Oscar Lindberg Wins SEL Playoff MVP Award

Harry How

New York Rangers prospect Oscar Lindberg wrapped up his Swedish Elite League season in style on Thursday night, winning the Stefan Liv Memorial Trophy as MVP of the playoffs.

Lindberg's Skelleftea swept aside Lulea 4-0 to capture their first post-season title in 35 years. After back-to-back final defeats in 2011 and 2012, the relief was palpable.

Lindberg said: "Relief, happiness. I feel proud that I get to do this with the players I have played with all season. I've grown as a player all the time, and I'm not really surprised that we have come in here and done well."

Skelleftea, winners of the regular-season title, dominated throughout the playoffs. They dispatched reigning champions Brynas 4-0 and then beat Linkoping, conquerors of Jesper Fasth's HV71 side, 4-1 in the semi-finals. Lindberg's two overtime goals proved crucial in that series.

Lulea's physical play was expected to give fans an intriguing clash of styles in the final, but in truth they had no answer for Skelleftea's speed, skill and scoring depth.

Lindberg, 4-8-12 in 13 games, finished joint top of playoff scoring and his +13 rating placed him second among all skaters in plus/minus. His face-off wins (60% for the post-season) and PK play were big contributors too. There were probably a couple of other names in the MVP debate - Viktor Arvidsson and Joacim Eriksson perhaps - but Lindberg is certainly a deserving winner.

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