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Years where the Conn Smythe was up in the air

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Old
04-17-2012, 12:29 AM
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomerHimpson View Post
When it comes to the Conn Smythe Trophy, there have been years where, by the end of the playoffs and the last game, it was seen as a no-brainer (i.e. Gretzky in '85 and '88 or Tim Thomas last year).

But there have also been years where, before the Conn Smythe winner was annouced, we often thought 'There are a lot of guys who could win it- I could see this guy or that guy winning it.'

What are some years that are more of the latter (Where there were multiple guys in the running, not one stand-out)?

To me, the following years were among those I recall wide-open:

2010 (Toews, Keith, Byufglien, Niemi were all candidates down the stretch)

2007 (Niedermayer won it, but I thought Giguere had a serious shot at becoming a two-time winner, Pahlsson, and Andy MacDonald all were in the running; plus Alfredsson as the 'valiant effort on SCF runner-up' player)

2004 (Brad Richards, Khabibulin, St. Louis for Tampa; Iginla and Kipper if Calgary won game 6)

1999 (Nieuwendyk and Belfour for Dallas, possibly Hasek in a losing effort)
2010 really should have gone to Keith, the more consistent player through all 4 rounds (unlike Toews' whoping 3 points in the finals playing against Michael Leighton).

2007 was probably the toughest call in recent memory. Giguere missed 3 games in the first round due to his son's birth, and the Ducks won them all with Bryzgalov in net. Pronger probably would have had it had he not gotten suspended twice. So Nieds won it pretty much by default.

Also 2006, Eric Staal probably could have made a good case.


Last edited by Hammer Time: 04-17-2012 at 12:43 AM. Reason: duplicated a sentence
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Old
04-17-2012, 12:34 AM
  #52
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2002 and 2010 were the most wide open years I can remember.

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Old
04-17-2012, 12:36 AM
  #53
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2002 Red Wings. I think Yzerman deserved it, but Lidstrom was a great choice.

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04-17-2012, 08:04 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
He was a plus-player in Game 6, and he still outscored Toews in the Final.
Toews didn't suffer a Cup-costing meltdown in the key swing game of the series. While he didn't play great in the final, you can look at it from the perspective that as #1 center his job was to outplay the opposing #1 center, Mike Richards, which he did.

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04-17-2012, 08:48 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Toews didn't suffer a Cup-costing meltdown in the key swing game of the series. While he didn't play great in the final, you can look at it from the perspective that as #1 center his job was to outplay the opposing #1 center, Mike Richards, which he did.
I look at it from the perspective that Pronger's job was to shutdown Toews, Kane, and Byfuglien line.

Statistics through four games:

Toews: 1 Assist, -3
Kane: 1 Goal, Two Assists, -6
Byfuglien: 1 Assist, -3

This was the line that was being called "the best line in hockey" the series before (LeBrun), when Toews finished the Sharks on a 13-game scoring streak and Byfuglien had a goal in each game. The fact that Chicago took the first two games despite Pronger keeping that line to a total of ONE POINT is what cost Philadelphia the series, not the fact that the Blackhawks players finally got Pronger off his game once. Having everything go wrong in one game rather than throughout the first four games is far less damaging.

Remember the Montreal series? Pronger had a really bad Game 3. He made up for it by helping to hold the Canadiens to two goals in the other four games. The Flyers didn't lose the Stanley Cup in Game 5 of the Finals; they lost it over the course of 1, 2, 5, and 6 - Pronger was great in three of those games and the two Flyers' wins.

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Old
04-17-2012, 09:05 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by GKJ View Post
2004, Richards was the only choice. He had like 10 GWG's. That's off the charts.

2007, I maintain that it should have been Sami Pahlsson.
Came here to post this.

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04-17-2012, 11:43 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
I look at it from the perspective that Pronger's job was to shutdown Toews, Kane, and Byfuglien line.

Statistics through four games:

Toews: 1 Assist, -3
Kane: 1 Goal, Two Assists, -6
Byfuglien: 1 Assist, -3

This was the line that was being called "the best line in hockey" the series before (LeBrun), when Toews finished the Sharks on a 13-game scoring streak and Byfuglien had a goal in each game. The fact that Chicago took the first two games despite Pronger keeping that line to a total of ONE POINT is what cost Philadelphia the series, not the fact that the Blackhawks players finally got Pronger off his game once. Having everything go wrong in one game rather than throughout the first four games is far less damaging.

Remember the Montreal series? Pronger had a really bad Game 3. He made up for it by helping to hold the Canadiens to two goals in the other four games. The Flyers didn't lose the Stanley Cup in Game 5 of the Finals; they lost it over the course of 1, 2, 5, and 6 - Pronger was great in three of those games and the two Flyers' wins.
If you're going to win the Smythe in a losing cause, you simply can't have a blemish as big as Game 5 on your record. Or if you do, you better have at least been the key reason your team made the final. Pronger was only one piece of the puzzle for the Flyers. Briere had 30 points, including a whopping 12 points in the final. So it's extremely contestable that Pronger was even his own team's MVP, and I personally would say he wasn't. In all other instances of the Smythe going to a losing player, that player was without question his team's MVP. There was simply no precedent for giving it to Pronger in 2010.

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04-18-2012, 07:28 AM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
There was simply no precedent for giving it to Pronger in 2010.
What was the precedent for any of them? Briere didn't score the most goals ever in a playoff, and no skater has ever won a Conn Smythe in a losing cause without doing that. Keith didn't lead all defensemen in scoring, and of the nine defensemen to win a Conn Smythe, only two didn't lead their position in that regard (Stevens, Niedermayer) but both were captains in a go-to defensive role. Kane and Toews were dominated in the Final, and neither led the playoffs in goals, points, or game-winners. The best player in the playoffs was Pronger. The focus of the Finals was Pronger (on and off the ice). It stands to reason why someone might think that he was the MVP in a field so wide-open, even Toews had a shot.

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Old
04-18-2012, 05:23 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
What was the precedent for any of them? Briere didn't score the most goals ever in a playoff, and no skater has ever won a Conn Smythe in a losing cause without doing that. Keith didn't lead all defensemen in scoring, and of the nine defensemen to win a Conn Smythe, only two didn't lead their position in that regard (Stevens, Niedermayer) but both were captains in a go-to defensive role. Kane and Toews were dominated in the Final, and neither led the playoffs in goals, points, or game-winners. The best player in the playoffs was Pronger. The focus of the Finals was Pronger (on and off the ice). It stands to reason why someone might think that he was the MVP in a field so wide-open, even Toews had a shot.
The precedent for Toews should be extremely obvious. Captain and leading scorer of the Cup champion. This precedent has been set many times.

Keith was one point off the playoff lead for defensemen and was the key to his team defensively. Lidstrom 2002 is a very good comparable to Keith 2010, and Niedermayer won in 2007 with similar defensive and considerably less offensive contribution. I would suggest the precedent for Keith was set in the years leading up to 2010.

If Pronger is to be judged better than Toews in the 2010 playoffs, the rounds preceeding the final must carry almost no weight at all. Toews (and Keith) was a dominant presence against much stiffer competition than Pronger had to face en route to the final. With that in mind, we should also consider Chicago's much more difficult road to the last round perhaps accounting for the fact that Toews was running out of gas by early June while Pronger continued to play strong (until Game 5).

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04-18-2012, 09:57 PM
  #60
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Old
04-19-2012, 01:06 AM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
The precedent for Toews should be extremely obvious. Captain and leading scorer of the Cup champion. This precedent has been set many times.
And how many of them were held goalless in a 6-game Stanley Cup Final? How many of them had only one even-strength point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon
Keith was one point off the playoff lead for defensemen and was the key to his team defensively. Lidstrom 2002 is a very good comparable to Keith 2010,
Nicklas Lidstrom had 5 goals and played like Nicklas Lidstrom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon
and Niedermayer won in 2007 with similar defensive and considerably less offensive contribution.
Niedermayer scored two overtime goals and a last-minute goal that tied the most important game of the Ducks' playoff run - and in this one sentence, I have named more goals than Duncan Keith scored in the 2010 playoffs. Keith was nowhere near being the clutch offensive contributor for his team, which is exactly what Niedermayer was - in addition to playing 5 minutes of short-handed hockey per game (Keith, in his "similar defensive" capacity, played about a minute less than teammates Sopel and Hjalmarsson).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon
If Pronger is to be judged better than Toews in the 2010 playoffs, the rounds preceeding the final must carry almost no weight at all.
Because no one was talking about Pronger before the Finals?

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/po...s&pollid=47866

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...d.php?t=779494

http://espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/n...ffs/id/5223024

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon
With that in mind, we should also consider Chicago's much more difficult road to the last round perhaps accounting for the fact that Toews was running out of gas by early June while Pronger continued to play strong (until Game 5).
Oh, did he get tired when the Blackhawks swept the Conference Finals, giving him a week off? The Flyers played more games than the Blackhawks in the second and third rounds.

If you really felt this strongly, you should've argued it two years ago when everyone was talking about how good Chris Pronger was in the playoffs.

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...d.php?t=804891

http://espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/n...ffs/id/5270782

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puc...urn=nhl,246514


The Conn Smythe was very much "up in the air" and Chris Pronger's name was getting thrown around. That's pretty much as far as this conversation ever needed to go.

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Old
04-19-2012, 05:45 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
And how many of them were held goalless in a 6-game Stanley Cup Final? How many of them had only one even-strength point?
How many scored at the clip Toews did in the first three rounds, while also being counted on as the key defensive presence on their line?

Quote:
Nicklas Lidstrom had 5 goals and played like Nicklas Lidstrom.
Duncan Keith had 17 points and played fabulous hockey throughout the spring. How does this vary greatly from what Lidstrom provided to the 2002 Red Wings? Neither were/would have been bad choices amongst the handful of candidates.

Quote:
Niedermayer scored two overtime goals and a last-minute goal that tied the most important game of the Ducks' playoff run - and in this one sentence, I have named more goals than Duncan Keith scored in the 2010 playoffs. Keith was nowhere near being the clutch offensive contributor for his team, which is exactly what Niedermayer was - in addition to playing 5 minutes of short-handed hockey per game (Keith, in his "similar defensive" capacity, played about a minute less than teammates Sopel and Hjalmarsson).
Niedermayer is considered by many to be one of the weakest Smythe choices ever. You will find almost nobody who considers 2007 Niedermayer's playoff better than 2010 Keith's.

People were talking about Pronger, gee what a surprise. They were also talking about Briere, Richards, Giroux, and Leino.

Quote:
Oh, did he get tired when the Blackhawks swept the Conference Finals, giving him a week off? The Flyers played more games than the Blackhawks in the second and third rounds.
The Flyers had the 91- and 88-point Bruins and Canadiens as their 2nd and 3rd round matchups. Neither of those teams would have even been in the playoffs in the western conference. 100-point Nashville was the worst team Chicago went up against. Their 2nd and 3rd round opponents finished 4th and 2nd overall in the league.

Toews playing the way he did against that kind of competition is too easily dismissed. The Flyers meanwhile, had a remarkably easy road to the final considering their 7th place finish. A dominant effort against the 2010 Sharks and one against the 2010 Canadiens aren't exactly the same thing.

Quote:
If you really felt this strongly, you should've argued it two years ago when everyone was talking about how good Chris Pronger was in the playoffs.

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...d.php?t=804891

http://espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/n...ffs/id/5270782

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puc...urn=nhl,246514
So because I didn't stoop to arguing with HF fanboys in 2010, my argument against Pronger in 2012 carries less weight?

Quote:
The Conn Smythe was very much "up in the air" and Chris Pronger's name was getting thrown around. That's pretty much as far as this conversation ever needed to go.
His name was getting thrown around, until the last two games of the final when the Flyers lost the Stanley Cup. You can say it's only one or two games, but one game has decided the Smythe many times. Almost any time the final series goes 7, the winner is not decided until that game is over. Whether or not you agree with it, the fact remains that the losing team almost never produces the playoff MVP. The only time it happens is when a goaltender carries his team to a final they otherwise wouldn't have come close to reaching, or sets the all-time goals record in the case of Reg Leach. Pronger fits neither of these categories and would have set a new precedent had he been given the trophy.


Last edited by Kyle McMahon: 04-19-2012 at 05:52 PM.
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Old
04-19-2012, 08:45 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
His name was getting thrown around, until the last two games of the final when the Flyers lost the Stanley Cup.
Two of the articles I posted were written by actual NHL award voters AFTER Game 5.

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Old
04-20-2012, 12:00 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Two of the articles I posted were written by actual NHL award voters AFTER Game 5.
The Burnside article says exactly the things I've been saying: Pronger lost the Smythe when he imploded in Game 5 and Philly dropped the last two games to lose the Cup.

From the article:
Quote:
Had he not gone minus-5 in Game 5 and had he not taken a couple of early penalties in Game 6, one of which led to Chicago's first goal, Pronger might well have been named playoff MVP
The Wyshynski article (and I really doubt some blogger was amongst Smythe voters, though nothing would shock me with the NHL anymore) states right in the opening sentence that a Flyer winning the Smythe hinges on whether or not they rally to win the Cup, which of course they didn't.

A losing player has won the Smythe five times in 46 years. The message is very clear: If you don't win the Cup, you better have been super-human in a cause that came up just short. Pronger wasn't any better than many other players who've had great playoffs and lost in the final.

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04-20-2012, 12:13 AM
  #65
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2006 came down to Staal, Ward, BrindAmour and Pronger.
I agree - for the Canes, it was like every series a different player stepped up. I felt like Ward got it because they couldn't pinpoint anybody else, but I thought Ward was more or less average as a whole. He certainly didn't seem like the reason the Canes won that year.

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04-20-2012, 09:34 AM
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon
The Wyshynski article (and I really doubt some blogger was amongst Smythe voters, though nothing would shock me with the NHL anymore) states right in the opening sentence that a Flyer winning the Smythe hinges on whether or not they rally to win the Cup, which of course they didn't.
You're talking about the article titled "The Conn Smythe case for Chris Pronger, win or lose" right?

The opening sentence says IF PHILADELPHIA WINS, a Flyer wins the Conn Smythe - not IF PHILADELPHIA DOES NOT WIN, a Flyer does not win the Conn Smythe. The fact that you misapplied modus ponens is enough to not take this any further.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
The Burnside article says exactly the things I've been saying: Pronger lost the Smythe when he imploded in Game 5 and Philly dropped the last two games to lose the Cup.
I must have missed the part where you said "there remains some debate about whether Pronger should have been so honored in another losing cause."

1. Conn Smythe was up in the air
2. Chris Pronger was one of the parties about which people debated

I rest my case.

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04-20-2012, 10:48 AM
  #67
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As a Stars fan, I would say 1999 could have gone to either Nieuwendyk, Belfour, or Modano.

Colorado - either year probably coulda been Sakic or Roy

New Jersey - Brodeur could have gotten it in 2000

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04-20-2012, 11:57 AM
  #68
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New Jersey - Brodeur could have gotten it in 2000
Doubtful. Brodeur was awesome in the finals (2000 is still the best goalie duel I've seen in the finals) but was nothing more than "solid" until then.

I remember Jason Arnott being hyped as the alternative to Stevens, but I really don't think 2000 was much in the air. The A-line was great and all but neither Elias or Arnott really stood out from the other in the playoffs.

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04-20-2012, 12:30 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
The Burnside article says exactly the things I've been saying: Pronger lost the Smythe when he imploded in Game 5 and Philly dropped the last two games to lose the Cup.

From the article:

The Wyshynski article (and I really doubt some blogger was amongst Smythe voters, though nothing would shock me with the NHL anymore) states right in the opening sentence that a Flyer winning the Smythe hinges on whether or not they rally to win the Cup, which of course they didn't.

A losing player has won the Smythe five times in 46 years. The message is very clear: If you don't win the Cup, you better have been super-human in a cause that came up just short. Pronger wasn't any better than many other players who've had great playoffs and lost in the final.
according to wikipedia, wyshynski is a voting member of the PHWA. which i find astounding because he was asked by a non-hockey sports personality in a podcast during the break before last year's finals which sedin was the shooter and which one was the passer, and he swore up and down that they "take turns scoring goals."

/ot

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04-20-2012, 12:34 PM
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Doubtful. Brodeur was awesome in the finals (2000 is still the best goalie duel I've seen in the finals) but was nothing more than "solid" until then.

I remember Jason Arnott being hyped as the alternative to Stevens, but I really don't think 2000 was much in the air. The A-line was great and all but neither Elias or Arnott really stood out from the other in the playoffs.
That's how I saw it (my favorite SCF series ever).

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04-20-2012, 04:11 PM
  #71
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I thought Keith was going to win it and shocked Toews did.

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04-20-2012, 07:23 PM
  #72
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
You're talking about the article titled "The Conn Smythe case for Chris Pronger, win or lose" right?

The opening sentence says IF PHILADELPHIA WINS, a Flyer wins the Conn Smythe - not IF PHILADELPHIA DOES NOT WIN, a Flyer does not win the Conn Smythe. The fact that you misapplied modus ponens is enough to not take this any further.



I must have missed the part where you said "there remains some debate about whether Pronger should have been so honored in another losing cause."

1. Conn Smythe was up in the air
2. Chris Pronger was one of the parties about which people debated

I rest my case.
Several players get debated about almost every year. Luongo, Sedin, Kesler, and Bieksa were debated about last year. One of them would have won if the Canucks won Game 7. But they didn't, and hence any of the four winning would have been completely unprecedented.

I guess you can say the Smythe is up in the air every year, because the Cup is also up in the air unitl it gets wheeled out. So yes, the Smythe was up in the air and candidates were debatable, until Patrick Kane scored in Game 6. At this point, any member of the Flyers ceased to be a debatable choice if we go by established precedent. Some bloggers continuing to wax poetic about Chris Pronger after the fact doesn't change this, unless they want to argue that he single-handedly carried the Flyers to the final, since that's the only way a loser wins it.

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04-20-2012, 07:26 PM
  #73
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I think Thomas would've won regardless of game 7 last year. He was phenomenal, and no other Canucks distinguished themselves. While he was not as strong a candidate as Giguere, there were no other Canucks who fit the bill of Conn Smythe winners (and there were several on the '03 Devils).

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04-20-2012, 08:15 PM
  #74
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Last year was pretty bizarre in that almost every viable Canuck candidate completely vanished in the final, yet it still came down to Game 7.

I actually think Luongo would still have won it if he pitched a shutout and won Game 7. Despite the shellings he endured in Boston, he still had two 1-0 wins in the final, plus another SO in this hypothetical scenario. And while he annoys me, Alex Burrows was probably Vancouver's most consistently effective player throughout the four rounds last year. May not have been the single best Canuck in any series, but was one of the top three or four in all of them. He could have been a good choice had the Canucks won, sort of like Claude Lemieux in 1995.

I could see Thomas still having got it, but the case against him would have been strong, probably strong enough that a Canuck player wins it:

-When he played great, his team still lost

-When his team won, the games were blowouts and he was largely inconsequential

-The Game 2 OT goal was a real stinker

-The Game 7 shutout of Tampa is great, but part of the reason it went seven games was his poor play in three other games in the series

Thomas would have at best been in the Hextall category, and definitely well short of Giguere if Boston had lost.

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04-21-2012, 12:06 AM
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Some bloggers continuing to wax poetic about Chris Pronger after the fact doesn't change this, unless they want to argue that he single-handedly carried the Flyers to the final, since that's the only way a loser wins it.
You keep saying blogger in a dismissive and derogatory manner. I've given you two voters talking specifically about Chris Pronger as being the guy both before and immediately after Game 6 - and a third voter talking about him before the Finals as being the Flyers' MVP (while you said that any pro-Pronger argument must ignore the first three rounds). It's a little different than reading what some anonymous person with a Blogger account thinks about the playoffs. It's a little different than Kevin Bieksa in 2011.

If you can't make the connection between Chris Pronger being a Conn Smythe hopeful and 1. One voter saying that Chris Pronger is the MVP; 2. Another voter saying that there was debate about whether or not Pronger should have been given the Conn Smythe; then the previous demonstration of your lack of capability to interpret a sentence and apply week one material from a freshmen's logic class is just the beginning of your inability to have this discussion with me. There doesn't need to be precedent if the voters themselves are openly discussing creating new precedent. There was no precedent for Reggie Leach. There was no precedent for Scott Stevens. There was no precedent for Jonathan Toews; he truly was the first forward to win the Conn Smythe without scoring a goal in the Stanley Cup Finals... which, by the way, was because of Chris Pronger.

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