Regardless of the outcome of the next two games, the Pittsburgh Penguins have begun a media blitz for Evgeni Malkin to get serious Conn Smythe Trophy consideration.
The Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded to the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup playoffs and the award can go to a player on the winning team or the losing team.
Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere was the 2003 Conn Smythe Trophy Winner, despite the Anaheim Ducks losing to the New Jersey Devils in seven games during the Cup Finals.
2003 was also the last year that the home team won every game in the Stanley Cup Finals.
2009 Top Candidates
1. PIT Evgeni Malkin (14g-21a-35pts-+2) – The playoffs points leader has been the most dominant player in the series aside from his antics in game 5. Malkin has 12 multi-point games in the playoffs and holds an 11 point edge over Wings points leader Henrik Zetterberg (24pts). Malkin has also scored the most playoff points since Wayne Gretzky (40pts) in 1993.
2. DET Chris Osgood (15W-6L, 2.00 GAA, .927 SV%, 2SO) – Osgood has outplayed his counterpart Marc Andre Fleury by a wide margin and will benefit from often being overlooked by the media, which could lead to him winning the 2009 Conn Smythe Trophy. If Detroit closes out the series Tuesday night, Osgood becomes the favorite.
3. DET Henrik Zetterberg (11g-13a-24pts-+14) – The 2008 Conn Smythe Winner gets a slight edge over Sidney Crosby because the Red Wings are in the driver seat to win the Stanley Cup. Zetterberg has showed the hockey world why he is one of the most complete players in the game, limiting Sidney Crosby to three points in the series.
4. PIT Sidney Crosby (15g-16a-31pts-+10) – Crosby like Malkin is having a remarkable playoff run. He leads all playoff goal scorers in goals and has 12 multi-point games. The downfall for Crosby is that unless he breaks out in the final two games and leads the Pengunis to a Stanley Cup Title, the chances of him surpassing Malkin, others is unlikely.
5. DET Nicklas Lidstrom – (4g-10a-14pts-+10) – Lidstrom is not having a dominant series but based on his reputation, he will always be in the mix. That’s how Scott Niedermayer won the award in 2007 when he didn’t deserve it.
Complete List of Conn Smythe Trophy Winners since 1970
(X — played on losing team in the finals)
2008 — Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
2007 – Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks
2006 — Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes
2005 – Lockout
2004 — Brad Richards, Tampa Bay Lightning
2003 — Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Anaheim Mighty Ducks-x
2002 — Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
2001 — Patrick Roy, Colorado Avalanche
2000 — Scott Stevens, New Jersey Devils
1999 — Joe Nieuwendyk, Dallas Stars
1998 — Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings
1997 — Mike Vernon, Detroit Red Wings
1996 — Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche
1995 — Claude Lemieux, New Jersey Devils
1994 — Brian Leetch, New York Rangers
1993 — Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens
1992 — Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
1991 — Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
1990 — Bill Ranford, Edmonton Oilers
1989 — Al MacInnis, Calgary Flames
1988 — Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers
1987 — Ron Hextall, Philadelphia Flyers-x
1986 — Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens
1985 — Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers
1984 — Mark Messier, Edmonton Oilers
1983 — Billy Smith, New York Islanders
1982 — Mike Bossy, New York Islanders
1981 — Butch Goring, New York Islanders
1980 — Bryan Trottier, New York Islanders
1979 — Bob Gainey, Montreal Canadiens
1978 — Larry Robinson, Montreal Canadiens
1977 — Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens
1976 — Reggie Leach, Philadelphia Flyers-x
1975 — Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers
1974 — Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers
1973 — Yvan Cournoyer, Montreal Canadiens
1972 — Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
1971 — Ken Dryden, Montreal Canadiens
1970 — Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins