Wednesday, May 21, 2008


The Early Conn Smythe Winner? Henrik Zetterberg

With Johan Franzen's injury causing him to miss the Stars/Wings series, the Conn Smythe race has opened up to a whole swath of contenders, mainly the big names and usual suspects.

Right now, Sidney Crosby and Henrik Zetterberg sit 1-2 in the scoring race, with the likes of Malkin, Hossa(!), and Datsyuk not far behind.

Name Team GP G A Pts +/-

Sidney Crosby PIT 14 4 17 21 6
Henrik Zetterberg DET 16 11 10 21 15
Marian Hossa PIT 14 9 10 19 7
Pavel Datsyuk DET 16 9 10 19 12
Evgeni Malkin PIT 14 9 10 19 5

While Crosby does have 2 less games played than Zetterberg,
I'd give Zetterberg the edge in the Conn Smythe race because goals are far more important than assists, and 7 is a large margin. Zetterberg also has a better +/-, and over twice as many shots on goal taken than The Kid.

Henrik also has 2 shorthanded goals and 3 game winning goals, which is tops among the Top 5. If I had to pick a winner after the first three rounds, he'd be it. I'd also give credit to Zetterberg for putting up his points against tougher defensive teams like Dallas and San Jose, compared to Crosby versus the likes of Philly and Ottawa.

Of course, we can't forget the starting goaltenders, both of whom have had an incredible playoff run.

Osbad: 13GP 10-2 1.60GAA 93.1SV%
Fleury: 14GP 12-2 1.70GAA 93.8SV%

Despite the fact that Osgood has a career full of mediocrity, and Fleury has had his growing pains, both goalies are practically 'money' right about now, and are neck and neck in terms on stats.

Of course, I'm loathe to give evil goalies too much credit, so I'd want them to prove themselves a bit more before I put them in Crosby-Zetterberg territory.

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10 As it usually does, the MVP of the playoffs usually comes down to who has the best Finals. Any of a number of players are candidates including both goalies.
Gee, you almost overcame your excruciating jealousy of the Wings, to post a positive article about their Cup-run. "Os-bad has had a career of mediocrity?" Yes, winning two Cups, a couple of Jennings Trophys, more playoff games than Terry Sawchuk...that's pretty weak, and will really look bad when he's inducted into the HHOF.
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