Following each round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Houses of the Hockey contributors will rank their top three choices for the Conn Smythe Trophy. Below are composite rankings based upon first round performances.
HOTH Conn Smythe Standings for April 28, 2011:
1. Dwayne Roloson
2. Danny Briere
3. Pavel Datsyuk
A 41-year old goaltender likely didn’t top too many Conn Smythe prediction lists prior to the start of the first round, yet here we are with Dwayne Roloson looking like a favourite after stonewalling the Pittsburgh Penguins in a seven game series. Roloson posted an a playoff best .949 Sv% while seeing more shots than any goaltender in the first round. Even more impressive is Roloson’s .980 Sv% on the penalty kill, bested only by the departed Carey Price. Only Michal Neuvirth of the Capitals topped Roloson’s 1.77 GAA.
Philadelphia’s Danny Briere picked up where he left off in last season’s playoffs with 6-goals and an assist in the first round versus Buffalo. Briere has shown the ability to pot timely goals, including one game winner.
Pavel Datsyuk asserted his dominance all over the Phoenix Coyotes with 6-points in four games, while winning 56.6% of his faceoffs.
Honourable mentions: Claude Giroux, Corey Perry, and Nathan Horton.