Tag: Conn Smythe

Quick Conn Smythe

Quick joins elite goalie club with Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup win


Jonthan Quick has become just the 12th goalie in NHL history to capture both the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe in the same year.

While Quick had already had a stellar season — one that included a Vezina Trophy nomination and arguably the finest performance ever from a Kings netminder — this playoff run was his crowing achievement, putting him in the conversation for the best postseason goaltending performance of all-time.

Of course, there are others in that conversation, including the 11 previous goalies than hoisted both Lord Stanley’s mug and the Smythe in the same postseason:

Year | Goalie | Team | Age | Stats

1971: Ken Dryden, Montreal, 23 (12-8, 3.00 GAA)
1974: Bernie Parent, Philadelphia, 28 (12-5, 2.02 GAA)
1975: Parent, Philadelphia, 29 (10-5, 1.89 GAA)
1983: Billy Smith, New York Islanders, 32 (13-3 2.68 GAA)
1986: Patrick Roy, Montreal, 20 (15-5, 1.92 GAA. .923 save percentage)
1990: Bill Ranford, Edmonton, 23 (16-6, 2.53 GAA .912 save percentage)
1993: Roy, Montreal, 27 (16-4, 2.13 GAA, .929 save percentage)
1997: Mike Vernon, Detroit, 33 (16-4, 1.76 GAA, .927 save percentage)
2001: Roy, Colorado, 35 (16-7, 1.70, .934 save percentage)
2006: Cam Ward, Carolina 21(15-8, 2.14 GAA .920 save percentage)
2011: Tim Thomas, Boston, 36 (16-9, 1.98 GAA, .940 save percentage)

Quick finished the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs with a 16-4 record, 1.41 GAA and .945 save percentage. He led the postseason in every significant goaltending category — including shutouts (three) — and became just the third American player in league history to win playoff MVP, along with Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch (1994) and Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (2011).

The only blemishes on Quick’s resume were his gaffes against Phoenix (Derek Morris’ center ice goal) and New Jersey (bad puckhandling on Zach Parise’s goal). Aside from those, he was remarkably error-free. He played every minute for the Kings, won every game and didn’t once relinquish his goal to backup Jonathan Bernier.

Where Quick’s performance sits on the list of greatest goaltending performances is up for debate.

What’s not is that it belongs in the conversation.

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Online sports book: Malkin, Crosby playoff MVP favorites

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin

The good folks from Bovada’s online sportsbook have posted odds on who’ll win the 2012 Conn Smythe trophy as the postseason’s most valuable player, and a pair of Penguins — Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin — top the list.

Here are the odds, in full:

Evgeni Malkin (PIT) — 11/1
Sidney Crosby (PIT) — 11/1
Henrik Lundqvist (NYR) — 16/1
Henrik Sedin (VAN) — 16/1
Daniel Sedin (VAN) —  16/1
Roberto Luongo (VAN) — 20/1
Tim Thomas (BOS) — 22/1
Pekka Rinne (NAS) — 25/1
Marian Gaborik (NYR) — 25/1
Brian Elliott (STL) — 25/1
Pavel Datsyuk (DET)  — 30/1
Brad Richards (NYR) —  30/1
Claude Giroux (PHI) — 30/1
Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT) — 30/1
Jaroslav Halak (STL) — 30/1
Jimmy Howard (DET) — 35/1
James Neal (PIT) —  35/1
David Perron (STL) —  35/1
Jonathan Toews (CHI) — 40/1
Henrik Zetterberg (DET) — 40/1
Alexander Radulov (NAS) — 40/1
Ilya Bryzgalov (PHI) —  40/1
David Backes (STL) —  40/1
Ryan Kesler (VAN) — 40/1
Patrice Bergeron (BOS) —  45/1
David Krejci (BOS) — 45/1
Milan Lucic (BOS) — 45/1
Anze Kopitar (LA) — 45/1
Ilya Kovalchuk (NJ) — 45/1
Joe Thornton (SJ) — 45/1
Alex Ovechkin (WAS) — 45/1
Marian Hossa (CHI) — 50/1
Patrick Kane (CHI) — 50/1
Kris Versteeg (FLA) — 50/1
Jonathan Quick (LA) — 50/1
Martin Erat (NAS) — 50/1
Martin Brodeur (NJ) — 50/1
Ryan Callahan (NYR) — 50/1
Mike Smith (PHO) — 50/1
Antti Niemi (SJ) — 50/1
Tyler Seguin (BOS) — 60/1
Jason Spezza (OTT) — 60/1
Scott Hartnell (PHI) — 60/1
Jaromir Jagr (PHI) — 60/1
Ray Whitney (PHO) — 60/1
Nicklas Backstrom (WAS — 60/1
Tomas Fleischmann (FLA) — 65/1
Stephen Weiss (FLA) — 65/1
Zach Parise (NJ) — 65/1
Patrick Marleau (SJ) — 65/1
Patrick Sharp (CHI) — 75/1
Valtteri Filppula (DET) — 75/1
Mike Richards (LA) — 75/1
Jeff Carter (LA) — 75/1
Andrei Kostitsyn (NAS) — 75/1
Patrik Elias (NJ) — 75/1
Logan Couture (SJ) — 75/1
T.J. Oshie (STL) — 75/1
Daniel Alfredsson (OTT) —  80/1
Shane Doan (PHO) — 80/1
Alexander Semin (WAS) — 85/1
Erik Karlsson (OTT) — 100/1
Milan Michalek (OTT) — 100/1
Radim Vrbata (PHO) — 100/1
Braden Holtby (WAS) — 100/1

Some notes:

— Six of the last 10 Conn Smythe winners are available: Lidstrom, Zetterberg, Toews, Malkin, Thomas and Richards.

— A defenseman hasn’t won the award since Scott Neidermayer with Anaheim in 2007.

— The youngest player on this list? 20-year-old Tyler Seguin.

— Three of the five youngest Conn Smythe winners of all time have come from the last seven postseasons: Cam Ward (21, 2005-06), Toews (21, 2009-10) and Malkin (22, 2008-09).

— The other two youngest? Bobby Orr (21, 1969-70) and Patrick Roy (20, 1985-86).

They opened the time capsule Conn Smythe buried at Maple Leaf Gardens


In 1931, Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe broke ground on Maple Leaf Gardens, which would go onto become one of hockey’s most hallowed buildings. The Maple Leafs won 11 Stanley Cups there, the first annual NHL All-Star Game was held there, Game Two of the 1972 Russia-Canada Summit series was held there…heck, Elvis Presley even played there.

On Thursday, another chapter in the Gardens’ rich history was unveiled — a metal time capsule Smythe buried behind a cornerstone in ’31. The capsule was opened during a ceremony at Ryerson University.

More, from the Toronto Star:

Found in the handmade copper box were copies of the local newspapers from Sept. 21, 1931 — the Toronto Daily Star, the Globe, the Mail and Empire and the Evening Telegram— a stock prospectus for Maple Leaf Gardens, the 1930-31 National Hockey League handbook and a 1930 Ontario Hockey Association rule book.

The inner lid of the time capsule was engraved “M.B. Campbell 124 Lindsay Ave 9/21/31.”

Ryerson University president Sheldon Levy said Campbell’s identity remains a mystery.

Another mystery is the small, ivory elephant found in the capsule. Two of Smythe’s great-grandsons were on hand at the ceremony and offered up their theories, though neither was entirely sure as to elephant’s significance. One heard it was from the Smythe family collection while the other thought it was to bring the Leafs good fortune.

“I’m not sure,” Stafford Scarlett told the Star. “I think it’s more of a good-luck charm. For 11 (Stanley) Cups, it worked.”

The Leafs played their last game at the Gardens in 1999. It has since been converted into a Loblaw’s grocery store and Ryerson’s athletic center.

(Image courtesy SportsLogos.net)

Tim Thomas looks to become first American Conn Smythe winner since Brian Leetch

Brian Leetch

Tim Thomas is compiling quite the list of accolades between his Vezina Trophy-worthy 2010-11 regular season and his Conn Smythe-worthy postseason.

Beyond drawing abstract comparisons to all-time great goalie performances made by legends such as Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek, Thomas is putting his own stamp on the NHL record books. He broke Hasek’s single season save percentage record, seems primed to win the Conn Smythe regardless of how Game 7 turns out and is one save away from breaking Kirk McLean’s all-time record for saves in a single playoff year.

While Thomas is breaking records for goalies of any nationality, some people might take added pride in the fact that he is putting together possibly the greatest playoff run by an American netminder. To hammer the point home, he would also be the only U.S. born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy aside from New York Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch.

In a cruel twist, Leetch also managed that feat against the Vancouver Canucks as the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994.

A golden era for American goalies?

This pending honor is quite the accomplishment for Thomas, no doubt, but it must also be a promising sign for U.S. Hockey. For the second year in a row, an American-born netminder had the best run of any goalie in the world. Last year, it was Ryan Miller’s outstanding work in the Olympics and Vezina Trophy victory for the 2009-10 season that made him the goalie of the year. Now it’s Flint, Michigan-born Thomas whose combined regular season and playoff outputs make him the most successful goalie of 2010-11.

While other elite goalies (perhaps most notably Henrik Lundqvist?) would certainly get their fair share of votes, it’s not crazy to think that Thomas and Miller could be considered the best goalies in the world at this moment. With all due respect to the work done by Mike Richter, Tom Barrasso and “Miracle on Ice” goalie Jim Craig, it’s tough to think of higher point for American goaltending.

Miller and Thomas are at the top of the heap, but there are a few other American goalies who could approach All-Star level performances if things work out. Jonathan Quick was excellent at times for the Los Angeles Kings and might just hold off Jonathan Bernier as the team’s goalie of the present and future. Craig Anderson has struggled here and ther but currently ranks as the Ottawa Senators’ savior in net. Jimmy Howard might be overshadowed by the veteran talent in Detroit, but he is the Red Wings’ franchise goalie.

Thomas’ style and journey make him a truly American success story

In a way, Thomas might be the “American dream” in goaltending form. His free-form style is as democratic as netminding technique comes, although it’s probably most accurate to call his sprawls “anarchic.” His oddball career path almost looks like an immigrant’s dream, too: he was barely drafted and spent his formative years bouncing around the world but just would not be denied. Thomas fought for every opportunity he’s been granted and now finds himself at the top of his profession.

It probably seems silly to root for the Canadian-heavy Boston Bruins for patriotic reasons, especially since the Vancouver Canucks employ one of America’s best players in Ryan Kesler. Yet when you look at Thomas, it’s tough to see a more American goalie, which makes his probable Conn Smythe victory (and previously improbable shot at a Stanley Cup) even more satisfying for hockey fans in the United States.