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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

NY's Leetch Wins MVP

NEW YORK -- He is a defenseman, committed to the blue line, dedicated to keeping things orderly in his own end of the ice. But Brian Leetch caused more mayhem in the offensive zone than anybody else in the Stanley Cup playoffs and that's why he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player. It was Leetch who scored the first goal Tuesday night, his 11th of the playoffs and the one that started the New York Rangers off to their 3-2 Cup clincher. And it was Leetch who seemed to be on the ice all the time. Leetch is the first American and sixth defenseman ever to win the trophy. He finished as the leading scorer in the playoffs with 11 goals, 23 assists and 34 points. He was a plus-19: the Rangers scored 19 more goals than they allowed when he was on the ice. A year ago, Leetch missed 48 games. With him, the Rangers were a solid 20-13-3. Without him, they were a sorry 14-26-8. He was essential, and on Tuesday night he proved that again.