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:
- Armstrong: ‘Let’s live to fight another day’ 0
- Hitch needs ‘time to reflect’ before making decision on future 17
- Rutherford admits mistakes, but has support of Penguins ownership 7
- Wings’ Kronwall has hearing today for hit on Kucherov 39
- Kucherov isn’t going to ‘cry’ about Kronwall hit 38
- Nothing but Kuznetsov: Caps best Isles in Game 7 26
- Not done yet: Lightning earn Game 7 against Red Wings 10
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 0
- Blues owner ‘disappointed and frustrated,’ but not ready to ‘throw people under the bus’ 31
- Despite ‘step in the right direction,’ do Canucks need to alter core? 16
- It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime (110)
- Another Blues campaign ends in disappoint as Wild advance (99)
- Bettman under fire after saying ‘Katy Perry’ chant wasn’t sexist (92)
- Friedman: Penguins need to ‘think about’ trading Malkin (89)
- Okposo blasts ‘idiot’ Wilson after physical outing versus Isles (82)