The NHL Playoffs are in full effect with both series evened at one a piece. Holy sweet shit have we seen some amazing individual efforts from these two way players. If either team makes the finals, win or lose Getzlaf or Karlsson have already made strong bids for the most valuable player in the playoffs. Both players are quarterbacking their teams to success playing on a whole other level.
Not enough can be said about Ryan Getzlaf’s efforts in the playoffs thus far. First I will go into the statistics of each series, then I will go into the intangibles that he has generated to propel the Ducks to the Conference finals. Getzlaf is playing on average about 24 minutes per game, several minutes higher than any active forward in the playoffs. So far the Ducks have played 13 games with Getz scoring 8 times and following up with 10 assists. Only 4 Power play points is the negative shot against Getz, as the Ducks have had a fairly poor PP against Edmonton and now Nashville. It also helps that Gibson has yet to steal a game on his own, and the Ducks supporting cast is more than willing to allow Getzlaf to rake in the points and contribute beyond the stats. He is playing in all the tough areas of the ice grinding in corners and blocking all kinds of shots. If the Ducks make it to the finals no other player aside from Silverberg who frankly hasn’t been making the two way plays that Getz is known for. Lock him in for a Conn Smyth if the Ducks even smell the finals.
Karlsson was no doubt the most impactful player in the first round, getting praise for his efforts. Little did we know he was playing with a fractured heel since the end of the season. Karlsson has recorded 13 points in 6 games against the Bruins and 6 Against the Rangers. Two Game Winning Goals and multiple game winning assists along with the nastiest saucer pass from his own red line has guaranteed his spot st the top of the Conn Smyth race. His Corsi rating is sky high, and the goal differential with him on the ice, as opposed to off the ice is staggering. Just watching the rushes he is able to quarterback and maintain a defensive presence is astounding. There is no question he is currently able to out play the lacking Penguins D core, and is able to shut down the scoring presence of Crosby, Malkin and Kessel.
IF and only IF the Ducks and Sens make it to the finals, both these captains have provided significant reason to be named Conn Smyth winners. There is always the potential for a goaltender to steal a series, but as of now, these two game changers are the most likely candidates.