Bookmaker's Corner: Odds to Win the Conn Smythe Trophy
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 5/26/2010
The 2010 Stanley Cup finals are set and I’m betting on a classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers. Two exciting teams. Two tough teams. Two great fan bases. This should be hockey at its finest.
The Blackhawks head into Saturday’s Game 1 as the significant favorite and most of the action at Bodog’s online sportsbook will be steadfastly behind them. Still, the Flyers have won seven of their last eight after falling behind the Bruins 3-0 and battling back. That’s pretty tough to ignore, especially considering Philly is finally healthy.
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One of the side stories I’m particularly interested in is the race for playoffs MVP. We’ve posted odds on the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy at Bodog, and it should be no surprise as to who’s the current favorite. Chicago forward Jonathan Toews has been a force this postseason, leading the league in scoring with 26 points and doing all the little things that make him such a great hockey. We’ve got him at 4/9 odds to be named MVP after all is said and done.
The only other Blackhawks that are really in the running are Patrick Kane (19/2) and Antti Niemi (5/1). If Kane (20 points) gets hot, he could feasibly surpass Toews, but considering they play on the same line, one player’s success will probably mean the other’s as well. As for Niemi, he’s been just what the Blackhawks needed in goal: steady, at times spectacular, but he’d need to be pretty darn spectacular to wrestle the Conn Smythe away from Toews.
If the Flyers manage to pull the upset, it’ll likely come down to one of Mike Richards (7/1), Michael Leighton (8/1) or, in my humble opinion, Chris Pronger (25/1) as MVP. Richards is second to Toews in playoff scoring with 21 points and was a human wrecking ball in Game 5 versus Montreal; Leighton has only played eight games in goal for the Flyers since Brian Boucher was injured but has been practically unbeatable with a 1.45 goals-against average and .948 save percentage; and Pronger has logged nearly 30 minutes a game anchoring the Philly D.
For what it’s worth, the Conn Smythe Trophy has only been awarded to a member of the losing team five times. The last time it happened was in 2003 when Anaheim goalie J.S. Giguere won it. The only non-goalie to be named MVP in a losing effort was Philadelphia’s Reggie Leach, in 1976.
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