Each year the Conn Smythe trophy is awarded to the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Just as during the regular season with their 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. If you are unfamiliar with GVT and how it works, you can find more here.
As Round 2 continues, more names drop off the list with their eliminated teams. Dwayne Roloson continues to lead after helping the Bolts oust the Washington Capitals in just four games, but he finally has some company at the top:
Conn Smythe Watch
These rankings are based on postseason games through May 8.
OGVT: Offensive GVT
GGVT: Goaltending GVT
DGVT: Defensive GVT
GVT: Total GVT
Rank Player OGVT/GGVT DGVT GVT
1. Dwayne Roloson, G, Tampa Bay Lightning 8.7 0.0 8.7
Comment: Tampa Bay has been outshot 390-294 in the playoffs but is heading to the conference finals. Roloson has yet to allow more than three goals in any playoff game.
2. Tim Thomas, G, Boston Bruins 7.1 0.0 7.1
Comment: Thomas' playoff save percentage of .940 is better than his regular-season mark of .938, which was the highest save percentage in NHL history.
3. Pavel Datsyuk, F, Detroit Red Wings 3.3 0.4 3.8
Comment: Datsyuk's 1.44 points per game is the highest ratio of any playoff player; he has points in eight of his nine games.
4. Joel Ward, F, Nashville Predators 3.3 0.3 3.6
Comment: The playoffs often create unlikely heroes: Ward has never scored more than .44 points per game and 35 points in a season, but he currently has 1.09 points per game and leads the playoffs with seven goals.
5. Ryan Kesler, F, Vancouver Canucks 2.7 0.8 3.5
Comment: Vancouver's MVP shows why he should have been nominated for the Hart: After shutting down Jonathan Toews in Round 1, he is now carrying the Canucks offensively against Nashville. If Vancouver wins the Cup, the Conn Smythe is his.
6. Ryan Clowe, F, San Jose Sharks 2.9 0.6 3.4
Comment: On a team with Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley and Joe Pavelski, it's Clowe who has led the Sharks' offense with 13 points, including 10 at even strength, and a plus-6 rating.
7. Steve Downie, F, Tampa Bay Lightning 2.3 0.9 3.2
Comment: Downie, Sean Bergenheim and Teddy Purcell have given Tampa Bay a key ingredient in playoff success: scoring depth. They are among seven Lightning players who have more playoff points than Steven Stamkos' six.
8. Vincent Lecavalier, F, Tampa Bay Lightning 2.6 0.3 2.9
Comment: In 2001, Lecavalier was judged too young to be captain; in 2004, Dave Andreychuk captained the Lightning to the Cup while Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards scored. Now Lecavalier is the mature captain, but his scoring touch hasn't left him.
9. Brad Marchand, F, Boston Bruins 2.3 0.5 2.8
Comment: Marchand has excelled with the help of two-way marvel Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi, a linemate old enough to be his father. His scoring is all the more necessary because the Bruins' power play is faltering.
10. Nicklas Lidstrom, D, Detroit Red Wings 2.5 0.2 2.6
Comment: Lidstrom powered the Wings' Game 4 win with two goals. He will be remembered as the most successful defenseman in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
A version of this story originally appeared at ESPN Insider .
Tom Awad is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
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