The Stanley Cup is widely considered the toughest trophy to win in all sports, but the Conn Smythe Trophy awarded to the NHL playoffs MVP is the highest form of individual hardware that a player can earn. When it comes to chances on which guy will acquire the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy, Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask is the overwhelming favorite.
Rask is your -120 front-runner to garner the hardware in BetOnline, together with Jaden Schwartz (+325), Jordan Binnington (+350), Brad Marchand (+700), Patrice Bergeron (+1800), David Pastrnak (+2000), Vladimir Tarasenko (+2000), Alex Pietrangelo (+2500), Charlie Coyle (+3000) and David Krejci (+3000) rounding out the top 10.
Can it be Tuukka Time?
Rask has put the Bruins on his rear in numerous matches so far through three rounds, along with his 12-5 SU record, 1.84 goals-against average and .942 save percent have B’s supporters reminiscing about Tim Thomas’ unlikely run to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
Rask, who has been the subject of scrutiny among Boston press and fans alike for not living up to his expensive contract, has set those concerns to bed in the Bruins’ run to the Cup. Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick has been the previous goaltender to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2012, yet Rask could easily buck that trend this time around.
Don’t overlook O’Reilly
I’m a bit surprised to see Blues center Ryan O’Reilly all the way down the list at +4000. O’Reilly ranks second on the Blues at postseason scoring with three goals and 11 assists, but he’s been far and away the best forward on the Blues because the start of the regular season. The Conn Smythe Trophy doesn’t factor in regular-season success, but when O’Reilly can continue to excel at the Cup Final, I can see him getting the nod.
Blues rookie netminder Jordan Binnington’s encounter from minor-league afterthought to superstardom has been nothing short of amazing, and simply put, St. Louis likely would not have even made the playoffs with him. The Blues were the worst team in the NHL on January 3 and took off when head coach Craig Berube given the reins of the starting goaltender job to Binnington.
His stats aren’t as eye-popping as Rask’s (12-7, 2.37 GAA, .914 SV%) but he’s been rock-solid for the Blues when they have needed him the most. Even at +350, I think he is somewhat undervalued.
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