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Connor McDavid Conn Smythe Award Playoff MVPs losing teams

Connor McDavid is on the verge of NHL greatness, chasing a Stanley Cup and possibly a Conn Smythe Trophy. His legend grows.

In the illustrious history of the NHL, only one skater has managed to win the coveted Conn Smythe Trophy after falling short in the Stanley Cup Final. This remarkable achievement requires a truly exceptional effort, but then again, not every skater is Connor McDavid.

McDavid, the captain of the Oilers, is widely regarded as the best player in the game today and is well on his way to solidifying his status as a legend of the sport. While he may not have a Conn Smythe Trophy to his name just yet, it seems like just a matter of time before he adds that to his already impressive resume.

One thing that still eludes McDavid is a Stanley Cup championship. However, the prospect of him winning a championship feels more like a question of when rather than if. The opportunity presents itself in 2024, but he faces the daunting task of completing a 3-0 comeback against the Panthers, a feat that has only been accomplished four times in NHL playoff history, with the last instance occurring in the Stanley Cup Final in 1942.

Even if McDavid falls short of this monumental task, there is still a possibility that he could win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP. He is currently putting together a postseason performance for the ages and could potentially break Wayne Gretzky's record for most playoff points in a single postseason.

Only five NHL players have ever won the Conn Smythe Trophy despite being on the losing side, with the most recent occurrence happening over 20 years ago. The last time a player from the losing team was awarded the playoff MVP in the Stanley Cup Final was in 2003 when Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere received the honor after the Ducks were defeated by the Devils in seven games. Giguere put up impressive numbers with a 1.62 GAA and a .945 save percentage, including five shutouts during the 2023 playoffs.

The last skater from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe Trophy was Reggie Leach in 1976 as a member of the Flyers. Despite the Flyers falling to the Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final, Leach's outstanding performance, leading the league in goals and points, earned him the prestigious award.

The Conn Smythe Trophy has been a symbol of excellence in the NHL playoffs since 1965, with the exception of the 2005 season when the trophy was not awarded due to the NHL lockout.

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