May 31, 2013, 5:15 AM EDT
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:
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 42
- Subban not eager to discuss contract talks 33
- Leafs re-sign Reimer — two years, $4.6 million 21
- Gorges still can’t explain falling out of favor in Montreal 13
- Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract 10
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 7
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 31
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 45
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal 39
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 42
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M (58)
- Return that toaster: Ovechkin-Kirilenko engagement broken off (54)
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain (45)