The Ultimate Conn Smythe Losers
North American Sports all have what can be considered a Finals MVP award. For the NHL, it's a little more interesting as the Conne Smythe Award is technically for the most valuable players in the playoffs. However, the winner has always played on a team that attended the Stanley Cup -- NHL's Finals. And, like most MVP awards, it tends to favor the player from the winning squad. Of the 54 times it's been awarded as of this writing, only five times has it gone from a player on the losing squad. Let's talk about them a bit!
Roger Crozier, Detroit Red Wings 1966 (2-4 Stanley Cup Loss)
Why? Lead all goalkeepers w/ 276 playoff saves. He was injured for one game in the Stanley Cup Finals, where his team lost 2-4. Red Wings lost 2-3 in game 6 OT loss.*
Glenn Hall, St. Louis Blues 1968 (0-4 Stanley Cup Loss)
Why? Lead all goalkeepers w/ 490 playoff saves. While his team was 'blown out' 0-4, every game was decided by one goal.*
Reggie Leach, Philadelphia Flyers 1976 (0-4 Stanley Cup Loss)
Why? Lead all players w/ 19 playoff goals (second place was 8). Lead all players w/ 24 points (second place was 19)
Ron Hextall, Philadelphia Flyers 1987 (3-4 Stanley Cup Loss)
Why Lead all goalkeepers w/ 698 saves. Also, in a seven-game series, he kept Wayne Gretzky to 2 goals and only 11 points
Jean-Sebastian Giguere, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 2003 (3-4 Stanley Cup Loss)
Why? Lead all goalkeepers w/ 659 saves. Also, lead all goalkeepers in save percent at 94.6%. The Ducks were an eighth seed that was one game from winning the Cup!
* Hall of Fame goalie Gump Worsley, who played for the Montreal Canadiens in 1966 and 1968, probably deserved at least one Conn Smythe trophy in those two seasons. However, it appears the Conn Smythe voters do value total saves or goals. Major props to Reggie Leach as the only non-goalie 'loser' to win the Conn Smythe.
Tags: Conn Smythe Award, Glenn Hall, Gump Worsley, Jean-Sebastian Giguere, NHL, Reggie Leach, Roger Crozier, Ron Hextall, Stanley Cup
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