Monday, June 19, 2006

2006 Stanley Cup Final
Conn Smythe candidates

This post is needed, what with my giving someone from the Edmonton Oilers only a 7-per-cent chance to win this thing following Game 4.

Needless to say, that's changed.

Game 7 may indeed have a bearing on who wins this thing, as if there's a clearcut winner in tonight's game early on, the Conn Smythe votes will almost all be directed at players from that team. In addition, if one of the current frontrunners has a strong game, they too will get much more consideration.

By my count, there are no fewer than six players who could potentially be named 2006 playoff MVP.

  1. Chris Pronger (Edmonton). Chance he'll win: 36%
    The case: Leading your team in scoring as a defenceman is as good of one as you can make, and Pronger was outstanding in every round leading up to the final. His status as a former Norris Trophy winner and future Hall of Famer will also work in his favour as media voted awards generally reward past performance.

  2. Cam Ward (Carolina). Chance he'll win: 20%
    The case: Given the rest of his team was completely out to lunch in Game 6, Ward has been the most consistent performer for the Hurricanes this series. If his team can somehow pull things out in Game 7, I imagine the young netminder will be a big part of that.

  3. Rod Brind'Amour (Carolina). Chance he'll win: 19%
    The case: By far the frontrunner following Game 4, Brind'Amour promptly disappeared for the next two games. His decision to, once again, not talk to the media yesterday will likely also hurt his chances as the PHWA's members can't be a fan of his Houdini impressions.

  4. Fernando Pisani (Edmonton). Chance he'll win: 16%
    The case: I think his case is much stronger than his actual chances, as Pisani's 13 goals put him well ahead of his next closest teammates (Ryan Smyth and Shawn Horcoff with 7). Pisani also leads the NHL in game-winning goals with five. Working against the Edmonton lad is the fact that few players who breakout in the postseason are ever awarded the MVP title.

  5. Eric Staal (Carolina). Chance he'll win: 7%
    The case: Leads the league in assists, points, power-play goals, power-play assists and shots on goal (by far). Disappearing act in this series will hurt him as well.

  6. Cory Stillman (Carolina). Chance he'll win: 2%
    The case: Always underrated performer will need huge Game 7 in order to sway the voters.
I'll be fairly active posting later in the day as news comes in, but also be sure to stop by all the requisite Game 7 blog and media hotspots this afternoon: Covered in Oil, Battle of Alberta, Cason Blog, Acid Queen, Red and Black Hockey and, yes, The Globe and Mail.


At 2:54 p.m., June 18, 2006, Blogger beezee05 said...

Fernando Pisani or Chris Pronger

At 3:52 p.m., June 18, 2006, Blogger DR said...

I'll be upset if Pisani doesn't win in the case of an Oilers victory.
13 goals, 5 game winners? Even Pronger's very impressive playoff can't compare to that.

At 6:18 p.m., June 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pisani - IF he scores in the first two periods (voting ends then).

Otherwise, it's Ward (who has been so-so at times).

At 12:51 p.m., June 19, 2006, Anonymous Cam said...

Where are these percentages coming from?

At 2:51 p.m., June 19, 2006, Blogger jmol2112 said...

Isn't it amazing that a trophy that is supposed to be awarded to the 'playoff MVP', who plays 20+ grewling games, could be decided by 1 or 2 good shifts tonight?
Depending who scores the game winner, gets a shutout, etc, any of your listed players could be the winner.

At 5:00 p.m., June 19, 2006, Anonymous grace said...

I disagree with "dr". Chris Pronger does a lot on the ice that PREVENTS the other team from scoring. He sets up plays he doesn't get assists on. The guy is a workhorse. He's out there for virtually HALF the game each and every game. He's rarely on the ice when a goal is scored against Edmonton. Pisani's getting the glories for the goals he scores and rightly so. But Pronger should be getting the glory for the goals that don't have a chance because he's out there shutting them down. There are numerous people on this team that can score. Not dogging Pisani (I find him fabulous), but without Pronger would we have even made it past Detroit? San Jose? Anaheim? I highly doubt it.

He's shut down the very best players in the conference and now he's doing it to that other, lowly, conference.

Pronger gets my vote, regardless.

At 5:10 p.m., June 19, 2006, Blogger Nick said...

I'll add a disclaimer and say that I didn't see all of Carolina's games before this series, but I don't see how it couldn't go to Pronger. The guy's icetime is insane. The only one who I think could have gave him some competition would have been Roloson, and I don't see that happening now.


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