Alex Ovechkin is a Hart Finalist

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Screengrab by NHL Beardsoffs

In a surprise to absolutely no one, unless you were to time-travel back to February– in case it would be a surprise to everyone, Alex Ovechkin has been named a finalist for the Hart Trophy, awarded each year to the player deemed most valuable to his team by a bunch of snooty professional hockey writers with their cocky strides and musky odors.

Ovechkin scored a league-high 32 goals in 2013 and added another 24 assists. His shot total (4.6 shots a game) was a bounce back from recent years. Plus he got to grow facial hair again.

The two other finalists are NYI’s John Tavares and Sidney Crosby.

The Hart Trophy winner will be announced in Las Vegas this summer.

Your press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / MAY 10, 2013
OVECHKIN, CROSBY AND TAVARES NAMED HART TROPHY FINALISTS
NEW YORK (May 10, 2013) – Center Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, right wing Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and center John Tavares of the New York Islanders are the three finalists for the
2012-13 Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team,” the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Hart Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced during the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, with more detail on format to be released at a later date.

Following are the finalists for the Hart Trophy, in alphabetical
order:

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Although he missed the final 12 games of the regular season due to injury, Crosby still finished fourth in the League with 56 points and second with 41 assists to help the Penguins claim the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. He collected points in 28 of the 36 games he played in (77.8%), including 17 multi-point efforts, and recorded three point streaks of six games or more, including an eight-game stretch Feb. 24-March 10 (5-15—20). Crosby also finished fourth in the NHL with a +26 rating and posted his second career five-assist game March 10 vs. NY Islanders, becoming the only active NHLer with more than one such game in his career.
The 25-year-old Cole Harbour, N.S., native previously won the Hart Trophy in 2006-07 and also was a finalist for the award in 2009-10.

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Ovechkin tallied 32 goals in 48 games, including 23 in his final 23 contests, to become the first three-time winner of the Maurice “Rocket”
Richard Trophy as the NHL’s goal-scoring leader. He also finished third in the League in points (56), first in power-play goals (16), first in power-play points (27) and first in shots on goal (220), leading the Capitals to an 11-1-1 record in April and their fifth Southeast Division title in the last six years. Ovechkin recorded points in nine straight games March 17-April 2 (10-5—15), including a five-game goal streak March 17-24, and tallied his 30th goal of the year April 20, becoming the ninth player in League history to score 30 or more goals in each of his first eight seasons. The 27-year-old Moscow native is a two-time Hart Trophy winner (2007-08, 2008-09) and also was a finalist for the award in 2009-10.

John Tavares, New York Islanders

Tavares ranked third in the League with 28 goals and led the Islanders with 47 points in 48 games to propel the team to its first postseason berth since 2006-07. He scored 15 of his goals on the road (third in the NHL), helping the Islanders record their best road winning percentage in franchise history (.667). Tavares also ranked in the top 10 in the League in even-strength goals (19), power-play goals (nine) and game-winning goals (five). He scored in five straight games Feb. 7-16, including his fourth career hat trick Feb. 16 vs. New Jersey, and posted 13 multi-point games. The 22-year-old Mississauga, Ont., native is a first-time finalist for the Hart Trophy.

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  • OlietheGoalie

    Is there any argument for Ovie NOT getting it? Sure Sid is good, but his team is fine without him. All Caps fans know that if Ovie is doing bad, so are the Caps.

    He’s the most valuable. Give it to him.

    Also screw the Islanders. If they beat Pitt then I’ll vote for Tavares until the day he dies. But that ain’t happening.

  • J.D.

    Can someone explain to me how a guy who missed an entire quarter of the season can be even in the running as someone considered “most valuable to their team this season”?? This whole “grooming Crosby to be the face of the NHL” thing is getting a little bit ridiculous. I would’ve gone with Ovechkin, Tavares, and Toews honestly, but that’s just when I base it on people being present enough in the season to even be considered an MVP. Am I the only one who found this odd?

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Sure, there are arguments against Ovi getting it.

    Ovi did not drive play– he needed Nick Backstrom’s possession to produce. Ovi struggled in the first half of the season.

    Tavares was good throughout and lifted a middling team to really high status. Crosby was having an amazing year until he got hurt.

    All three are amazing players, and all three have an argument to win it. I think Ovi has the best argument based on the “valuable to his team” part, but that’s just me.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Players have won Hart with less than 75% of the season played before. I think Lemieux won it with just like 70% in the 90s.

    Crosby, when he was healthy, was the most outstanding player in the league this year. That’s pretty obvious. Whether that qualifies him for Hart is something everybody gets to decide for themselves.

  • OlietheGoalie

    I’ll give you Tavares, but not Crosby. He’s not the most valuable. He’s a great player on an already great team. Like stated before, the Pens do fine without him. Heck, some people were saying he was the cause of their two losses to NYI in the first round.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    You don’t have to convince me– I wrote two long articles about this a few weeks ago!

    http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2013/04/22/ovi-for-hart-part-ii-because-the-capitals-needed-him/

    Just stating what arguments are out there.

  • yv

    It is strange how NHL trophies presentation differs from other orgs, who usually announcing finalist and then people voting. In NHL you reaching finals the results of which have already been determined, sounds a little unsportsmanlike.
    Hopefully, Ovi will, at-least, split trophies, with Crosby or Bob and will get one.