The Great Debate: Who Should Win the Conn Smythe Trophy

The Stanley Cup Final continues with Game 5 Tuesday night as the Edmonton Oilers look to extend the series to a Game 6. Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers are looking to lift the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.

Can Edmonton Oilers Repeat Their Game 4 Success Back in Florida?

Over the last couple of days, there has been a debate about which player should be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Everyone has agreed on the two names: Sergei Bobrovsky of the Florida Panthers and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.

Typically, the Conn Smythe Trophy is given to the player from a winning team. There are rare exceptions, such as Jean Sebastian Giguere in 2003 and Reggie Leach in 1987.

We bring this up because some believe McDavid should get the Conn Smythe Trophy regardless of whether the Oilers win the Stanley Cup or not. If the Oilers come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the Stanley Cup, one it would be historic, and two it is a given McDavid would win it.

Florida Panthers Showing Why Playing Defense Still Matters

Through 22 games in the playoffs, McDavid has 38 points (six goals and 32 assists). McDavid (32) passed Wayne Gretzky (31) for most playoff assists in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final when he tallied three assists.

It is a historic accomplishment, and while he has been more noticeable in the last two rounds, in the first two, outside of a couple of games getting points in chunks, he was not the Oilers best player.

Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers are at this point without Sergei Bobrovsky. Granted, he had a bad Game 4, but that does not mean he should not be the favorite. He has played excellently for the Panthers.

2024 Stanley Cup Final Schedule and Results

Through 21 games, Bobrovsky has a 2.27 GAA and a .909 save percentage; that save percentage dropped because of the five goals he let up in Game 4, but he is still playing well. The man they call “Bob” has two shutouts in the playoffs and has come up with highlight-reel saves. He is the reason why Florida won Games 1 and 3.

There can be a case for Aleksander Barkov, who leads the Panthers with 21 points, but if Bobrovsky bounces back, it is his Conn Smythe Trophy to lose.

Seeing the steam being built for McDavid is interesting, but it is still a long shot. Right now, if the Panthers can close it out, the Conn Smythe Trophy should go to Sergei Bobrovsky.