The NHL betting odds are pretty good that Sidney Crosby could become only the third back-to-back winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy – and the first since Mario Lemieux did it in 1991-92. As a matter of fact, Crosby has already outdone himself with his 20 points in 18 games in the 2016-17 playoffs, compared to 19-point total from last year – though this time he also had to recover from a concussion. Fans who bet on hockey should not have to exert their imaginations overtly to see the league awarding Crosby a second consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy, even if he recedes into obscurity during the actual Stanley Cup Finals. And if Game 1 is anything to go by, that may already be case. Just in case, let’s have a look at other candidates.
The Russian won the 2009 CST when the Penguins won their third Stanley Cup. Malkin tops every offensive category in the playoffs, has scored decisive goals, and carried the team on his manly broad shoulders when Crosby took more hits than David Crosby and was unable to captain the Pens. Malkin’s goal gave Pittsburgh an early lead in game one, but the Russian was busy all over the ice, battling along the boards and contesting every loose puck. On the other hand, Malkin was the non-American, non-Canadian last skater to win the award, and that does not bode well for his NHL betting chances.
The Predators may not be the faves to win the Stanley Cup, but goalie Rinne is indeed the current favorite of fans who bet on hockey to the most valuable player for his team in the National Hockey League playoffs. The Finn has a .941 save percentage in 16 postseason games. Then again, Rinne has had a lot of help from the blue-line, and would it be shocking in P.K. Subban, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm or Ryan Ellis stole his thunder and became the third defenseman in the last three lustrums to win the CST?
The Swedish winger entered the finals with has 15 points and eight goals in 16 playoff games. Were he to aid the Preds win the Stanley Cup he would not only become an NHL star in his own right, but would make a great case for being awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Many fans who bet on hockey would have actually given Murray the award last year instead of Crosby; he had a .923 save percentage and his team won 15 of the 21 games he started. Those very same fans would gladly honor the goalie. Once again subbing for Marc-Andre Fleury , Murray has posted .946 save percentage in five outings in the Eastern Conference final. The only NHL betting caveat is that similar to Malkin, though – and this applies to Rinne as well – no goalkeeper has won the Conn Smythe Trophy since Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Quick in 2012. Murray made 23 saves in game 1.