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NHL's Most Valuable Playoff Players: Conn Smythe Favorites

RyanContributor IApril 18, 2009

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 04:  Stanley Cup Playoff MVP, Henrik Zetterberg #40 of the Detroit Red Wings skates with the Conn Smythe trophy after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in game six of the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Mellon Arena on June 4, 2008 in Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania. The Red Wings defeated the Penguins 3-2 to win the Stanley Cup Finals 4 games to 2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

For the sake of debating something somewhat irrelevant at this point, let's take a look at each team's leading candidates for the Conn Smythe trophy, given to the most valuable player in the playoffs.

Boston

Phil Kessel was on fire in game one, could get even hotter. Of course Tim Thomas will carry this team if they make it to the finals.

Washington

Maybe Alexander Semin?

I haven't gotten to see this series so I'm not going to make anything too bold. I don't see them making it out of this series anyway...

New Jersey

You can't dismiss how effective Parise has been thus far. If he keeps up his high level of play, the nod goes to him.

Pittsburgh

I would have to say at this point, the leading candidate has to be Marc Andre-Fleury. He is proving why he is yet again so valuable in the playoffs.

Though Guerin's biting at his heels...

Philadelphia

Simon Gagne has played with intensity in both games, thus far.

Carolina

Eric Staal could be huge. Someone's got to step up if they plan on beating the Devils...

New York Rangers

Markus Naslund, anyone?

Lundqvist would likely get this one if they make it to the finals.

Montreal

Kovalev needs to step up if they plan on making it past Boston.

San Jose

Evgeni Nabokov has been the best looking shark, so far.

Detroit

Who would have known Osgood would look so sharp?

We'll see if he keeps it up...

Vancouver

Both the Sedins have been playing at a high level, but does it compare to Roberto Luongo?

Chicago

Martin Havlat came up huge for them game one.

Can he continue with this pace?

Calgary

It goes without saying the goaltender is the most important player for a team once the playoffs roll around.

Can Kiprusoff lead them past the Hawks?

St. Louis

Chris Mason looked great in game two, but the top candidate would likely be whoever finds the offense for this team. My money is on Brad Boyes.

Columbus

It's not looking so good for the Jackets, but R.J. Umberger has proven to be a leader in the playoffs.

Anaheim

Chris Pronger has been the presence that Anaheim needs.

So what about you?

I'm sure you have to have a favorite going into Saturday's games, let's hear what you have to say.