Sidney Crosby has had the Hart Trophy on lockdown for nearly the entire NHL season. His 56 points in 36 games lead the NHL, and the Penguins’ middling results without him underscore this importance.
But look who’s entered the fray late in the game: His old rival Alex Ovechkin, who has led the Washington Capitals back to the Southeast Division lead and is on fire lately, with 21 points in his last 12 games.
Can Ovechkin’s late rally and Crosby’s injury combine to give the Hart to the Capitals captain for the third time?
Coming up, the leaders for the major NHL awards …
A note on the voting: All four panelists ranked the top five for each award, and point values were assigned to each player. Ties were broken by how high a player was ranked on the majority of ballots.
1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (24)
2. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (19)
3. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (12)
4. John Tavares, New York Islanders (6)
5. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks (6)
Absence makes the Hart grow fonder of Sidney Crosby, as the Penguins struggle without their MVP in the lineup. Ovechkin roared into the Hart race with a tremendous points binge. Just outside of the top five were Jonathan Toews, Steven Stamkos and Nazem Kadri.
1. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild (22)
2. P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens (21)
3. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins (10)
4. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Phoenix Coyotes (8)
5. Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues (5)
Subban’s outstanding season for the Habs has him neck and neck with workhorse Suter for the Norris. Letang’s point total can’t be ignored, while Ekman-Larsson continues to be the dark horse in the race. Pietrangelo barely edged Francois Beauchemin for the No. 5 spot.
Rask has created some distance in the Vezina race with his 1.95 GAA and 17 wins. The Bob has the Jackets still on the playoff bubble. Backstrom is one to watch as the Wild continue to thrive. Corey Crawford, Ray Emery, Cory Schneider and Henrik Lundqvist were also in the mix.
1. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers (24)
2. Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Canadiens (18)
3. Brandon Saad, Chicago Blackhawks (10)
4. Cory Conacher, Ottawa Senators (10)
5. Jonas Brodin, Minnesota Wild (8)
The NHL rookie goal scoring leader continues to lead the Calder pack, but the more well-rounded Gallagher and Saad are making a late push. Guess the panel thought Conacher’s move to the Senators impacted his Calder chances in a negative sense.
Jack Adams Award
1. Michel Therrien, Montreal Canadiens (21)
2. Joel Quenneville, Chicago Blackhawks (19)
3. Bruce Boudreau, Anaheim Ducks (13)
4. Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators (8)
5. Mike Yeo, Minnesota Wild (5)
Therrien hops to the top of the Adams race as his Canadiens continue to lead the Northeast. What else does Joel Quenneville have to do to win this thing? Also receiving some love were Todd Richards, Dan Bylsma and Randy Carlyle.
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