Did you ever think about how the Conn Smythe Trophy could be the NHL's strangest award?
Let's begin with the hardware. Maple Leaf Gardens donated the trophy to the NHL in 1964. The trophy was awarded to Conn Smythe (a Hockey Hall of Fame member) and used as a bauble. The playoff MVP award (A) recognizes Toronto's status as the “Centre of the Hockey Universe” and (B) is a scaled recreation of Maple Leaf Gardens. (C) includes a large, silver-colored maple leaf that is botanically correct.
How come so many? Montreal CanadiensPlayers can touch the thing without their skin bubbling.
It's one the most significant awards in NHL hockey, but also one of its most overlooked. The award is given just moments before the Stanley Cup's parade around the ice in champions' hands. The Conn Smythe winner's team feels like they have the chance to fulfill a childhood dream but it is delayed so everyone can hear who was crowned class valedictorian. The Conn Smythe winner is like finding out you have won a washer/dryer and a huge Powerball check.
A group of 18 professional hockey writers vote on the Conn Smythe. This includes both local and national writers. Their votes were made public in 2017 and it was now open for all to see. how many votes Tuukka RaskIn a losing effort during 2019, Stanley Cup Final
The Conn is home to one of the most diverse selections of NHL awards winners. It can even be star-centric. Sometimes it is justified, such as when Patrick RoyWayne Gretzky was awarded the award multiple times. Sometimes, the award winner can feel like a default setting based on reputation. Sidney CrosbyConn Smythe won Phil Kessel2016: Well-deserved In 2016, the award was well-deserved. Bill Ranford(1989), Center Henrik Zetterberg(2008) and Winger Justin Williams(2014). a single vote Hart- or Selke trophies
Name another award that has both MarioAnd Claude LemieuxCould win it, and it makes complete sense.
But the Conn Smythe's randomness isn’t at all random. There are some interesting patterns when you look at the Conn Smythe winners in the past. Here's how to determine a Conn-Smythe winner.
1. Any position can win. My friend Sean McIndoe of The AthleticIn 2020, Conn Smythe Trophy's position bias is not the same as that of the Hart Trophy for regular-season MVP. He found that center win the Hart Trophy 51% of time, while the Conn Smythe 31%. Goalies win the Hart Trophy 9% of time, and the Conn Mythe 30% of time.
It's a great theory.
2. Conn Smythe winner must play for at least 20 minutes per game Since 1996 Stanley Cup playoffs, 18 skaters have won the Conn Smythe. Only three of them were Crosby (2017), Williams (2014). Joe Nieuwendyk(1999). Averaged less 20 minutes per game. (There was no time-on-ice monitoring. Joe SakicHe was probably over 20 minutes in 1995-96. However, based on his performance in the playoffs the following years, it is reasonable to assume that he was.
For defensemen, it is even more precise: Five of the five Conn Smythe-winning defensemen have averaged over 25 mins per game during the playoffs.
3. It doesn't really matter who is scoring the most in the playoffs. One interesting trend among the 18 Conn winners was the fact that they were not the most dominant postseason scoring racers. Only four of the playoff MVP winners also led the postseason goals. It has happened only once since 2009 Alex OvechkinYou won it with Washington CapitalsIn 2018.
It's the exact same story with points: Five times, the postseason scoring leader was also the MVP. This is a fact: Since the NHL's inception, it hasn’t happened. Evgeni MalkinIn 2009, the Hart Trophy was awarded. This could actually be part of the Hart Trophy's shared DNA — subjective impact and intrinsic value are more important than point compilation. That is why…
4. Beating the top two teams in scoring Does matter. The 18 Conn Smythe winners since 1996 are: 14where they were first or last on the team in points. All defensemen were outliers: Victor Hedman(third in his team, 2020) Scott Niedermayer (eighth, 2007), Nicklas Lidstrom(quatrième, 2002). Scott Stevens (fourth, 2000). Claude Lemieux was the fourth forward on the Devils' 1995 team and won the Conn Smythe without finishing first or second in points.
5. It is important to score game-winning goals. The “GWG”, however, can be a misleading stat. Take, for instance: Andrew CoglianoIt was the game-winning goal that he scored in the Colorado AvalancheThe 7-2 win in Game 1 by's over the Nashville PredatorsThank you, for making it an 3-0 game at 8:30 of first period. However, 16 of 18 Conn Smythe-winning skaters had multiple game-winning goals during the playoffs. However, only 10 of them had game winners in overtime.
6. For MVP honors, goalies must be among the playoffs' top stats leaders. Since 1996, seven goalies won the Conn Smythe. Five of them led in save percentage in the playoffs. All seven players finished in the top 2 in goals-against. Six out of seven goalies were among the top two in shutouts. Five of the seven goalies led in both save percentages and goals-againsts averages during the playoffs.
Only two of the Conn's winners were less than third in any category: Cam Ward2006: Mike VernonIn 1997, both were fourth in the save percentage.
These patterns seem to me understandable. A team that succeeds in the playoffs will most likely have the best players on its roster. And if the team plays well into the postseason those players will be able to put up impressive stats. These patterns give the Conn Smythe some predictability, but also rigidity.
Two changes could be made to the way that the award is presented if I had to:
Make the Stanley Cup runnerup more frequent. The Conn Smythe was not given to any player since then, except for five occasions. Jean-Sebastien GiguereIn 2003, he won the award with Anaheim. He was among four goalies to win it in a loss. Chris Pronger should still have been the playoff MVP for 2006. Edmonton OilersWith 21 points in 24 games, and playing 30.57 per game when he loses, he is the winner. The runners-up have a lot more “one guy” players who can drag their team to the Final. Reward them.
This is the way to go…
Give the Conn Mythe to someone else than the Final The Super Bowl MVP is awarded to the NFL. Major League Baseball holds the World Series MVP. Major League Soccer is the MLS Cup MVP. The Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award is awarded to the NBA.
Find a pattern?
For a player's performance during the postseason, the NHL's MVP Award is presented. entiretyThe playoffs. It is awarded to the best player in his postseason team. I was never quite sure why only Stanley Cup Final players could be eligible. Why not someone who came in just short of the Stanley Cup Final?
My favorite example of such a possibility was 2003, when Giguere won the award for the Ducks. Marian GaborikYou can find the Minnesota WildHe played 18 games before the Ducks beat him in four conference finals games. He was the most impressive player on the team with 17 points and 9 goals. Could he have been awarded MVP consideration?
I'm not suggesting that you give it to the player after just one round. I believe it is reasonable to ask that at the very least the playoff MVP has played in the conference finals.
I would like to see a Venn Diagram of those who believe the Hart Trophy should be given to a player from a non-playoff hockey team, and those who think it's absurd to give the ConnSmythe to anyone outside of the Stanley Cup Final. It will be two perfect circles.
In less than two months, our next Conn Smythe trophy winner will be announced. It could be another moment that makes you a king. Auston MatthewsIt would be a great honor if the Maple Leafs made history. Perhaps it is. Cale MakarIf the Colorado Avalanche win, he will be the 11th NHL-era defenseman to win MVP honours. Perhaps it's Jacob MarkstromLeading the NHL in save percentage is the Calgary FlamesBring Lord Stanley back to Canada
We know the potential identity based on the math. We'll then debate who it should actually be. Then, we'll observe as they collect their final awards before lifting the MVT (most valuable) trophy.
The one that you can drink from. The one that has the “large silver botanically correct maple leaf” on.
Jersey Foul of Week
This heresy is a result of Sin City:
This seems like a jersey foul.#VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/E18DhvyoA6
— Alex Norwood (@a23wood) April 25, 2022
This is, on the one hand. It's as clear as you can make a sweater. This is not your favorite player. I don't care if you're a lapsed Boston BruinsA fan who supports the team Vegas Golden Knights.
Fans are not allowed to use any number other than No. 99 for sweaters. 99 and not No. 4.
However, it is possible that Bill Foley, Vegas's owner, will sign Bobby Orr as his next antithetical and desperate move to win Stanley Cup.
Video of Week
Easy, boys. You can watch it. @AvalancheCoworkers @GabeLandeskog92And @Cmakar8Take your trash talk to the locker and teach them the difference between trash, recycling, and ice.
Visit https://t.co/8rJDd4QUraTo learn more. @NHL @NHLPA #PepsiTrashTalk pic.twitter.com/c97wUq2veo
— Pepsi (@pepsi) May 4, 2022
I confessed to my friends that I had found the “The” a few weeks back. Colorado Avalanche bland.
They lack the soap-operatic elements, attention-snagging personalities, and struggles for success in other teams. They remind me a lot of the late-aughts. Detroit Red WingsExceptionally talented, highly skilled, but a team that is unable to succeed until it is, and then only can they be compelling.
These are vanilla ice-cream: They're delicious but could have a few more drizzles or nuts.
Avalanche fans were quick to tweet “so bland!” And, “bland enough for me?” Colorado is a frequent winner of a lot of goals. They even made a memeAbout it, which I must admit is visually pleasing. It's an honor.
Part of the “blandness” thing is that the Avalanche are so good it's almost boring, with the easy way they dispatch teams. Although Colorado's five goals against Nashville's backup goalie was exciting for locals, it turned a Stanley Cup playoff contest into 40 minutes. It's almost like watching Canada's women's Olympic hockey team win 11-1 against Finland.
But, here are Cale MakarAnd Gabriel LandeskogIn a Pepsi commercialThat doesn't actually undermine my point. Gabe's comment that “you look like an infant” was a compliment earned him a smile.
The week's winners and losers
Winner: Spicy pork and spicy broccoli
As Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Louis DomingueOur Emily Kaplan said, he scarfed down some spicy pork and broccoliBetween the first and second overtimes in Game 1, he expected to be a spectator during overtime… until he was inserted into a game for the injured Casey DeSmith. He saved 17 shots, and the Penguins won in three-way overtime. On local Pittsburgh menus, we can see spicy pork or broccoli. It's served with French fries.
I can understand why Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild captain, was not suspended for his intentional crosscheck to Pavel Buchnevich's ankle in Game 1 Monday night. The Department of Player Safety doesn't usually issue suspensions for stick violations that don’t cause injury. Instead, they give fines. (Buchnevich played the next shift. Spurgeon, who suffered a devastating loss in the previous game, is a clean and tidy player who will be on many Lady Byng ballots. He isn't a repeat offenders they must reform.
But, I have always believed that Player Safety has an inability to detect intent. In my view, there is nothing in this play that didn't aim to injure. It was reckless and petty. Despite the precedent and the absence of injury, I would have given Spurgeon a match. I wonder if he would've received one in the regular-season.
Jim Rutherford is the winner
Team executives often hold press conferences that are reminiscent of pep rallies. They make statements about how things will be different and lay out a vague plan. Everyone feels good until it doesn’t matter.
This week's press conference in Vancouver by Jim Rutherford was… not this. He presented a vision for the future of the franchise and laid out plans for upgrading their facilities, as well as bringing back prospect tournaments. He exuded the confidence that comes from holding a lot of Stanley Cup rings. This gave the franchise direction it had been lacking for years. Even if that meant rattling some boxes…
Bruce Boudreau, the Loser
Bruce Boudreau, in both the standings and on the ice, is a winner. If his situation with Canucks does not work out, there will likely be other teams who are happy to place him behind their benches. Perhaps his old pal Chuck Fletcher, from Philadelphia.
Rutherford said, in the face speculation about a contract extension that they would have Boudreau back on the contract they agreed to probably stung. It was probably accurate, but it is a little too narrow to have Rutherford criticize the Canucks' run with Boudreau. This has a strong “Barry Trotz against the Capitals” energy. But Rutherford did not hire Boudreau.
Sometimes, postseason outcomes can be predicted by trends that were established in the regular season. The result is that it turns out that Carolina HurricanesSome of us should have paid more attention to the trend of Boston Bruins' absolute dominance before those events. playoff predictions were due. (Stares into a mirror, weeps. The Hurricanes are a wagon and it's wonderful to see.
To the fan who threw a rubber rat on the frozen ice after the Florida PanthersWe were humiliated on home ice by the in Game 1 Washington CapitalsThis is not how it works. This is how none of it works.
The headlines for Puck
Two Maple Leafs-loving fathers couldn't stand their Lightning-loving child during their series, so they pulled a prank. they moved his bedroom to the front lawn. “I took a nice nap here right after I got back from school.”
Iowa State University has suspended its men's Cyclone hockey club“Following allegations of hazing,” administrators launched an investigation into the accusations, as well as the club’s finances, organizational structure, and oversight.
Congrats to the Peoria Rivermen of the Southern Professional Hockey LeagueHe “lifted Tuesday the 22-pound President's Cup and lifted the heavy burden of 22 years with no title.”
The New York Timeson Sidney Crosby“Almighty skateboarding and sleightof-hand playmaking could, in an instant. Give way to handling opposing players. He is strong and a skilled escape artist. He can turn around and thunder ahead.
Enjoyed this pieceAlan Siegel Brad MarchandBoston Bruins: Marchand's dad may not have encouraged fighting, but Marchand helped his oldest realize that, given his size, he couldn’t afford being passive. Although he likely already knew this deep down.
Down Goes Brown with the 2022 Stanley Cup Bandwagon hopper guide. We are in agreement that it is time to support the Panthers, the team that saved hockey.
One more Vegas postmortem: “Injuries Don't Have to Be an Excuse. They Were The Plan (And The Plan Fail)”
From your friends at ESPN
Our show “The Drop” was a wild one this week.Please find me another NHL pregame show Chris CheliosYours truly, dressed as Chewbacca, Olivia Rodrigo, and a mini Zamboni, picking the Stanley Cup champion through miniature-bowling