Each year, the Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded to the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Just like in the regular season with the Player Power Rankings, Hockey Prospectus will use its metric analysis to measure which postseason player is most deserving of the coveted award.
These rankings are based on player production in terms of Hockey Prospectus' GVT valuation metric. This is not a subjective evaluation of these players and combines an array of statistics to assess a player's contributions to his team. If you are unfamiliar with GVT and how it works, you can find out more here.
For the past two seasons Hockey Prospectus has nailed the ultimate playoff MVP (Jonathan Toews in 2010, Tim Thomas in 2011) using this formula. As the Conn Smythe Watch returns for the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, we see several of the postseason's biggest names atop the list.
As the playoffs progress, players will be removed from the list as their team is eliminated. However, to properly show their postseason impact, we will include eliminated players for at least one installment after their elimination. Also, for those who followed our Player Power Rankings during the regular season, for the postseason we have grouped the skaters and goalies together, since they will all be competing for the same ultimate prize -- the Conn Smythe Trophy.
These rankings are through April 23.
OGVT: Offensive GVT
GGVT: Goaltending GVT
DGVT: Defensive GVT
GVT: Total GVT
Rank Player OGVT/GGVT DGVT GVT
1. Claude Giroux, F, Philadelphia Flyers 4.2 0.5 4.7
Comment: Giroux was simply unstoppable in the first round. He has 14 points, while no teams other than the Flyers and Penguins have scored more than 14 goals in their entire series so far.
2. Braden Holtby, G, Washington Capitals 4.0 0.0 4.0
Comment: With both Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth down, Holtby has held the fort. He has faced 216 shots in six games -- the most among goaltenders in the playoffs -- and turned away 93.5 percent of them.
3. Jonathan Quick, G, Los Angeles Kings 3.9 0.0 3.9
Comment: If you want to know how the No. 8 Kings knocked off the No. 1 Canucks, go no further. Quick was the Kings' savior during the regular season and again in the playoffs, and his .953 is the best save percentage among No. 1 goalies in the playoffs so far.
4. Jordan Staal, F, Pittsburgh Penguins 3.3 0.3 3.6
Comment: Staal's 6 goals, 9 points and plus-4 were the highest among Penguins forwards and rank him second in playoff scoring, but he won't be getting any more points now that Pittsburgh is out.
5. Mike Smith, G, Phoenix Coyotes 3.4 0.0 3.4
Comment: Smith has seen the second-most shots, 202, of any goaltender. As was the case during the regular season, he has nevertheless managed to translate that into a winning record for Phoenix by blocking 94.1 percent of them.
6. Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers 3.3 0.0 3.3
Comment: Lundqvist has been good, with slightly better numbers than his opposite Craig Anderson, but two overtime losses mean the Rangers currently trail three games to two.
7. Pekka Rinne, G, Nashville Predators 3.1 0.0 3.1
Comment: As of Monday, only three goaltenders had won four games. Of those two, Rinne and Jonathan Quick have been excellent, and Ilya Bryzgalov
8. Craig Anderson, G, Ottawa Senators 2.9 0.0 2.9
Comment: Anderson is the same goaltender who "miraculously" got the Avalanche into the playoffs in 2010. He's been as good in five tight games against New York, where his 1.79 GAA and .943 save percentage have Ottawa up 3-2.
9. Andy McDonald, F, St. Louis Blues 2.6 0.3 2.9
Comment: The Blues are a better team with McDonald, who missed 57 games this season. He scored in all four of the Blues' wins over San Jose, and leads the team with eight points, fourth in overall playoff scoring.
10. Patrik Berglund, F, St. Louis Blues 2.0 0.5 2.6
Comment: Berglund was abominable on the power play this season, with only four points despite playing over two PP minutes per game, but he already has three PP points in only five games in the postseason.
A version of this story originally appeared at ESPN Insider .
Tom Awad is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
You can contact Tom by clicking here or click here to see Tom's other articles.