The Stanley Cup Final is approaching the end as the Tampa Bay Lightning are on the verge of back-to-back Cups with a 3-0 series lead over the Montreal Canadiens. Naturally, with the conclusion this near, it is a good time to take a look at some of the prime candidates to walk away with the Conn Smythe Trophy at the end of this series.
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While other teams have struggled to find consistency and mixed-and-matched goalies throughout the playoffs, Andrei Vasilevskiy has been a rock between the pipes for the Lightning dating back to the Cup run last season in the bubble. Currently, Vasilevskiy leads all playoff goaltenders with a .938 save percentage and he is second behind only the Maple Leafs Jack Campbell with a 1.94 goals-against average. In addition, he has four shutouts to boot.
One of last year’s playoff MVP finalists, Kucherov is picking up right where he left off last season (literally), leading all players in points with 32 (8 goals, 24 assists) and is in the driver’s seat (for a skater) for the Conn Smythe IF Vasilevskiy falters the rest of the way. In the Stanley Cup Final against Montreal, through three games, Kucherov has netted three goals and has been credited with two assists.
— Full Press Hockey (@FullPressNHL) July 4, 2021
Brayden Point was all the talk during the second and third round of the playoffs as his nine-game goal-scoring streak stole headlines. And rightfully so as he fell just one game shy of Reggie Leach’s record of 10-straight games with a goal. Point has understandably cooled off since but it hasn’t really mattered for the Lightning as they are getting goals from up and down the lineup. Point may need quite a series-clinching performance to get back in the mix but he will likely be fine with another go-around with the Stanley Cup.