Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 5/19/12

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 31: Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 31, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. The Kings defeated the Devils 3-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Through five games here in the conference finals, the Conn Smythe Trophy favorites are starting to emerge from the pack – particularly in Los Angeles and New York.  Who is the favorite at this time?  Patrick and I debate…



Dustin Brown

By Ryan Porth


The Los Angeles Kings’ historically dominant playoff run has been fueled by two players: Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick.  You can make a case that both of them have been equally as valuable to the team’s success.


Quick has been great, but Brown has been better.


When the Kings have needed a big play from one of its forwards, Brown has come through in the clutch dating back to the first round against Vancouver.


In Game 2 against Vancouver, Brown scored a pair of shorthanded goals and assisted on the game-winning goal in a 4-2 win.  The Kings’ captain rose to the occasion in Game 3 of that series, scoring the game’s lone goal in the third period.


In the series-clinching game in Round 2 against St. Louis, Brown collected two goals including the game-winner.  Overall, he tallied six points in the series and was a force every night.


That success has carried over into the conference finals, where Brown picked up a back-breaking goal in the third period of Game 1 to lift the Kings over Phoenix.  Through three games, he has four points.


Brown’s impact goes beyond the offensive side of the puck.  He, along with linemates Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams, have been dominant in all three zones.  Once they gain possession of the puck, it’s hard to get it back.


Brown has especially been a physical force in these playoffs, recording 60 hits in 12 games.  He has also been valuable in the sense that he has gotten under the skin of his opponents, whether it was Vancouver, St. Louis, or now Phoenix.


It wasn’t any more evident than in Thursday’s Game 3 when Oliver Ekman-Larsson delivered a retaliatory cross-check to Brown late in the game with the Coyotes trailing 2-1.  As a result, Los Angeles went on a power play that helped keep the Coyotes from threatening in a one-goal game.


Brown has done it all for the Kings this postseason, whether it’s come offensively, defensively or getting under the opponent’s skin.  Not to take anything away from Quick, the playoff leader in goals-against average, but Brown has been the most valuable player during the Kings’ 11-1 playoff run thus far.

---


Henrik Lundqvist

By Patrick Hoffman


When it comes to the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, there has been no shortage of great goaltending.


In fact, the four goaltenders remaining in these playoffs have been fantastic in getting their respective clubs this far and giving them a chance to play for hockey's Holy Grail. Jonathan Quick, Mike Smith, Martin Brodeur and Henrik Lundqvist have made this postseason all about the goaltenders and with good reason.


With that said, when it comes to which goaltender could/would win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the league's MVP in the playoffs, the nod should go to the "King" on Broadway, Henrik Lundqvist.


Yes, the netminders mentioned above are all deserving of this prestigious award but when all is said and done, it is Lundqvist who should come away with the trophy.


For starters, without Lundqvist, there is no way the Rangers would have gotten this far. Take a look at how far the Rangers have come since Lundqvist joined the club after the lockout season. As a whole, the team and organization is better than they have been in well over a decade.


Secondly, Lundqvist came up huge when his team needed to in two elimination games against the Ottawa Senators and one elimination game against the Washington Capitals. Lundqvist stood on his head in those games, including two Game 7’s, and got the Rangers to where they needed to go.


When considering Lundqvist for the Conn Smythe Trophy, his statistics speak volumes of his play this postseason. Currently, Lundqvist has a 1.66 goals against average (2nd in the league), a .937 save percentage (3rd) and 2 shutouts (1st).


While the regular season means nothing come playoff time, Lundqvist's regular season was his best in his career and one that earned his his fourth Vezina Trophy nomination, a Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player and the Ted Lindsay Award as the league's most valuable player as voted by the players. For Lundqvist, a Conn Smythe Trophy would rightfully put him among the best goaltenders that have ever played the game.


It is Lundqvist's time and this postseason has proven that thus far.


Photos credit: Getty Images
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Russell Westbrook gets emotional thanking family in MVP speech

Malcolm Brogdon makes history by beating out Saric, Embiid for Rookie of the Year

Bill Russell delivers epic line after winning NBA lifetime achievement award

Draymond Green ensemble at NBA Awards must be seen to believe

Victor Oladipo gets schooled by young boy at basketball camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall trying to recruit Paul George to join Wizards

Report: Saints looking at ways to recoup guaranteed money owed to Nick Fairley

Martellus Bennett thinks Rodgers is better than Brady?

Fairley expected to miss 2017 season due to heart condition

Cousins could get more than $30 million per year in free agency?

Charlie Sheen puts Babe Ruth trade contract, World Series ring up for auction

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker