- Craig Custance
TAMPA, Fla. -- Chicago Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling was sitting right in the middle of the media day circus. He didn’t have to deal with the crush of cameras and questions that Jonathan Toews did behind him or Patrick Kane did to his right, but somewhere near him was a guy doing interviews with a GoPro camera and selfie stick and some other guy trying to get a Conn Smythe vote.
It was while answering the MVP question that he revealed he’s been just as amazed by the accomplishments of the teammates around him drawing attention as any fan has been watching from the stands.
“I marvel at all these guys,” he said in a packed corridor on the Amalie Arena concourse. “They’re unbelievable. I’m still a fan. I have to tone it down sometimes.”
Darling might be a hockey fan at heart, but he and all the players who came out for media day have unique insight into teammates and the games about to be played. With that in mind, we polled 20 Blackhawks and Lightning players.
1. If you had to cast a Conn Smythe ballot today, who would get your vote?
2. Which player on the opposing team are you most looking forward to competing against and seeing up close in the Stanley Cup finals?
3. Of the three teams you eliminated earlier in the playoffs, which impressed you the most?
Andrew Desjardins, Johnny Oduya, Scott Darling, David Rundblad, Danny Carcillo, Marcus Kruger, Antti Raanta, Kyle Cumiskey, Bryan Bickell, Antoine Vermette, Teuvo Teravainen, Jason Garrison, Cedric Paquette, Andrei Vasilevskiy, J.T. Brown, Mark Barberio, Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, Valtteri Filppula, Nikita Kucherov
If you had to cast a Conn Smythe ballot today, who would get your vote?