Tag: Conn Smythe Trophy

Colin Fraser, Martin Brodeur

Win or lose, is it time to put Martin Brodeur in the Conn Smythe race?


By now we know Jonathan Quick is the front-runner for the Conn Smythe Trophy. He’s been dominant all playoffs long and has the Kings one win away from a Stanley Cup. But what about Martin Brodeur?

Brodeur has been oozing confidence all playoffs long and showed his cool demeanor last night. His teammates sung his praises wildly even going so far as to say he’s the underdog going up against Quick. Is it time to think maybe Brodeur has a shot at winning his first Conn Smythe Trophy whether the Devils comeback to win or not? It’s a good argument.

Overall, Quick has the better numbers through the playoffs but Brodeur is lurking in the weeds. He’s got a 2.00 goals against average and a .922 save percentage and, as his teammates have made sure to note, he’s the reason why there’s a Game 6 tomorrow night.

If the Kings wrap things up on Monday, the award is almost definitely going to Quick. But if it goes seven games and say Brodeur stands on his head in Game 6 to make it happen? All bets are off. We’ve seen losing goaltenders take home the Conn Smythe before. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stole it from Brodeur in 2003 and Ron Hextall got in 1987 for helping take the scoring machine Edmonton Oilers to seven games in the finals.

What do you think? Will Brodeur steal it from Quick?

Should Martin Brodeur retire if the Devils win the Cup?

Martin Brodeur

Let’s just get the question out of the way: Should Martin Brodeur retire if New Jersey wins the Cup?

All season long Brodeur has talked like a guy who seems pretty set on coming back next season, even when he’s saying he’s not 100-percent sure. Retirement is on his mind but it hasn’t seemed to be his motivation this year. After all, he’s looked great in the playoffs and for the entire second half of the season and he’s told Renaud Lavoie from RDS he has no intention to retire after the playoffs.

Still though, if the Devils go on to win the Stanley Cup this season, what’s left for Brodeur to do?

A Cup this year would be his fourth, giving him as many as Patrick Roy had in his career and twice as many as Dominik Hasek. If Brodeur managed to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, that would give him one award, aside from the Hart Trophy, that’s eluded him in his Hall-Of-Fame career. At 40-years-old, finding new records to set and awards to win when you’re already, arguably, the best goaltender in history might prove impossible.

Going out riding high is everyone’s dream, but for Brodeur going out when he’s good and ready to seems to be more likely. No one wants to see a legendary player go out the way say Michael Jordan did in ignominy in Washington as a Wizard rather than as a champion in Chicago.

What do you think? If the Devils win it all, should Marty take a seat? Vote in our poll or leave us a comment.

Who should win the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy?

Conn Smythe trophy, Gary Bettman

Now that we’ve reached the Stanley Cup finals, it’s time to start thinking about who could wind up winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs. Both the Devils and Kings have a handful of guys to consider for the award, but we’re picking out three from each team to consider.

Here goes nothing.

Los Angeles

Drew Doughty — Ken Hitchcock said Doughty was the best player in the second round and he’s looked every bit of the superstar he’s meant to be in the postseason. With two goals and eight assists he’s, by far, the leading blue line scorer for L.A.

Dustin Brown — Brown has been Mr. Everything for Los Angeles. Even strength he’s been a beast and shorthanded he’s given opponents nightmares. He’s physical, he’s skilled, and he’s leading the Kings in goals and points with every goal seeming to be a big one.

Jonathan Quick — Without Quick the Kings are toast most nights. He’s seen plenty of rubber and kept most of it out with a .946 save percentage. The Kings haven’t been superstars on defense but with Quick in goal they’ve been mopping the floor with opponents out West. Do the Kings even go anywhere without their Vezina Trophy finalist?

New Jersey

Ilya Kovalchuk — He’s leading the playoffs in points and is a goal shy of tying Danny Briere and Claude Giroux for the playoff lead. He’s been everything the Devils hoped he would be when they signed him to his monster deal two summers ago and, after finally escaping the first round, he’s settled in in glorious fashion.

Martin Brodeur — Brodeur might’ve been boned out of the 2003 Conn Smythe when Jean-Sebastien Giguere won it in losing fashion, but with how he’s played in these playoffs he might be able to land the one trophy that’s eluded him. Brodeur might be 40 years-old, but he’s looking like classic Marty all over again.

Zach Parise — He’s the captain and he’s had a huge postseason with seven goals and seven assists, trailing only Kovalchuk offensively. Being the captain means having to carry the team and he’s more than done his share of that, especially against the Rangers. Now if only they can get him locked up long-term…

Now it’s up to you to decide. Who takes home the Conn Smythe Trophy right now? Vote in our poll and let us know.

PHT Morning Skate: Coyotes, Kings have yet to trail in a 2012 playoff series

Walter Gretzky

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Kings and Coyotes are two very similar teams, but Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown thinks they have an edge in aggression. (Los Angeles Times)

Wayne Gretzky has links to both the Kings and Coyotes. (Denver Post)

Here’s another thing the Kings and Coyotes have in common: Neither has trailed in a playoff series this year. That’ll change on Sunday. (Arizona Republic/Phoenix Gazette)

A breakdown of the upcoming Eastern Conference Finals. (The Bergen Record)

The NHL.com writers and editors share their current picks for the Conn Smythe Trophy at the midway point of the playoffs. (NHL.com)

Not all the Devils players are attempting to grow a playoff beard. (Newark Star-Ledger)

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has sold the OHL Mississauga St. Michael’s Major. (Ottawa Citizen)

David Clarkson is a big X-factor going into the Eastern Conference Finals. (NHL.com)

Has John Tortorella hurt his image in this Stanley Cup playoffs run to the point where he no longer has a decent shot of coaching the US Olympic team in 2014? (Calgary Sun)

Is this Evgeni Malkin’s best work yet?

Evgeni Malkin

Evgeni Malkin is one of the league’s most irresistible forces right now – even back-to-back games can’t slow him down for good.

After scoring the last two goals in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ big win against the New York Rangers on Thursday, Geno erupted in the third period to help his team overcome a 4-2 deficit against the Montreal Canadiens. Malkin scored the game-tying goal on a laser beam of a shot and then collected the shootout winner as Pittsburgh topped the Habs 5-4 (SO).

Tonight’s goal ups Malkin’s league-leading points total to 55, which is especially impressive because he’s played in just 40 games. (Current runner-up Henrik Sedin has 52 points in 47 contests.) You can break up Geno’s recent work into scary-good chunks, but I’d say going back to Nov. 20 is a solid idea:

Malkin in the last 27 games: 20 goals, 21 assists for 41 points with a +10 rating and 132 shots on goal. Most recently, Malkin has eight goals and 10 points in his last six contests.

That’s some ridiculous stuff, prompting onlookers to boast about his swagger and forcing me to wonder: where does this rank with the gifted center’s all-time best work?

source: API asked folks on Twitter how “2011-12 Malkin compares to Art Ross Malkin” and those who responded ranked his best runs in an interesting way.

1. “Conn Smythe Malkin.”
2. “Current Malkin.”
3. “Art Ross Malkin.”

Malkin earned the Art Ross and Conn Smythe in the same world-beating 2008-09 season, but for the sake of fun, let’s look at those “three Malkins” through the simplest of stats.

“Current Malkin”: 40 Games Played: 25 goals, 30 assists for 55 points (1.375 per game)
“Art Ross Malkin”: 82 GP: 35 goals, 78 assists for 113 points (1.378 per game)
“Conn Smythe Malkin”: 24 GP: 14 goals, 22 assists for 36 points (1.5 points per game)

Seriously, Malkin scored 1.5 points per game in the playoffs that year.

Looking at the numbers, it’s clear that Malkin is approaching the level that some worried he’d never reach again after he struggled a bit with fatigue and injuries 2009-10 and 2010-11. Then again, context – minus Sidney Crosby, plus James Neal – could prompt some to believe that he’s at a new level of excellence.

However his work stacks up to his greatest hits, most hockey fans have been delighted to watch Malkin return to his superhuman form of old – unless he’s rumbling down the ice against their own team.