Sidney Crosby added the Conn Smythe Trophy to his hardware collection after leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup championship earlier this week, but he was far from being the runaway choice.
According to TSN, Crosby received nine first-place votes while teammate Phil Kessel obtained seven. Kessel got eight second-place votes to Crosby’s five, but Pittsburgh’s captain edged his fellow Penguin 63-60 in overall points based on the NHL’s 5-3-1 system, where five points are awarded for each first-place vote, three for second and one for third.
“(Crosby’s) well-deserving of that trophy,” Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin told the media after the Penguins’ Game 6 victory in San Jose. “He took the responsibility of being a really good two-way player to heart, and it helped us win. He was very reliable in all three zones, scored for us. … His leadership is just getting better and better.”
Crosby finished tied for sixth with Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning in overall scoring this postseason with 19 points and joined defenseman Scott Niedermayer of the Anaheim Ducks (2007) and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (2010) as the only skaters to win the Conn Smythe without scoring a goal in the Stanley Cup Final. The 28-year-old superstar center has appeared in 18 Final games during his career, netting a tally in only two of them.
Kessel ranked fourth in playoff scoring with 22 points and tied Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks for third with 10 goals.
By edging Kessel, Crosby became the 10th player in NHL history to capture both the Conn Smythe and the Hart Trophy. He is the third member of the Penguins to accomplish the feat, joining current owner Mario Lemieux and teammate Evgeni Malkin.
The Conn Smythe is just the latest trophy won by the 2005 first overall draft pick. Crosby took home the Hart in both 2007 and 2014, the Art Ross Trophy those same years, the Lester B. Pearson/Ted Lindsay Award in 2007, 2013 and 2014, the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2010 (as well as in January 2007, when the honor was given on a monthly basis) and the Maurice Richard Trophy in 2010.