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Ted Lindsay Award Finalists: Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin vs. Martin St. Louis

The NHLPA on Thursday announced the finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, as center Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, right wing Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and right wing Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning are up for the award presented annually to the “Most Outstanding Player” in the NHL, as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.

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Huzzah! The Ovechkin/Crosby rivalry is reignited, if only for a shortened season!

All three players have won this award previously – Crosby and St. Louis won the Pearson, Ovechkin won both the Pearson and the Lindsay. So did Markus Naslund, which still trips us out.

Who wins the Lindsay?

Why Sidney Crosby Deserves The Lindsay

What the NHLPA says:

Sidney Crosby, of Cole Harbour, NS, Canada, appeared in 36 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2012-13 regular season, and helped lead the Penguins to first place in the Eastern Conference. He ranked tied for third in the league in points (56), second in assists (41), fourth in plus-minus (+26), and first in points per game (1.56). This marks the second year in a row that a Penguins player has been nominated after Evgeni Malkin received the 2011-12 Ted Lindsay Award. Crosby is vying for his second “Most Outstanding Player” award. He received the players’ award in 2006-07 and was also a finalist in 2009-10.

Crosby’s 1.56 points per game led all skaters, and his 1.14 assists per game was the best of his career for a season of at least 30 games played. He was without question the best offensive player in hockey during his 36 games – but is 36 games enough to win this?

Why Alex Ovechkin Deserves The Lindsay

What the NHLPA says:

Alex Ovechkin, of Moscow, Russia, appeared in all 48 games for the Washington Capitals in the 2012-13 regular season, and helped lead the Capitals to a Southeast Division title. He led the league in goals (32) to win his third “Rocket” Richard Trophy, tied for third in the league in points (56), tied for fifth in points per game (1.17) and ranked first in power play goals (16). Ovechkin is vying for his fourth “Most Outstanding Player” award. He previously received the players’ award in three consecutive seasons (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10), and he was also a finalist in 2005-06.

His 1.17 points per game were his best since 2009-10, not coincidentally the last year he won the Lindsay. Ovechkin was the League best goal scorer in the last two months of the season, and has impressive offensive numbers; will the first few months of “what’s wrong with Ovechkin” hold him back?

Why Marty St. Louis Deserves The Lindsay

What the NHLPA says:

Martin St. Louis, of Laval, QC, Canada, appeared in all 48 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2012-13 season. He led the league in points (60) to win his second career Art Ross Trophy (2003-04), ranked first in assists (43), second in points per game (1.25), and fifth in power play assists. This marks the third consecutive year that a Lightning player has been nominated, after St. Louis’ linemate Steven Stamkos was a finalist in each of the previous two seasons. St. Louis is vying for his second “Most Outstanding Player” award. He received the players’ award in 2003-04.

Stamkos takes a seat in favor of his Art Ross-winning linemate. St. Louis’s offensive numbers at age 37 are ridiculous. He wasn’t just feasting on the power play, either: 14 of his 17 goals came at even strength.

Who Should Win The Lindsay

Crosby. For an “outstanding player” award, Crosby’s 36 games don’t matter as much as they do for a “most valuable player” award.

Who Will Win The Lindsay

Crosby. It’s hard to imagine his peers not acknowledging that, were it not for the injury, we’d be talking about one of the best offensive seasons in the last 25 years in the NHL. He was that good.

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