The 2020-21 NHL Stanley Cups Playoffs are continuing as the postseason is down to just four teams: the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights and Montreal Canadiens. It’s been a long road for each of those teams, but they’re each just a series win away from playing in the Stanley Cup Finals, which means a new Conn Smythe Trophy winner will be crowned within weeks.
For those unfamiliar with the award, it’s the trophy given to the most valuable player of any given postseason. It typically is awarded to a player on the winning team of the finals, but there have been instances of it being given to a losing player because they just that well.
With that being said, BetOnline is one of the sportsbooks that does have Conn Smythe Trophy odds. What’s interesting about this year’s odds is that three goaltenders lead the race. If BetOnline is correct, it’d be the first time that a goalie has won the Conn Smythe Trophy since Jonathan Quick did it back in 2011-12 with the Los Angeles Kings.
As of June 15, BetOnline is favoring Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to walk away as the Stanley Cup Playoffs’ MVP at +125 odds. Even though he’s 36 years old, you wouldn’t know it by the way he’s been playing. He’s started in goal across 13 games for Vegas so far this postseason, posting a 9-4-0 record, along with a .927 save percentage (SV%) and 1.84 goals against average (GAA). Regardless if he wins or loses, Fleury has looked like the best goaltender this postseason and is a major reason as to why the Golden Knights are one of the four remaining teams.
NHL Odds: 2020-21 Conn Smythe Trophy Winner
Odds via BetOnline as of Tuesday, June 15
- Marc-Andre Fleury (+125)
- Andrei Vasilevskiy (+350)
- Semyon Varlamov (+450)
- Mark Stone (+800)
- Nikita Kucherov (+1000)
- Brayden Point (+1600)
- Jonathan Marchessault (+1600)
- Carey Price (+1800)
- Max Pacioretty (+1800)
Complete Conn Smythe Trophy odds list available at BetOnline.ag.
Vasilevskiy Leads as Lightning’s MVP
If there’s a common theme about this year’s Conn Smythe candidates, it’s that goaltenders are dominating the odds list. Lightning G Andrei Vasilevskiy has the second-best odds to win the trophy at +350. While the Lightning certainly have more of a stacked team than the Golden Knights do, that doesn’t change the fact that Vasilevskiy has played incredibly well so far.
The 2018-19 Vezina Trophy winner is 8-4-0 in the current postseason, tallying a 2.23 GAA and an insane .934 SV%. He also has two shutouts to boot. One thing that may hurt his Conn Smythe odds is the fact that he has two sub-.900 SV% performances in his last four games. However, if he’s able to overcome this and lead the Lightning to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second year in a row, Vasilevskiy could very well be this postseason’s most valuable player.
Varlamov Enters the Conn Smythe Conversation
When the 2020-21 Stanley Cup Playoffs began and BetOnline released the early Conn Smythe odds, Islanders G Semyon Varlamov was nowhere near being favored to win the trophy. Fast forward to mid-June and he has the third-best odds (+450) to win it. While he’s typically performed well in the playoffs, Varlamov has taken it to the next level this year.
Varlamov has only played eight games this postseason due to him splitting time with Ilya Sorokin. While both goaltenders have looked good, it’s been Varlamov who’s been scorching hot as of late. He’s won five out of his last six starts and has a .930 SV% and 2.43 GAA on the playoffs. Varlamov also led the Islanders to a 2-1 victory over the Lightning in the first game of their series, turning aside 30-of-31 shots. If Varlamov wants to keep his Conn Smythe odds where they are, he must continue playing as he has to ensure that Sorokin doesn’t retake the crease this postseason.