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Phil Kessel likely only cares about the Stanley Cup trophy his team won, but many folks were outraged when he was snubbed for the Conn Smythe.

Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy — an award doled out to the person adjudged to be the MVP for their team during the playoffs — for the first time in his career.

The Penguins captain won the Cup for the second time in his career, helping to lead Pittsburgh to its fourth championship and first since 2009.

It seemed as though Kessel was largely snubbed for the award, especially since he led the Penguins and placed fourth in the NHL with 10 goals and 22 points in the postseason. He also had 12 assists, placing him third on Pittsburgh and was knotted for the league lead with 11 power play points.

Crosby, meanwhile, netted just six markers, while ranking second on the club with 13 assists for a total of 19 points. Kessel rated a plus-5 throughout the playoffs, while Crosby registered as a minus-2.

As it turns out, the voting was extremely close and Kessel almost wasn’t snubbed.

Eighteen members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association casted their votes for first, second and third-place nominees for the Conn Smythe.

Crosby had nine first-place votes, compared to Kessel’s seven, five second-place votes, compared to Kessel’s eight and three for third-place, compared to Kessel’s one, giving the Penguins’ captain 63 points, just three more than his teammate (60), according to TSN.

Each player gets five points for first-place, three for second and one for third.

Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang (18 points) was the third-highest vote-getter, while Sharks goalie Martin Jones, Penguins netminder Matt Murray and San Jose forward Logan Couture each netted seven points, but no first-place votes.

Crosby was instrumental in the Stanley Cup Final, setting up the game-winning overtime goal in Game 2 with his face-off win and notching two assists in the series-clinching Game 6. Though he didn’t score in the Final, he had four helpers, while Kessel had one tally and three helpers.

Either way, both superstars are likely just happy that their magical run ended in Stanley Cup glory.

Crosby vs. Kessel at a glance


   Phil Kessel

   Sidney Crosby

   Playoff Overall Numbers

   10 G, 12 A, 22 P

   6 G, 13 A, 19 P

   Playoff Plus-Minus



   Stanley Cup Final Numbers

   1 G, 3 A, 4 P

   0 G, 4 A, 4 P

   Power Play Goals



   Power Play Points



   Game-winning Goals



Which player was more deserving of the Conn Smythe Trophy in the 2016 playoffs?

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