2006 Stanley Cup Final
Conn Smythe candidates
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cory Stillman (Carolina). Chance he'll win: 2%
The case: Always underrated performer will need huge Game 7 in order to sway the voters.