Kesler should not be MVP frontrunner

I understand that as the Stanley Cup finals start tonight, there’s going to be a lot of hyperbole.

CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG photo, via Wikimedia Commons

Ryan Kesler should not be the frontrunner for the Conn Smythe trophy.

I also understand that there is going to be a lot of slant toward the Vancouver Canucks, simply because they’re Canadian, it’s their 40th anniversary, they’ve never won a Cup, etc.

But I don’t understand how Ryan Kesler could be the frontrunner for the Conn Smythe trophy heading into tonight’s action.

Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, for example, lists him as the #1 choice. So do the Vegas betting odds.

But it astounds me that Kesler could be considered the top guy. Just look at his numbers.

He had no goals in the first round against the Chicago Blackhawks. He exploded for five goals in three games against the Nashville Predators, and then didn’t score again until five games later.

If you were to take out those three games against Nashville, he’d have a total of two goals in 13 games. He has four powerplay goals, three of which came during those three games against the Preds, despite playing on the top powerplay line. His has two game-winning goals, which came, you guessed it, during those three games.

So pretty much, he had three great games, and people are ready to give him the Conn Smythe trophy. That’s an MVP postseason?

Some are talking about how Kesler has played great defence against the other team’s top lines. First of all, great defence doesn’t win you Conn Smythe trophies. If it did, then Travis Moen from the 2007 Ducks, Jere Lehtinen from the ’99 finals and Guy Carbonneau from the ’93 Canadiens would like to talk to the guys who vote on the trophy.

But let’s compare Kesler to the Boston Bruins Nathan Horton. Horton had three goals in the first round against the Habs, had two goals and five assists against the Flyers, and then three goals and four assists against the Lightning. Not the greatest numbers you’ve ever seen, but there’s a consistency there. Which is something Kesler is lacking.

The fact of the matter of this: While Kesler’s numbers look okay (not great, but good), it all came in a small span. And that’s not worthy of a Conn Smythe trophy.


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