There’s only one Conn Smythe, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hand out our own playoff MVP awards. Let’s take one last look back on the first round, and hand out an award for each winning team’s most valuable player.
Ottawa Senators – Erik Karlsson: He averaged a point a game,
averaging over 30 minutes played each game, and was second on the team
with a 60.55 xGF%.
New York Rangers – Henrik Lundqvist: His
.947 save percentage ranks third across all goalies in the playoffs, and
it was a good margin higher than Carey Price’s .933.
Washington Capitals – T.J. Oshie: He led Washington in scoring with 7 points in 6 games, led their forwards in ice-time averaging 21:25 per game, and was second on the team with a 59.16 xGF%.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Evgeni Malkin: Malkin leads the playoffs in scoring with 11 points, which ties the 2009 Conn Smythe winner’s single series record.
St. Louis Blues – Jake Allen: Minnesota’s 60.86%
Corsi was easily the best mark of any team in the first round of the
playoffs, but Allen’s stellar .956 save percentage was enough to propel
the Blues over the Wild in just five games.
Nashville Predators – Pekka Rinne: He posted a remarkable 976 save percentage
through a sweep of the Western Conference’s 1-seed Chicago Blackhawks.
Rinne’s not only the single biggest reason the Predators beat the
Blackhawks so handily, he’s the most valuable player through round one
across all teams.
Anaheim Ducks – John Gibson: Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf comes close
because he led all Anaheim skaters in ice-time and scoring in the first
round, but Gibson’s .926 save percentage, including a .977 at even
strength, gives him the edge.
Edmonton Oilers – Cam Talbot: The
Oilers weren’t even pushed to the series limit against the defending
Western Conference champion San Jose Sharks, in spite of the fact that
Connor McDavid was held to just 4 points in 6 games. Other players like
Adam Larsson stepped up, but Talbot’s .927 save percentage was the
biggest reason Edmonton was able to fend off the Sharks, especially
given that Martin Jones (.935) was even better.
Round two of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs kicks off tonight with St. Louis-Nashville and Anaheim-Edmonton. Ottawa-New York and Washington-Pittsburgh begins their series’ tomorrow.