It's the best time of year!
Posted by Ryan Porth Labels: Top 5
During this two-week break from the NHL, we’ve broken down the major awards that will be given out in June. Today, we finish off with the Hart…
1. Alex Ovechkin, WSH
During Washington’s 14-game win streak, Ovechkin rose to the top of this race – if he wasn’t here already! ‘Ovie’ continues to dazzle as he’s currently on track for a third consecutive Hart Trophy. During that win streak, he racked up 30 points and had 5 games with 3 points or more. That’s not even fair! A bad month of November (due to injury) seemed to slow him a bit in his hunt for MVP. That’s all in the rear-view mirror now as the game’s most exciting player leads the Capitals to what should be the top seed in the East.
2. Ryan Miller, BUF
Miller has been terrific for the Sabres all season long, pushing himself towards the ‘elite’ level among NHL goaltenders. It’s safe to say his offensive support isn’t there on a consistent basis. He’s had to stand on his head in a good handful of games just to give the Sabres a chance to win that night. He sits in the top five in goals against, save percentage, and shutouts. Some people believe goalies should only be considered for the Vezina, but there’s no way you can keep him out of this discussion. Buffalo may not be in the playoffs without him.
3. Sidney Crosby, PIT
Crosby has added something to his repertoire that we’ve been waiting for: goal scoring. Really, he started scoring goals on a more-frequent basis last year in the playoffs. Coming into the season, his previous high was 39 in his rookie campaign. But we all knew he was capable of more. He is tied with Ovechkin for the league lead (42) and should easily top 50; heck, 60 isn’t out of the question! With Malkin having the quietest 65-point season you could imagine, Crosby has stepped to the fore-front and delivered for the defending champs.
4. Henrik Sedin, VAN
There was a point in January when you could have made an argument that Henrik was the favorite for this award. He tallied a combined 50 points in December and January, and recorded at least a point in 25 of those 28 games. But Vancouver’s road trip has put his success to a halt, along with a suspected back injury as well. When brother Daniel and goaltender Roberto Luongo were either injured or off their game, Henrik carried the Canucks back into the division hunt.
5. Anze Kopitar, LA
You can’t talk about the Kings’ success this season without mentioning the NHL’s lone Slovenian! Kopitar has raised his game to another level, and is a reason why L.A. is battling for home-ice in the first round. Putting up 64 points at this point is saying something for him, considering he’s been without line-mates Justin Williams and Ryan Smyth for separate considerable amounts of time. I don’t think he’ll end up winning it, and may not end up in the final three; but Kopitar can’t be forgotten when talking about the Hart.
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