May 31, 2013, 5:15 AM EST
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:
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- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks 30
- Report: NHL set to finally pay Gretzky at least $7M 13
- Kadri out as falling Leafs start tough stretch vs. Sharks 9
- Wounded Wings: Zetterberg (back) out, joins Datsyuk on shelf 7
- Burrows out with broken jaw (Update: expected to miss at least four weeks) 22
- NHL on NBCSN: Can battered, slumping Stars rise above Blackhawks? 8
- Video: Harding’s diving save highlights Wild’s win 5
- Varlamov expected to enter plea on Jan. 22 7
- Malkin named NHL’s first star for second straight week 9
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)
- Video: Malkin, Penguins win wild, controversial one over Leafs (40)
- ‘It’s like Groundhog Day’: Schneider frustrated about backing up Brodeur (35)
- Islanders embarrassed in fifth consecutive loss (33)
- Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Red Wings challenge division-leading Bruins (32)