2014 NHL Playoffs: Top 5 Conn Smythe Trophy Candidates

2014 NHL Playoffs: Top 5 Conn Smythe Trophy Candidates

Conn Smythe Patrick Kane Gary Bettman
Greg M. Cooper - USA Today

With the Stanley Cup Finals nearing its end, it's time that players are recognized for their hard work. Here are five candidates worthy of being considered the most valuable player in the playoffs.

5. Henrik Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers
Ed Mulholland - USA Today

5. Henrik Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist Stanley Cup Finals
Ed Mulholland - USA Today

If the New York Rangers weren’t on the brink of losing the Stanley Cup Finals, Lundqvist would have been the number one candidate for the Conn Smythe. Lundqvist had a great season and postseason before the Finals, but his performance since then has weakened. If Lundqvist is able to rally his team to comeback from a 3-1 deficit, then Lundqvist truly deserves the Conn Smythe.

4. Justin Williams

Justin Williams Los Angeles Kings
Mike Dinovo - USA Today

4. Justin Williams

Justin Williams Stanley Cup Finals
Mike Dinovo - USA Today

Williams isn’t just a clutch scorer (particularly in Games 7s), but a force to be reckoned with at all times while on the ice. Williams currently has 24 points in 25 games for a plus-13, which makes him a great contender for the Conn Smythe.

3. Marian Gaborik

Marian Gaborik Los Angeles Kings New York Rangers
Brad Penner - USA Today

3. Marian Gaborik

Marian Gaborik Stanley Cup Finals
Brad Penner - USA Today

Gaborik is currently the lead scorer in the playoffs with a total of 13 goals. Although scoring alone probably isn’t enough to award him the Conn Smythe, he might be able to obtain it if the rest of his performances are all-around stellar.

2. Anze Kopitar

Anze Kopitar Stanley Cup Finals
Richard Mackson - USA Today

2. Anze Kopitar

Anze Kopitar Los Angeles Kings
Richard Mackson - USA Today

Even though Kopitar had a dry spell in points during Game 4, he is currently the leader in points in the playoffs, totaling 26 in 25 games. Kopitar has been crowned the best two-way forward in the league right now, which is making him much harder to ignore.

1. Drew Doughty

Drew Doughty Stanley Cup Finals
Kirby Lee - USA Today

1. Drew Doughty

Drew Doughty Los Angeles Kings
Kirby Lee - USA Today

Arguably the best defenseman in the league right now, Doughty averages more than 28 minutes on the ice with a total of 17 points in 25 games. Doughty is one of the main reasons why the Kings have gotten this far. The Conn Smythe is usually given to forwards, but this young defenseman’s talent outshines more than most in the playoffs.

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