CONN SMYTHE - PITTSBURGH
Photo: Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire
They may hand out the Conn Smythe trophy tonight.
Should Pittsburg win, there will be a lot of debate about who is most deserving, Sidney Crosby or Phil Kessel.
Let's look at the play by play results over Pittsburg’s 23 playoff games to clarify their Contributions:
Note: Crosby’s Defensive Contribution has risen 9.2% and Kessel’s 38.5% in the playoffs compared to the 2015/16 regular season.
After roughly 23 hours of Penguins' hockey and over 700 hours of playoff video analysis, Crosby emerges as the Contribution leader. It can be very difficult to keep individual performances clear in one's mind, but for those who figured it was Crosby...well done!
Even though Crosby is the contribution leader, he is saddled with much higher expectations and it may be difficult not to cast a vote on Kessel's behalf.
His impressive run has four key components:
- he has contributed a full 19% higher than his regular season average
- thru the first five games of the Finals his contributions have slightly exceeded Crosby
- the Finals have been his best defensive series of the playoffs
- who would have predicted it? It's a great story
Congratulations to both on great playoff performances.
That said, if the Pens win the Cup, the data suggests the Conn Smythe should be carved into 5 pieces, the Pens Big 5...... 5 players who've been instrumental to the Pens playoff run.
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