Maxim Lapierre may be Canucks' MVP

Grinder has enabled Vancouver to use Ryan Kesler in a more offensive role

Originally Published: May 18, 2011
By Neil Greenberg | Special to ESPN Insider
Maxim LapierreAnne-Marie Sorvin/US PresswireMaxim Lapierre may be Vancouver's true MVP in these playoffs.

With the conference finals just getting underway, it's not too soon to start speculating about who should take home the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team throughout the entire playoffs. If Vancouver wins the Cup, the Conn Smythe will most likely go to either one of the Sedins, Ryan Kesler or netminder Roberto Luongo, but center Maxim Lapierre could be the team's most valuable player.

Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.