Friday, April 30, 2010

Hart Trophy Candidates Named

Yesterday, the NHL released the candidates of this season's league MVP in the running for the Hart Trophy.  Among them is none other than Sidney Crosby whom, I believe, is quite deserving of it each year, but especially so this year!!!

The other two candidates are Alex Ovechkin (of course) and Henrik Sedin. 

The winner is selected by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association in the 30 NHL cities and awarded "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team" and will be announced at this year's NHL Awards on June 23rd in Las Vegas at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel with the ceremony being broadcast LIVE on VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.

The votes are taken prior to the beginning of playoffs, but I really think that round 1 perfectly illustrates the reason why Crosby deserves it over Ovechkin (and why I will ALWAYS BELIEVE that Crosby is better than Ovechkin ... that's another post for another time) ... his teammates have tons more reasons as well (READ THE ARTICLE)!!

"It didn't matter who we were playing, he was there for us. He scored those crucial goals for us and he does everything that a captain should do to lead a team." -- Sergei Gonchar (on Sidney Crosby).
SIDNEY CROSBY - PITTSBURGH PENGUINSCrosby the playmaker became Crosby the shooter in his fifth NHL season, taking a career-high 298 shots (fifth-most in the League) and scoring a career-best 51 goals, one of the few statistical highlights he had yet to achieve. Crosby earned a share of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the League's goal-scoring leader, splitting the honor with Steven Stamkos of Tampa Bay.

Crosby led the Penguins and finished second in the NHL scoring race with 109 points, the fourth time in his five seasons he's hit the 100-point mark.

The litany of Crosby achievements in 2009-10 is impressive:

* In the second game of the season, Oct. 3, he became the sixth-fastest player in NHL history to reach 400 career points, reaching the mark with an assist against the Islanders in his 292nd game.

* On April 8, he earned his 500th career point, becoming the third-youngest player to reach the mark at 22 years, 244 days (Wayne Gretzky, 21 years, 52 days; Mario Lemieux, 22, years, 172 days).

* Crosby led the NHL with three hat tricks, becoming the first Penguin to accomplish the feat since Alexei Kovalev in 2001-02.

* He tied a single-game career high with 6 points (1 goal, 5 assists) Jan. 19 against the Islanders, and he recorded a season-long nine-game point streak from Feb. 12-March 14, posting 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists) during the span.

* Crosby led the League with 8 shootout goals and an 80-percent success rate

It wasn't all about scoring with Crosby. He ranked 11th in the League with a 55.9-percent faceoff winning percentage and led the NHL with 1,001 faceoff wins, 137 more than second-place Mikko Koivu of Minnesota (864).

This is Crosby's second Hart nomination, and he won the honor in 2006-07. Other Penguins to capture the Hart are Jaromir Jagr (1998-99) and Mario Lemieux (1987-88, 1992-93, 1995-96). Evgeni Malkin placed second in voting for the trophy in 2007-08.

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