Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/15/13 at 08:23 PM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Has the time come for the NHL to change the way it defines the Hart Trophy? Currently, the award – voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association – goes to the player adjudged “to be the most valuable to his team.”
This, annually, trips up voters, and it did again this year, when Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals won his second MVP award over Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Presumably, Crosby lost out to Ovechkin for two reasons. First, he missed the final month of the season because of a broken jaw and thus played just 36 games; and two, his team didn’t collapse under the weight of his absence and still managed to finish first overall in the Eastern Conference.
How else to explain why the vote went the way it did? Ovechkin had the same number of points as Crosby – 56 – but had 12 extra games to get to that number. In fact, despite his lengthy absence, Crosby held the scoring lead until five days remained in the regular season when the eventual scoring champion, Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning, passed him. Crosby finished in a tie for third with Ovechkin, one point behind Tampa’s Steve Stamkos. Neither Stamkos nor St. Louis were factors in the Hart balloting because their team wasn’t a playoff contender and both were roughly equal in terms of their contributions to the team’s success, what little there was of it.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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