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Three Conn Smythe Candidates For The Florida Panthers

After losing in the Stanley Cup Finals last year to the Vegas Golden Knights the Florida Panthers are back in the championship with redemption on their minds as they take on the Edmonton Oilers. Several Conn Smythe candidates, the playoff MVP, have helped the Panthers get to where they are now.

Below are my top three players who are most deserving of taking home the extra hardware.

Florida Panthers Goalie #72 Sergei Bobrovsky

Conn Smythe Candidates

Sergei Bobrovsky +220

The last line of defense for the Panthers has been incredible throughout the entire postseason. By the time this series is over pictures of Bobrovsky will probably pop up if you type "brick wall" into Google.

The netminder has posted a 13-5 record so far in the playoffs with a 2.08 GAA and a .915 save percentage. He has made countless acrobatic and clutch saves and has shut down some of the best offenses in the league like the Lightning, Bruins, and Rangers.

He put on a show in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, earning his second shutout of the postseason against another elite offense in the Oilers. He saved all 32 shots that were thrown his way and even made multiple breakaway stops.

Lesson One: Don't test the glove side of Bobrovsky. The Oilers did twice on their breakaway attempts and were shut down.

He is a two-time Vezina Trophy winner and a finalist for this year's award for a reason and continues to show up on the biggest stage.

Aleksander Barkov +280

Barkov is proving why he deserved to win this year's Selke Trophy Award for the league's best defensive forward. Just when you think he is out of a play he will come out of nowhere on the back check and make a goal-saving takeaway. Every team needs a guy who is gritty and not afraid to chase after pucks whether it is in the offensive zone or getting back on defense. The impressive thing about his game that may go unnoticed is how many minutes per game he plays without ever taking a shift off. He is currently averaging 21:44 time on ice per game and he is constantly flying up and down the ice at all times.

Not only is Barkov impacting the game defensively, but he has also been one of the team's best offensive weapons. In 18 games he is tied for first on the team in points with 19, six goals, and 13 assists. He has a goal on both the power play and penalty kill and also has three game-winning goals.

Carter Verhaeghe +1500

You are probably thinking where is Matthew Tkachuk on this list? Yes, Tkachuk has the third-best odds to win the Conn Smythe for the Panthers, but it isn’t fun to go all chalk so I want to go with my sleeper choice in Verhaeghe

He leads the team in playoff goals with 10 on 64 shots on goal and has tacked on eight assists to put himself third in points with 18. He has been lethal on the power play with four man-advantage goals, tied for first on the team with Sam Reinhart.

He scored the opening and game-winning goal in Game 1 vs the Oilers on the team’s first shot on net. He seems to always be in the right spot whether it is crashing the net or sitting in the slot waiting to rip one.  

Honorable Mentions

Matthew Tkachuk (+500) 18 games played, five goals, 14 assists, 19 points, and a +6 rating.

Gustav Forsling (+4500) 18 games played, four goals, seven assists, 11 points, and a team-leading +13 rating.


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