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2024 Stanley Cup Final

If Florida Panthers Win the Cup, Bobrovsky Favored to Win MVP

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Bobrovsky
Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky makes an unbelievable stop of a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Dumba in Game 2 of the first round on April 23 in Sunrise. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

FORT LAUDERDALE — The Florida Panthers will not talk about winning the Stanley Cup, not with two wins to go. But if they do claim the most famous trophy in sports, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is the betting favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP.

Now, a player does not have to win the Stanley Cup to be awarded the Conn Smythe — but it is highly recommended.

Since the trophy was first awarded in 1965, only five members of the team which lost in the Cup Final have won.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the 2003 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim was the last.

Florida holds a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series with Game 3 in Edmonton on Thursday night.

According to Covers.com, Bobrovsky is the odds-on favorite at three sportsbooks to win the award.

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The best odds are -175 at Bet365; FanDuel and Draft Kings have Bobrovsky at -200.

Sasha Barkov, who is expected to play tonight, is tied with Edmonton star Connor McDavid for second at around -550.

Bobrovsky has been good throughout these playoffs — the Panthers have not been forced into a Game 7 yet — and especially in this Cup Final by allowing just one goal in two games.

“It’s phenomenal just to watch him work every day,’’ Kyle Okposo said. “And he makes all these saves, and he’s always in the right position it seems like during the games, and that’s not by accident. It’s because of how dialed in he is in his preparation. So, I think that’s been the funnest part for me is just watching him every day and how it’s translating to the games.’’

Florida’s team defense has been impeccable throughout the playoffs with Bobrovsky facing an average of 25 shots per game.

In Game 1 against the Oilers, he stared down 32 shots in a 3-0 win — his second shutout of the postseason.

If Florida does win the Cup, much of the credit is going to go to the goaltending of the Panthers.

Hello, Bob.

“He’s been unreal for sure,’’ Eetu Luostarinen said. “The whole postseason and regular season, too. Just confident, peaceful, calm back there. So it’s a really good thing. I think we just have to play hard and take some pressure off him too.”

Florida’s ability to shut down the opposition has meant he has not had to carry the load for his team as much this postseason as he did last year.

But there is little doubt he is a huge reason why they are here.

His biggest save of the playoffs came early on, his stop of Matt Dumba of the Lightning in Game 2 of the first round nicknamed the ‘Bobbbery.’

It is a save which is still shown in highlights or promos still today.

His teammates were left in awe afterward.

“That was unbelievable,’’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson said then. “We know that he can make those saves, but that was something else.”

Added Aaron Ekblad: “My vantage point was on the bench in shock. It was incredible. You love to see it.”

For More FHN Coverage of the Florida Panthers:

2024 STANLEY CUP FINAL
EDMONTON OILERS VS. FLORIDA PANTHERS 
GAME 3
Panthers Lead Best of 7 Series 2-0
  • When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Rogers Place; Edmonton, Alberta
  • National TV: ABC
  • Streaming: ESPN+/Hulu
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Series Schedule, All Games 8 p.m. on ABC — Game 1: @Florida 3, Edmonton 0; Game 2: @Florida 4, Edmonton 1; Game 3: Florida at Edmonton, Thursday; Game 4:Florida at Edmonton, Saturday June 15; Game 5*: Edmonton at Florida, Tuesday June 18; Game 6*:Florida at Edmonton, Friday June 21; Game 7*: Edmonton at Florida, Monday June 24. (*) – If Necessary
  • How They Got Here — Florida: d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2, New York Rangers 4-2; Edmonton: d. Los Angeles 4-1, Vancouver 4-3, Dallas 4-2.
  • This Season (Florida Won 2-0) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Oilers 3 (Nov. 20). At Edmonton: Panthers 5, Oilers 2 (Dec. 17).
  • Last Season: Edmonton Won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Oilers lead 23-16-0, 3 ties
  • Postseason History: First Meeting

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