Every year one player stands out above the rest to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player. Tim Thomas is the last Bruins player to win the Conn Smythe, after his amazing run to the Cup in 2011. Before that it was Bobby Orr. Ironically, the last time the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues met in the Stanley Cup Final, Orr had his iconic moment as he scored the overtime winner as he was the best player in the game in 1970. Now that we are down to two teams lets take a look at the favorites to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2019.
Rask has been the best player for the Bruins this post-season. He continues to prove his worth despite all the criticism he takes from fans. Those who criticize Rask will never be a fan of his. Rask is on a seven-game winning streak dating back to the end of the Columbus series in the second round. Through 17 games, Rask has the stats to back up his play with a 1.84 GAA and .942 save percentage with two shutouts. If Rask were to win the trophy he would have to thank Jaroslav Halak in his acceptance speech because it wasn’t for Halak, he may not have been this fresh to begin the playoffs. The last time a goalie in the playoffs had similar numbers to Rask was Jonathan Quick in 2012 when he put the Los Angeles Kings on his back to win the Stanley Cup. The last time a Bruins goalie won the Conn Smythe Trophy was Tim Thomas back in 2011 when the Bruins last won the Stanley Cup.
Brad Marchand is more than just an agitator; he is a good hockey player. Marchand is coming off his first 100 point season in the league, and his touch for finding the back of the net continued into the playoffs. Through 17 games, Marchand has 18 points (7G, 11A) including two game-winning goals. In the first six games of the playoffs, Marchand had nine points. Playing along Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, the Bruins have one the best lines in the game.
What a turnaround for Jaden Schwartz and St. Louis. Both the player and the team got off to slow starts. Schwartz had a miserable season for his standards, and when St. Louis started to win games, Schwartz still was not able to find his game. That all changed in the playoffs as Schwartz has been the go-to guy in big moments for St. Louis. Through 19 games, Schwartz has 16 points (12G, 4A) with two game-winning goals and two hat tricks. Schwartz is a goal away from tying Brett Hull’s St. Louis record for most goals in a postseason with 13. If Schwartz has a big Stanley Cup Final, he could get into some legendary company joining the likes of Bernie Federko, Doug Gilmour, and Brett Hull with 21 points in a single postseason.
What can you say about the way Jordan Binnington is playing. Without Binnington, St. Louis would not be in this position. Nothing seems to rattle this kid and has only gotten better as the playoffs have progressed. Though his numbers may not be Conn Smythe worthy, he is making the big saves at the right time. Through 19 games Binnington has a 2.36 GAA, and .914 save percentage with one shutout. The reason his numbers aren’t as good as Rask’s is because of some blowout losses St. Louis suffered along the way to Stanley Cup Final. Just like Schwartz, Binnington has etched his name in the record books as he tied Mike Vernon for most wins by a rookie goalie in a single postseason with 12. If St. Louis were to win, Binnington would become the first rookie goalie to win 16 games as he would pass the legendary Patrick Roy. Not too bad for a kid who was the fourth goalie on the depth chart.
If you want to place a prop bet on which player will win the Conn Smythe Trophy here are the odds and wouldn’t you know it Rask and Marchand up two of the favorites.
Odds to win 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy have been released 👀
— The Duel (@TheDuelSports) May 23, 2019