NHL Blog Beat – May 6, 2012.

A look at the Kings’ performance to date, early Conn Smythe trophy candidates, looking at potentially available players who would be a good fit with the Hurricanes, a look at Ryan Kesler’s performance this season, commemorating Martin Brodeur’s 40th birthday, and questioning Rick DiPietro’s future with the Islanders.

Are the Kings on a fast track to the Cup Final?

BACKHAND SHELF: Cam Charron wonders if anybody can beat the LA Kings this spring. Yes, but it’s apparent it won’t be easy, as the Kings could be on track for this year’s Stanley Cup Final.

PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski with a lengthy list of front-runners and contenders for this year’s Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP.

CANES COUNTRY: A look at five scenarios which could have the biggest impact upon the Carolina Hurricanes next season. Signing either Zach Parise or Ryan Suter, or trading for Jordan Staal, are among the scenarios.

NUCKS MISCONDUCT: Today’s “Canucks Player Autopsy”: Ryan Kesler.

TOO MANY MEN ON THE SITE: On Martin Brodeur’s 40th birthday, a look back at his significant achievements in the NHL.

THE CHECKING LINE: Rob McGowan wonders if the Islanders have seen the last of Rick DiPietro.