If Chicago wins in 6:
So after reading the Puck Daddy article about Pronger and the Conn Smythe, and then ranting about being sick of only seeing stories and posts of Chicago's arrogance today, it was kindly suggested to me to post something on the Conn Smythe. It's a pretty interesting topic b/c no player has been consistantly dominate for the Hawks, outside of maye Keith, so I really wanted to see what Flyers' and Hawks' fans thought about this topic. If you are interested, I'll put the scenarios with my thoughts after the jump, hopefully this will create some interesting dicussion, and I won't have wasted everyone's time. Excuse the lack of stats, I just don't have a ton of time to research a lot at work.
Duncan Keith: To me, he has been one of their 2 best players in the finals. Also, through out the playoffs, from what I've seen, his game has seem to elivate continuously. He has been the best defensemen in the playoffs outside of Pronger, and is currently second in points for defensemen in the playoffs behind only Pronger.
Jonathan Toews: Well this is the obvious choice. Dude was on fire, then the finals game, and he cooled off big time. This isn't to say he hasn't contributed in other areas, but he definitely has not been a difference maker in this series so far. And if you want to argue his defensive game, please see the next person on the list, who I think has been better in every aspect of the gam,e than Toews. However, it's tough to go against the Playoff points leader when there hasn't been a stud goaltender in these finals.
- Marian Hossa: Honestly, I feel he has been the Hawks most dangerous, and best all around player. It's not hard to see how much he wants this in the way he has played. having only 3 goals in the playoffs will probably keep him from winning, but he has been the player that has scared me the most in this series as a Flyers fan. And as long as he continues to create match up problems, create space and time for his linemates, and hussle on the back check, he is probably my favorite pick for the Conn Smythe...I just can't put him at #1 b/c of his numbers on how they will effect the outcome of the winner of this award.
Dustin Byfuglien: I don't like putting a player I view as streaky and lazy on this list, but Buff has had some big games on the Hawks playoff road, mostly against those pesky Nucks. He has been quiet this series, well his game not so much his mouth on the ice, up until game 5. To me he was clearly the Hawks spark in that game. Is it enough to earn the Conn Smythe for one break out game in the finals that turned the series, along with other clutch performances in the earlier rounds? To me, not so much, hence the 4th spot, plus 10 goals is nice, 15 points okay, -3 in the playoffs, eh.
- Chris Pronger: The guy has pretty much dragged the Flyers here on his back in my mind. There hasn't been a player more important to his team Than Pronger in these playoffs. He has some stinkers in the playoffs, and the Flyers have lost those games. But to me, that's more reason why he deserves it; if he doesn't play like Pronger, the Flyers don't win games. I just don't see giving this to a player whose team loses in 6 games.
If Chicago wins in 7:
- Duncan Keith: Unless he has a horrible game in game 6, he is still my number 1 choice
- AToews/Buff/Hossa in that order. If any of them have a heroic game in game 7, I think their play in the entire playoffs will be enough in addition to the possible heroics to boost them to the Conn Smythe. Toews still has to be the favorite here b/c of his point totals.
- Chris Pronger: For all the reasons above. And if game 7 is a tight game, and he continues to be a stud, I seriously think he should win. He has been the engine for this team, and the most important part of any team in these playoffs (outside maybe Halak for 2 series).
- Danny Briere: He is second in points in the Playoffs (could end up being first when it's all said and done, has had 4 game winners I believe, and continues to be a playoff point producer. This run should put the Briere haters to bed...until next year's regular season. He has been part of one of the best line sin the playoffs that not many people expected a lot from, and without him scoring during the injuries and struggles of the first line, the Flyers wouldn't be here.
If Philadelphia wins in 7:
- Chris Pronger: See above
- Danny Briere: See above
- Mike Richards: The guy, for the most part, has been a beast during the playoffs and he has 23 points. If his line breaks out of their funk, and starts scoring in game 6 & 7, he could very easily be your MVP of these playoffs. He has played hard, hussled, lead by example, and pretty much done everything you could ask him to do in the playoffs as a captain, except maybe win some more defensive zone draws.
- Leighton: If Leights comes in and somehow goes unconscious, shuts the door on the Hawks, and has two ridiculous games, back to back, I think he puts himself right in this debate. He has 3 shutouts in the playoff, and if he somehow maanged one more plus a solid game, or two really great games, I think he has to be considered. of course, even if he does stand on his head, the focus will probably be on pronger/team defence in general, and the award will go to Pronger instead. This is why he gets the 4th spot for me here.
- Ville Leino/Claude Giroux: Both these guys ahve come up some big for the Flyers in the playoffs. Like Briere, if they didn't step it up during injuries and top line struggles, the Flyers wouldn't be in this position. If either of these two put big games together (witht he points to match), they could very well be in this debate. Leino has 19pts in 18 games, and Giroux has 21 in 22 and has been a huge part of the penalty kill. I like Grioux here a bit better b/c he is not a liability defensively, rather a strength, and his PK ability has been huge for this team.
Hope I didn't waste anyones time,a nd thanks for reading!