Monday, June 04, 2007

Pronger Suspended Again

Chris Pronger has been suspended for game four of the Stanley Cup finals series for his elbow to the head of Ottawa's Dean McAmmond. This is his second suspension during the playoffs. There is little doubt that were this the regular season and not playoffs, Pronger would be suspended longer than one game.

While some people are complaining that Chris Pronger is a dirty player, this misses the point. Pronger is at his best when he plays a physical game that is right on the edge of legal. This has given him a hall of fame career. Its expect a player to play right on the edge of legal at all time and then hypocritically complain when he does cross the line.

This puts Anaheim in a bad place as they lack defensive depth. They were able to win the game without Pronger in the Detroit series. Can they do it in the Ottawa series?

I figured that Chris Pronger was the most likely player to win Conn Smythe, though in light of his suspensions I don't think that is still true. While I still argue that the most valuable player in the playoffs so far has been Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit, I think he has no chance at Conn Smythe due to his being eliminated from the playoffs. I think, should Anaheim win the cup, they will be hard-pressed to find a worthy Conn Smythe winner. Likely they will give it to either Jean-Sebastien Giguere who will be the winning goalie (though his GAA that is 4th in the playoffs so far and saves percentage that is fifth hardly scream Conn Smythe) or they will give it to Sami Pahlsson (who has been the best defensive forward in the playoffs by a significant margin but its hard to argue he has been the best forward let alone player in any position). That assumes that somebody doesn't jump to the front of the race with some huge games for Anaheim in the rest of the playoff run.

It is hard for Anaheim to keep having to win key games with Chris Pronger suspended. He isn't doing his team any favors, but when he plays he has been their best player.

I can tell you right now Pronger won't be the MVP not after his 2nd suspension of the playoffs. If he didn't get suspended I'd have him as the shoe-in. I agree with you about Lidstrom, he is definitely the most deserving but won't get it. If I had to guess I'd say J.S. picks up his 2nd Conn.
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