The Stanley Cup is widely regarded as the toughest trophy to win in all sports, however, the Conn Smythe Trophy given to the NHL playoffs MVP is the maximum form of individual hardware a player can make. In regards to chances on which guy will win the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy, Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask is the overwhelming favorite.
Rask is the -120 front-runner to market the hardware at BetOnline, 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 back in a lot of matches up to now through three rounds, along with his 12-5 SU record, 1.84 goals-against average and .942 save percentage have B’s fans reminiscing about Tim Thomas’ improbable run to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
Rask, who has been the subject of scrutiny among Boston media and fans alike for not living up to his pricey contract, has put those concerns to bed at the Bruins’ run to the Cup. Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick has been the last goaltender to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2012, nevertheless Rask could easily buck that trend this time around.
Don’t forget about O’Reilly
I am a little surprised to see Blues centre Ryan O’Reilly all the way down the list at +4000. O’Reilly ranks second on the Blues in postseason scoring with three goals and 11 assists, but he’s been far and away the best forward on the Blues since the beginning of the regular season. The Conn Smythe Trophy does not factor in regular-season victory, but when O’Reilly can continue to excel at the Cup Final, I will 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 place, St. Louis probably would not have made the playoffs with him. The Blues were the worst team in the NHL on January 3 and shot off when head coach Craig Berube given the reins of the starting goaltender job to Binnington.
His stats are not as eye-popping as Rask’s (12-7, 2.37 GAA, .914 SVpercent ) but he’s been rock-solid for the Blues when they’ve needed him the most. Even at +350, I think he is a little undervalued.
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