Conn Smythe Trophy Contest: Pavel Datsyuk Prevails

MJ LithgowContributor IApril 8, 2008

Ever since November I've thought that Detroit will win this seasons Stanley Cup.

Predictions are hard to do, especially when there is such an even playing field, and there are half a dozen 'favorites' to win the Cup, so picking who gets through the first round is going to be tough, let alone the second round, third round, and then the winner... but the Conn Smythe trophy? That's an easy one.

Easy if I go back to the premise that I've thought all season that the Redwings will be the last team standing. With all due respect to fellow Central Division team Nashville, Detroit have one of the easier first round match-ups. But after that it gets tough, as they are going to have to beat teams like San Jose and Anaheim to progress to the finals, and then let's say a Montreal to win the cup. Not an easy path at all.

But should the Redwings make it that far, it will be aided by the consistency of Pavel Datsyuk. He finished the regular season with 97 points, which is more than NHL superstars Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavelier, Ilya Kovalchuk, Eric Staal, and line-mate Henrik Zetterberg. Only Thornton had more assists than Datsyuk, and Pavel finished the season with the highest plus/minus rating, with +41. He is a fair, honest, hard working player, and good on special teams.

If Detroit go all the way, Datsyuk will have in the order of 10 goals and 30 points, and about a plus/minus rating of +15, and he is my prediction for the Conn Smythe Trophy.