The Colorado Avalanche became the first team to make it out of the first round on Monday night with a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators, sweeping their opponent. The Avs will likely have to wait a bit before they resume hockey with six other series tied 2-2, including Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues. The Avs are into the second round and it’s no surprise to see their top players listed as favorites to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for Stanley Cup Playoff MVP.
Let’s take a look at the whole board on DraftKings Sportsbook and make a few mid-first-round picks.
2022 Conn Smythe Trophy odds
Cale Makar (+600) — Makar is my favorite pick for Conn Smythe at this point. He should be leading over Nathan MacKinnon if we’re being completely honest. Makar leads the Avs with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the four playoff games. He also had the game-winning goal in OT in Game 2. Really, all Makar has to keep doing is racking up points while leading the Avs in ice time. MacKinnon would have to go nuclear or score a few game-winners. For some reason Mikko Rantanen (20/1) is still high on the board despite no goals in the first round. What would he need to do to make up ground on MacKinnon and Makar? It’s virtually impossible at this point.
Any Lightning players — Now is the time to get a good line on the Bolts to win playoff MVP. Personally, I don’t see Tampa Bay three-peating. If it does happen, Steven Stamkos (30/1), Nikita Kucherov (30/1) and Victor Hedman (40/1) all have pretty nice lines to win the Conn Smythe. You’d think if the Lightning are going to get past Toronto and make a run, one of those three will win the Conn Smythe, at least based off how Andrei Vasilevskiy (25/1) has played so far in the first round. Even Vasi can rebound and win the Conn Smythe; he’s done it before.
Sidney Crosby (+2800) — Crosby is tied for second in points (9) so far in the postseason and the Penguins have a shot to beat the higher-seeded Rangers in five games. Pittsburgh may have a tough time getting through the East and to the Cup Final with Louis Domingue in net. Though, looking back a few seasons, the Stars made it to the Cup with Anton Khudobin (anything is possible). Crosby and the Pens are playing playoff brand of hockey and we know the team is more than capable of making a Cup run. You’ve got Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, plus guys who have been there before in Jeff Carter and Brian Boyle. If Pitt beats New York in five games or even six, this line will jump up. Now would be a good time to sprinkle on Crosby for Conn Smythe.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA). 21+ (18+ NH/WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.