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When it comes to the world of hockey, there is no denying that the game has changed. With the introduction of new analytics and technology, teams are now able to measure player performance more precisely. This means that evaluating goaltenders can be a complicated task.

Sergei Bobrovsky of the Florida Panthers has been a shining example of this advanced analytics movement. During the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Bobrovsky made saves above the expected number, outscoring opponents 14-5 in the process. It can be easy to assume that Bobrovsky was solely responsible for the impressive results, but a closer look at the data tells a different story.

Analysts have determined that Bobrovsky’s save percentage of 57 percent was actually slightly below the expected goals for the two series he played in. However, he only allowed 2.33 expected goals against per 60 minutes, and 1.1 actual goals against during those two series – both of which are impressive numbers. Additionally, his active stick work and control of rebounds were often cited as key factors in his success.

Bobrovsky’s performance has certainly been impressive, but so has Carter Verhaeghe, who finished the playoffs with six goals in five games. He also earned an assist in three games and had four takeaways in the series against Tampa Bay. Though his impact on the team was less obvious than Bobrovsky’s, Verhaeghe’s contribution was also essential to the Panthers’ success.

Given the Panthers’ success in the playoffs, it is likely that either Bobrovsky or teammate Tkachuk will receive the Conn Smythe trophy. Verhaeghe may not be in the conversation for the award, but his presence and contributions should not be overlooked. He has been one of the Panthers’ most consistent players throughout the season, and his efforts were essential in helping the team reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Sergei Bobrovsky and Carter Verhaeghe have both helped the Florida Panthers achieve great success this season. Though Bobrovsky’s contributions may have been more obvious, Verhaeghe’s performance in the playoffs cannot be understated. If the Panthers win the Stanley Cup, it is likely that one of these two players will be named the Conn Smythe winner. Whomever it is, they will have earned it.