If he continues his excellence in the Stanley Cup Finals, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy could become the fourth hockey player in history to win the Conn-Smythe Trophy two years in a row.
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The Russian has been posting some fine stats since the start of the qualifiers and is one of the main reasons his side are aspiring to clinch a third championship in a row. With 12 wins in 17 decisions, a 2.27 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage, he's in contention for the playoff MVP award, even if his numbers don't are not as bright as those of spring 2021. At that time, he had maintained an average below 2.00, all accompanied by a rate of .937 and five shutouts.
If Vasilevskiy pockets the award, he will join Sidney Crosby (2016 and 2017), Mario Lemieux (1991 and 1992) and Bernard Parent (1974 and 1975) in the group of players who have obtained the Conn-Smythe twice in a row. Parent is the trio's lone goaltender and the only non-Pittsburgh Penguins player to have accomplished the feat with the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Tampa Bay color holder had the last laugh last year after the victory at the expense of the Montreal Canadiens, but in 2020, when his team defeated the Dallas Stars, it was defender Victor Hedman who had ended up with the title of “MVP”.
The Lightning will visit the Colorado Avalanche to open the fourth round on Wednesday in Denver. The duel will be broadcast on the TVA Sports channel.