Everybody loves Phil Kessel. (Well, except Toronto media; that might be debatable.) If you poll any team's fanbase - even those that are less than fond of the Pittsburgh Penguins - pretty much every single one will say they were extremely happy Kessel won.
Combine that with his team-leading 22 points through 24 playoff games, and he seemed to be a lock for the Conn Smythe. That's what everyone was waiting for...
... only to hear Sidney Crosby's name called instead.
Now, Crosby was still very deserving. It would have been extra special to see Kessel win, but it wasn't an easy decision at all. The voters were torn almost right down the middle regarding who to name the playoff MVP.
From what TSN was able to gather, Crosby had nine first place votes; Kessel had seven (and Kris Letang had two). Crosby had five second place votes; Kessel had eight. Using a 5-3-1 points system - five points for a first place vote, three for a second, one for a third - Crosby won the Conn Smythe trophy with 63 points; Kessel came in second with 60.
So while it would have been the cherry on top to see Kessel win the Conn Smythe, we know he was certainly appreciated. And he came damn close, too.