By Mike Stackhouse
The St. Louis Blues have a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup final tonight as they lead their Western Conference series with San Jose 3-games-to-2.
Wilcox native and former Notre Dame Hound Jaden Schwartz has been a driving force for the Blues to this point in the playoffs and he could be the team favorite for the Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP) at this juncture.
Schwartz led the Blues with a hat trick in game five’s 5-0 decision over the Sharks and he has a team high 12 goals, which puts him two behind Logan Couture (Sharks) for the league lead. Schwartz’s 16 points are just four behind Couture and two back of Brad Marchand for the league lead in that category as well. Schwartz is a +6, which is tops on the Blues in the postseason.
While his entire body of work in the playoffs has been impressive, perhaps his best came in the first round when he scored a late goal in game five to beat the Winnipeg Jets and then he added three more in the series clinching game six, 3-2 win.
Should Schwartz continue his stellar play, he’d be the second former SJHL player to win the playoff MVP nod in the last fifteen years. Brad Richards took the honor in 2004 when the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup.