The Battle for the Hart Trophy
As we always see before a new season kicks off, a host of star players were hailed as potential Hart trophy winners by bloggers, pundits and mainstream media veterans – I even had my own little punt on who I thought might be in the Hart talk come seasons end.
By the half way mark, there was a clear leader – Sidney Crosby. He was a lock for the Hart after 24 games of this shortened season.
Crosby is still among the favourites to lift the trophy awarded to the player judged to be ‘most valuable to his team’. But a broken jaw has sidelined the Penguins captain, probably for the remainder of the regular season, blowing the Hart Trophy race WIDE open.
Now firmly in to the home stretch now (only Boston and Calgary has more than 9 games left to play), 4 points separate 6th and 10th in the East, whilst 4 points separate 8th and 12th in the West. Things are incredibly close, and a number of players have helped shape their teams season.
I think Crosby’s case to pick up his second Hart Trophy is clear enough; but here’s a few other candidates to lift the award
The Islanders forward may be the quietest superstar in the league, but has 24 goals putting him third amongst the league leaders. He also has 42 points and has been inspirational in the Islanders unexpected push for the play-offs. Currently 7th, if the Isles make the cut Tavares is a lock for a nomination in my eyes.
12 months ago a third Hart Trophy seemed unlikely for the Capitals mega star. Hell, 12 weeks ago it seemed unlikely!
Ovechkin has 7 points in his past 3 games, a league leading 26 goals (tied with Steven Stamkos) and has led the Capitals to the summit of the South East Division and a potential play-off berth. Given the turn around the Caps have made, that’s a pretty Hart worthy effort
20 goals and 46 points simply provide a statistical bullet point for the Blackhawks forward best season since breaking in to the league. Obviously living with his mum during the lockout paid off…
Like Tavares, and maybe Ovechkin, Bobrovsky’s candidacy hinges on his club making the play-offs. It is basically a given, your team HAS to be there.
IF Columbus did seal their second ever play-off appearance, the Russian puck stopper has to at least be considered for the Hart, and may have the Vezina locked up already.
Honorable Mention – Steven Stamkos
Stamkos could earn his third Rocket Richard Trophy in four seasons and is arguably the only guy who can overtake Sidney Crosby to lift the Art Ross – but with Tampa 6 points shy of 8th and 8 points behind Division leaders Washington, Stamkos case is derailed by that most sacred of unwritten rules when it comes to the Hart, the aforementioned post season appearance.
Posted on April 10, 2013, in Hockey, NHL and tagged Alexander Ovechkin, Hart Trophy, John Tavares, Patrick Kane, Sergei Bobrovsky, Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.