Stanley Cup Props -- Bobrovsky leads the field when it comes to Conn Smythe consideration.... for now

  • In Charles Jay
  • Mon, Jun 5th, 2023 10:50:15 am
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA

Which player in the Stanley Cup Finals will win the coveted Conn Smythe Trophy? It is somewhat wide open at the moment.

One of the things that might surprise BetOnline customers about the Conn Smythe Trophy is that it doesn't operate like it might in baseball, where you have a World Series MVP, or football, where you have a Super Bowl MVP, or basketball, which has the NBA Finals MVP. In the NHL, their award goes to the most valuable player of the entire playoffs, not the Stanley Cup Finals series.

So there is a "body of work" to consider, and obviously it favors the players who have gotten to the final round. Coming into these Finals, Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers had the most postseason goals of anyone (13), and Roope Hintz of the Dallas Stars had the most points (24). But they are nowhere to be found amongst those who are in the Conn Smythe "field." And their numbers are likely to be surpassed anyway.

There is no shortage of outstanding performances to recognize in these two teams, and of course, one of them (the Florida Panthers) provided a shocking run for all to see.

And here's another thing that may surprise you: a pleyer does not have to be on the winning squad to win the Conn Smythe. There have been five players who have actually lost in the final round who have won it. That includes Hall of Fame goaltender Glenn Hall, who led the expansion St. Louis Blues out of the Western Division and into the finals, where they got swept by the Boston Bruins.

Goaltenders have been a rather popular choice for this award; out of the 57 times it's been given, on 17 occasions it's gone to a goalie. Centers have won 19 Conn Smythe trophies, with nine for wingers and twelve for defensemen. Backliners have won two of the lats three times - Victor Hedman of Tampa Bay took it in 202, while Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche was last year's recipient.

Here's a list of Conn Smythe contenders - the only ones who are less than 50-1 - as they are listed at BetOnline:

Sergei Bobrovsky +300
Jack Eichel +325
Jonathan Marchessault +450
Matthew Tkachuk +450
Adin Hill +800
Mark Stone +800
William Karlsson +900

Sergei Bobrovsky came into the Finals with guns blazin'. He had literally saved several games for the Panthers, who often-times left him without a lot of back line support. He has faced a lot of shots from the opposition, and in the process of carrying Florida to this point, fewer and fewer people are bellyaching about the $70 million contract he originally signed with the team. He had a .935 save percentage going into Game 1, where things didn't work out quite so well for him.

Jack Eichel has really done the job at both ends, and after two assists in the Vegas Golden Knights' 5-2 victory on Saturday night, he is tied for the playoff lead in that category.

You may recall that Eichel, a Hobey Baker Award winner at Boston University, is the guy who was chosen right behind Conor McDavid in the 2015 NHL Draft. He put up pretty strong numbers at Buffalo, then wanted out. He got out - to Vegas - and he has established himself as the leader. He centers the team's #1 line with Jonathan Marchessault and Ivan Barbashov on either side. Marchessault, who had a first period goal in Game 1, is right there near the top of the list of favorites at +450.

Also sitting there at +450 is Matthew Tkachuk, who frankly didn't do himself any favors in Game 1 with an effort that produced only two shots on goal, a turnover that led to a goal by Mark Stone (+800 on this list) and a ten-minute misconduct penalty that took him out of the game for good at a point down the stretch when the Panthers had to make a furious rush to get back in it.

The guy who may carry most of the value here is Adin Hill (+800), who is making his first playoff appearance a memorable one. While Bobrovsky has made most of the headlines, Hill has put the Knights on his back and been a life-saver in net. While it's true that he hasn't been under siege for Florida's netminder, he is still stopping the puck when it comes his way. This is his first season in Vegas; in his six-year NHL career, he has played a total of 101 regular season games. In the 12 postseason games he's played this year, he has a 2.06 goals-against and a .938 save percentage, which is phenomenal.

And he's a focal point in every game. So his story isn't over.

He'd be my choice as it stands right now.

BetOnline gives you lots of ways to play when it comes to Stanley Cup betting...... Apart from the side and total, there are exotics, Odds Boosters, Prop Builder and live betting, so you can have a bit of a feast out there....... And they make it so easy to join up with an account; just use your credit card of any of the great cryptocurrency options, including Bitcoin!

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