The Puck Prospectus metric GVT (goals versus threshold) allows us to compare players at every position to determine who the true leaders are.
In the playoffs, Puck Prospectus uses GVT to measure the leaders in the Conn Smythe race for postseason MVP.
This is the fourth update. In the early going, as a hockey fan would likely expect, Jaroslav Halak of the Montreal Canadiens was No. 1. Last week, for the first time, he was ousted by a 1-2 punch of Jonathan Toews and Michael Leighton, of the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers, respectively.
Tonight, the showdown continues between these two. Will one of them capture the Conn Smythe (and Lord Stanley in the process)? Or will a third party from these two squads step up?
This time out, the entire list below is either Flyers or Blackhawks.
Puck Prospectus: Player Power Rankings - Stanley Cup Finals
OGVT: Offensive GVT
GGVT: Goaltending GVT
DGVT: Defensive GVT
GVT: Total GVT
Rank Player Last Week OGVT/GGVT DGVT GVT
1. Jonathan Toews, C, CHI 1 6.6 0.3 6.9
Comment: Toews leads the playoffs in assists and points, and is the obvious choice for the Smythe if Chicago wins. Could he be this generation's Steve Yzerman?
2. Michael Leighton, G, PHI 2 6.2 0.0 6.2
Comment: With three shutouts and sharing a fourth in only eight games, Leighton has a spectacular 0.948 save percentage, but it'll be much harder against Chicago's high-octane offense than it was against Montreal or Boston.
3. Mike Richards, C, PHI 8 4.7 0.6 5.3
Comment: No forward remaining has exceeded Richards' 22 minutes per game, and he's been an amazing plus-9 at even-strength during that time.
4. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI 6 4.6 0.1 4.7
Comment: Kane was chosen No. 1 in the 2007 entry draft; No. 2 was the Flyers' James van Riemsdyk. While both meet now in the finals, it's safe to say the Blackhawks feel good about their choice.
5. Claude Giroux, RW, PHI 10 3.7 1.1 4.8
Comment: Unlike the Flyers' stereotype, Giroux helps his team with discipline: He's drawn six penalties in these playoffs and taken only one.
6. Danny Briere, C, PHI 3 4.2 0.4 4.6
Comment: Possibly the Flyers' most talented offensive player, Briere is fourth in playoff points since the lockout with 72, and his teams (Buffalo and Philadelphia) have made it to the conference finals in four of five seasons.
7. Antti Niemi, G, CHI - 3.9 0.0 3.9
Comment: Goaltending was supposed to be the Hawks' Achilles' heel, yet Niemi's 0.921 save percentage has been better than that of Luongo, Brodeur, Fleury or Nabokov. He completely stole Game 1 against the Sharks.
8. Chris Pronger, D, PHI - 3.2 0.4 3.6
Comment: For the third time in five seasons, a team has traded for Chris Pronger and found itself in the Stanley Cup finals. Pronger is getting ready for his 15th playoff series since the lockout, more than any other player -- or team -- over that span.
9. Patrick Sharp, C, CHI 9 3.3 0.2 3.5
Comment: More than four years ago, Sharp was traded from Philadelphia to Chicago, where his career has blossomed. Will this be extra motivation?
10. Simon Gagne, LW, PHI - 2.0 0.6 2.6
Comment: Gagne has the most seniority in Philadelphia, as this is his 11th season with the team. It's his first trip to the Stanley Cup finals despite having 84 career playoff games under his belt.
A version of this story originally appeared on ESPN Insider .
Tom Awad is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
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