The Pittsburgh Penguins have dominated every team they've faced in the playoffs.
They swept the Ottawa Senators, Stanley Cup Finalists from a year ago. Injury-riddled they might have been, but the Senators should have had more of a chance.
They took the Rangers to 3-0, before giving up game 4. They then won game 5 in OT, thanks to a two-goal performance by Marian Hossa, ironically a former Sens winger.
Now, in the first battle of the Pennsylvanian War, the Super-Pens dominated, led by the heroic efforts of Evgeni Malkin, who scored twice, including the game-winner. Sid the Kid scored a goal as well, and it was Petr Sykora who scored the opening goal. In on that first goal was, who else, Evgeni Malkin.
Now, I'm not suggesting that the Final will be Detroit vs. Pittsburgh for sure, but if it is, it will be very hard to award the Conn Smythe Trophy, for playoff MVP. It's been interesting to note that three of the past four players to win the Smythe have been young, heroic talents on a rising team. J.S. Giguere's superb goaltending led the Anaheim Ducks to a 7-game loss in the Final. Brad Richards was the most dominant of Tampa Bay's young Big Three when they won the Cup in '04. Cam Ward was the biggest reason that Carolina won the Cup in '06, although many people say that Chris Pronger, veteran defender for the Oilers, should have won the trophy instead. Scott Niedermayer, who took home the Conn Smythe last year, has been the most recent true veteran to lead his team. And even then, some people were saying that Giguere or young players Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry should have won the Conn Smythe.
All this leads up to the fact that both Detroit and Pittsburgh have great young players that are leading them all the way this year. Evgeni Malkin, of course, has worked wonders for the Penguins in every series so far. Johan Franzen, on the other side, leads the post-season with 12 goals, including the winner against the Stars on Friday. Between these two performances, voters will have a tough time choosing who was more of an MVP.
I'm taking off now. I'll post again tomorrow after the Stars game.