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Simmons: Ovechkin is half-Hart-ed

Many of the voters who determined the winners of the vast majority of the NHL's individual awards for the 2013 season--the Professional Hockey Writers' Association--readily admitted that their decisions were made much more difficult by the fact that a 48-game season is more of a "sprint" than an 82-game marathon (yielding players on "streaks" meriting recognition), as well as the fact that half of 'em didn't see 15 teams play on anything but television thanks to no inter-conference play...

But the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons believes that the Hart Trophy voters got their pick wrong (ditto for PK Subban!):

Somehow this is almost perfect: Alexander Ovechkin, who played well for half a season, has won the Hart Trophy in what essentially was little more than half a National Hockey League season.

And maybe even more perfect, his unlikely victory was botched by the NHL, first leaked, then announced in an odd manner, on the same night as Game 2 of a Stanley Cup playoff game.

Talk about a league burying the lede?

Ovechkin got hot in the second half of a 48-game season, carried the Washington Capitals to the playoffs in the weakest division in hockey and is rewarded with the sport’s greatest individual trophy.
It’s not a terrible decision by the voters, just not a great one. It was a challenging year to vote for the Hart. Sidney Crosby was the best player in the league, but he only played 36 games and tied with Ovechkin in points scored. Crosby missed the final 12 games. At the time of the injury, Crosby was 19 points ahead of Ovechkin.

You could have voted for John Tavares or Jonathan Toews ahead of Ovechkin — and I did — because their seasons were more complete, more full shortened seasons and played against tougher opponents.

This is Ovechkin’s third Hart Trophy, the first after he was written off, and probably the least deserved of the three.

He continues and talks about Subban's Norris Trophy and the Phoenix Coyotes' situation.

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Comments

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Yeah. Well said Simmons. This is a total farce.

And I want to add that OV only had 19 points in 21 games against playoff teams. Crosby, meanwhile, also played 21 games against playoff teams this season, yet had 33 points. That’s 1.57 vs. 0.90 points per game. The Penguins went 19-2 and the Caps? 7-14. Well, no wonder the Caps go nowhere every year in the playoffs. OV puts up big points against weak Southeast teams like Florida, Carolina and Winnipeg. Glad this ridiculous division is history next year and the Caps are coming up to play against the Atlantic DIvision teams. Here’s a prediction to go along with that move - OV will never win the Hart again.

Also, Backstrom and Ribeiro were as crucial to the Caps’ playoff run as Ovechkin. They were setting him up on the power play for half-empty netters left and right. They were the cog on that PP while OV was just the trigger man half the time.

I think people just don’t care because it was a lockout-shortened season, but Crosby got robbed again by these morons in the so-called “Professional” Hockey Writers Association who don’t pay ANY attention to details when voting. What an embarrassment. If Tavares had won that would have been fine. Kane or Toews should have been nominated ahead of OV. It’s all part of the NHL’s attempt to bring him back into some kind of relevance.

Another great read here by Eric Duhatschek for the Globe and Mail -
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/duhatschek-ovechkins-hart-win-proves-its-time-to-redefine-meaning-of-the-award/article12587781/

Posted by LGP8771 on 06/15/13 at 11:53 PM ET

Thag's avatar

Tavares should have won.

Posted by Thag from DC on 06/16/13 at 07:50 AM ET

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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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