jimeejohnson - May 31, 2013 at 8:12 PM

        Broad Street Bullies were the ONLY NHL squad, including Canadian teams, to beat the Soviet Union’s Red Army hockey team. They defended North America’s honor by intimidating the Soviets just like they intimidated the rest of the hockey world: fighting, and winning. I’m no Flyers fan, but I am glad they beat those…crazy Communists!

  17. suckit619 - May 31, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Quick won’t be a candidate after this series. Hawks in 7

    • jimeejohnson - May 31, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      You could be lying.

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