Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sidney Crosby = Hart Trophy 2010 Nominee!
and: Did Ovechkin Deserve to be Nominated?

It's official! Siddo's a candidate for this season's Most Valuable Player!!!

I say this as unbiasedly as I possibly can: I simply do not understand why Alexander Ovechkin is a candidate. To answer this question, we first need to define the criteria for winning the award. The NHL gives the Hart Memorial Trophy to the "player adjudged most valuable to his team". (Note - votes are due the day the playoffs begin, so the post-season has nothing to do with the nominations and votes.) Okay, I can see two of the three nominees fitting the profile:
  • Siddo earned his nomination for scoring the most goals this season. With a final tally of 51 goals, he bested his previous NHL high total by 12 goals.

  • Congratulations, Kid. You've earned it. :)

  • Henrik Sedin received his first MVP nomination by scoring the most points this season. His points total (112) gives him Vancouver's team record for most total points in a season.
I think this is the right one... ;)

But someone needs to explain what it is exactly that the Professional Hockey Writers' Association thought A-hOle™ deserved a nomination. He came in second (tied with Siddo) and third in points and goal totals respectively, but more importantly, the Caps did just fine without him when he was out for 10 games with an injury and two suspensions. That doesn't exactly make the case for his being the most important player to his team this season.

Well, I think we all KNOW he's not getting nominated for the Conn Smythe. :P

Who should have been nominated in A-hOle™'s place? The one man whom I cannot fathom missing a nod in this category this season: Ryan Miller, goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres. His 0.929 save percentage this season came in second to Tuukka Rask's 0.931. (For comparison, if you think Flower is good, he only had a 0.905 and came in 35 of 47.) Miller was the only reason Buffalo won the division. I'd go so far to say that without him, they would've been last in the Eastern Conference. I had him pegged to take the Hart home a while ago, so imagine my surprise that he didn't even get nominated!

Good ... but not good enough?

One problem is that the MVP award tends to go only to forwards. Defenders and goaltenders contribute just as much to their teams yet they are not often nominated and rarely win. Since 1923, only 12 defenders and 7 goaltenders have taken home the Hart. Maybe it's time to reword the criteria for winning the Hart Trophy to give it to "the forward adjudged most valuable to his team". The other problem is, when it comes right down to it, it's a popularity contest, and this year, Ryan Miller didn't get asked to the dance. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this - leave your comments in The Friends' Zone.

Tomorrow. Round 2 begins. The Stanley Cup is our target. The Canadiens are standing in the way. It's time to take out the Habs.

GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh! I do NOT want you to miss this: Tracee Hamilton of the Washington Post asks, "Can you be the best hockey player in the world if your team underachieves to such a degree?" in Capitals Undone by Ovechkin’s Failing on

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