Discussion

Final playoff player rankings

Was Justin Williams truly the most valuable postseason performer?

Updated: June 16, 2014, 4:42 PM ET
By Tom Awad | Hockey Prospectus

Editor's note: These rankings are based on player production in terms of Hockey Prospectus' goals versus threshold (GVT) valuation metric. If you are unfamiliar with GVT and how it works, you can learn more here. Total GVT may not equal sum of other GVT components shown due to rounding and other factors not included in the rankings below.

Throughout the season, Hockey Prospectus provided Player Power Rankings for the top 10 skaters and top five goalies in the NHL based on HP's proprietary value metric GVT, a statistic that combines player contributions in all aspects of the game, including offense, defense, goaltending and the shootout. With the shootout eliminated for the playoffs, that component is removed from the equation.

As we look back over the Stanley Cup finals -- which seemed closer than the 4-1 series edge for Los Angeles would indicate -- was Conn Smythe winner Justin Williams really the most valuable, or is there an argument to be made that there was a more deserving player on one of the rosters?

The following list is ranked by total GVT for the entire postseason, with the GVT that each player generated in the finals noted.


Top 10 players

1. Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers
Goal GVT: 9.4 | Def GVT: 0.0 | Total GVT: 9.4 | GVT in finals: 1.5

Lundqvist cemented his status as the best goaltender of the past decade with this playoff run, despite a defeat in the finals. He posted a solid 0.922 save percentage against the Kings, including an incredible performance in the final two games, where he stopped all but four of the 92 shots he faced.

2. Justin Williams, F, Los Angeles Kings
Off GVT: 5.2 | Def GVT: 1.1 | Total GVT: 6.3 | GVT in finals: 2.2

Williams was a deserving winner of the Conn Smythe, and was the best player on either team in the finals. He scored seven points in the five-game series, and led both teams with 19 shots.

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