Updated Conn Smythe watch
Three Kings chase 'King Henrik' in postseason MVP rankings
Editor's note: These rankings are based on player production in terms of Hockey Prospectus' goals versus threshold (GVT) valuation metric. If you are unfamiliar with GVT and how it works, you can learn more here. Total GVT may not equal sum of other GVT components shown due to rounding and other factors not included in the rankings below.
Throughout the season, Hockey Prospectus provided Player Power Rankings for the top 10 skaters and top five goalies in the NHL based on HP's proprietary value metric GVT, a statistic that combines player contributions in all aspects of the game, including offense, defense, goaltending and the shootout. With the shootout eliminated for the playoffs, that component is removed from the equation.
As we prepare for the Stanley Cup finals, this serves as a guide to which players should be in the mix for the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) if a strict mathematical approach were taken to the award. With the field narrowing to our final Cup contenders, the rankings look at the top 10 overall players in terms of GVT.
While the Chicago Blackhawks bowed out of the playoffs Sunday night, it wasn't due to any shortcomings from a talented trio that rank prominently among the top 10. Likewise P.K. Subban still registers in the rankings, despite a six-game exit for his Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference finals.
But obviously, neither of those teams will have a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup, leaving a pack of five Kings all chasing the New York Rangers' most important player.
Top 10 players
1. Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers
Goal GVT: 7.9 | Def GVT: 0.0 | Total GVT: 7.9
Lundqvist has been the best overall goaltender in the NHL for almost a decade, but this will be his first trip to the Stanley Cup finals.
Kopitar still leads the playoffs in assists (19) and points (24) and total ice time among forwards (426 minutes). He had a good but not great Western Conference finals against Chicago (five points and 10 shots in seven games). If he gets back in the same gear he was in against San Jose and Anaheim, the Rangers are in trouble.