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Which Avalanche player should win the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP?  – Denver Post

Ryan O’Halloran, Sports Journalist: The NHL awards the Conn Smythe to the most valuable player in the playoffs, not just the final round, so all of the work must be considered. My pick is the Avs Nathan MacKinnon Center. Going into Friday’s Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, he leads the Avalanche in goals (12), ice time among forwards (21:18), was terrific on the power play (six goals ) and played a disciplined game (eight penalty minutes). His value is evident even when he’s not scoring – once those afterburners are activated, it creates time and space for his teammates.

Mark Kiszla, sports columnist: Well, the NHL won’t let me vote for Conn Smythe. And that’s probably better for everyone involved, because my brain says the winner should be Cale Makar, whose rise to the Bobby Orr stratosphere changed everything for a team long frustrated with early playoff exits. But my heart tells me that the real emotional linchpin of this Cup run has been Nazem Kadri. His hat trick against St. Louis in response to racist and physical threats was the turning point of the playoffs, while his overtime goal against Tampa Bay put the exclamation mark on the arrival of the new champions.

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