The Stanley Cup is widely regarded as the toughest trophy to win in all of sports, but the Conn Smythe Trophy given to the NHL playoffs MVP is the highest form of individual hardware a participant can make. When it comes to chances on which guy will win the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy, Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask is the overwhelming favourite.
Rask is your -120 front-runner to market the hardware in BetOnline, with Jaden Schwartz (+325), Jordan Binnington (+350), Brad Marchand (+700), Patrice Bergeron (+1800), David Pastrnak (+2000), Vladimir Tarasenko (+2000), Alex Pietrangelo (+2500), Charlie Coyle (+3000) and David Krejci (+3000) rounding out the top 10.
Can it be Tuukka Time?
Rask has set the Bruins on his back in numerous matches up to now through three rounds, along with his 12-5 SU album, 1.84 goals-against average and .942 save percent have B’s fans reminiscing about Tim Thomas’ unlikely run to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
Rask, who’s been the subject of scrutiny among Boston press and fans alike for not living up to his pricey contract, has put those concerns to bed at the Bruins’ run to the Cup. Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick was the last goaltender to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2012, yet Rask could readily buck that trend this time around.
Don’t overlook O’Reilly
I’m a little surprised to see Blues centre Ryan O’Reilly all the way down the list at +4000. O’Reilly ranks second on the Blues in postseason scoring with three goals and 11 assists, but he has been far and away the very best forwards on the Blues since the start of the regular season. The Conn Smythe Trophy does not factor in regular-season victory, but if O’Reilly can continue to excel in the Cup Final, I will see him getting the nod.
Blues rookie netminder Jordan Binnington’s encounter from minor-league afterthought to superstardom has been nothing short of amazing, and simply put, St. Louis likely wouldn’t have made the playoffs without him. The Blues were the worst team in the NHL on January 3 and took off when head coach Craig Berube given the reins of the starting goaltender job to Binnington.
His stats are not as eye-popping as Rask’s (12-7, 2.37 GAA, .914 SV%) but he has been rock-solid to the Blues when they’ve needed him the most. At +350, I believe he’s a little undervalued.