One MVP for each team remaining in the Stanley Cup Playoffs
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are now well into Round Two with every team having played at least 7 games. While there’s still plenty of hockey to go, especially for the four teams that advance to their respective Conference Finals, some players are already standing out for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Here’s a look at each team’s player that should be considered as their MVP to this point.
- Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau (10 GP: 2G – 11A, 13 PTS)
- Carolina Hurricanes: Antti Raanta (5-3, 1.86 GAA, .939 SV%)
- Colorado Avalanche: Cale Makar (7 GP: 3G – 8A, 11 PTS)
- Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid (10 GP: 6G – 17A, 23 PTS)
- Florida Panthers: Carter Verhaeghe (9 GP: 6G – 6A, 12 PTS)
- New York Rangers: Mika Zibanejad (10 GP: 4G – 9A, 13 PTS)
- St. Louis Blues: Jordan Binnington (4-1, 1.72 GAA, .949 SV%)
- Tampa Bay Lightning: Nikita Kucherov (10 GP: 4G – 11A, 15 PTS)
Early Conn Smythe Favorites
Obviously it is too soon to pick a Conn Smythe Trophy winner. I mean, Connor McDavid is by far and away the clear choice with 23 points already in these playoffs. He’s already matched last season’s #2 playoff scorer Brayden Point’s 23 which he needed 23 games to accomplish.
Nikita Kucherov, last season’s leading playoff scorer with 32 points is a good candidate for this season. He currently has 15 points to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning, as they are just one win away from advancing to the Conference Final.
Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, who is up for the James Norris Trophy as top defenseman is making a strong case for himself. The Avs will look to take a 3-1 series lead over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night, and will do so with goalie Jordan Binnington in between the pipes. A collision with Nazem Kadri knocked the Blues MVP candidate out for this series.
Other team’s still in could see a shift in MVP if the can advance to the next round.
Mika Zibanejad is currently my pick for the New York Rangers, but you know Igor Shesterkin is likely to get tougher and tougher as these playoffs progress. Same for the Hurricanes, who will need someone on offense to step up at some point.