Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the 2017 NHL playoffs after the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators in six games to win the Stanley Cup Final.
The NHL account celebrated the announcement:
Sidney Crosby wins the Conn Smythe Trophy! #StanleyCup https://t.co/vo2ODAdi9w2017-6-12 03:07:55
Careful with that thing, Sid. #StanleyCup https://t.co/pvvU94yqjj2017-6-12 03:33:25
The selection was made by the Professional Hockey Writers Association after the series reached its conclusion Sunday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Sportsnet noted the impressive feat to go back-to-back with the award:
Sportsnet Stats @SNstats
BREAKING: #Pens Sidney Crosby becomes the 3rd player in history to win back-to-back Conn Smythe trophies https://t.co/HU1IQiHQH32017-6-12 03:08:47
The NHL's season finale between the Penguins and Predators lived up to expectations. Pittsburgh's star-studded, battle-tested roster was pushed hard by a young, fast Nashville lineup, which created an intriguing dynamic and an entertaining battle.
After the Pens took a 2-0 lead by defending their home ice, the Preds leveled the series by doing the same in the Music City. The trend continued with Pittsburgh winning Game 5, but Game 6 finally went to the visitors when Patrick Hornqvist scored the game winner with 95 seconds left in regulation.
While both sides featured plenty of high-impact players and clutch performers throughout the two-month playoff journey, Crosby stood out.
Pierre LeBrun of TSN summed up just how successful he has been:
The selection of Crosby over fellow superstar center Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel, the Penguins' leading goal scorer during the postseason, raised some eyebrows. The face of the NHL didn't play his best hockey for most of the postseason.
Yet he still finished the playoffs with eight goals and 19 assists in 23 games for an average of more than a point per contest. The fact questions were raised about his performance despite those numbers shows the level he's on.
Furthermore, the Conn Smythe Trophy is about more than just raw point totals. Crosby produced at an elite rate even though he usually faced an opponent's top defensive pairing, not to mention his role as the Pens' leader on and off the ice.
This season marked Crosby's third Stanley Cup championship and second consecutive playoff MVP award.