NHL Playoffs 2012: Top 10 Nominees to Win the Conn Smythe Trophy for Playoff MVP

With the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs fully underway, and through two rounds, there are some midway candidates leading the way to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for MVP of the playoffs.

With Game 1 of the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes series complete, we are less than 14 games away from deciding who takes home the MVP trophy.

Below are my top 10 nominees for playoff excellence:


No. 10 Daniel Girardi

The big, brave defenseman for the New York Rangers sacrifices his body to take away shooting lanes like the best defenders in the NHL. He also finishes his hits at all times, making him a coach's favourite on a blue-collar team. 


No. 9 Mikkel Boedker

The young Dane has arrived big time in the NHL thus far. He led his Coyotes team with two game-winners, including one big goal in double OT against the Blackhawks. He has proven to coach Dave Tippett that he belongs in the big leagues, and he is very dynamic for the Coyotes.


No. 8 Willie Mitchell

Almost for certain, many people would not have considered Mitchell to be in the discussion for a Conn Smythe Trophy. Due to his success rate as a shutdown defenseman, it is important to recognize the fact that he has eliminated the Sedin line, Andy McDonald line and Ray Whitney's line in the playoffs so far. The Kings are successful when Mitchell is making the defense go to work.


No. 7 Zach Parise

The New Jersey Devils go as far as Zach Parise brings them. The captain of the Devils drives the net hard, he is strong in all three zones and his speed can break open the game. With Parise, he motivates his teammates with setting a good example, and he is supported by an enviable veteran leadership group in New Jersey.


No. 6 Marek Zidlicky

A trade-deadline acquisition, Zidlicky is making Devils GM Lou La...

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