Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2011 Hart Trophy Finalists

This is the last award I usually look at, which would have some merit with points in the year, since in the hockey pool, the most points wins and you want the best players to do that. Remarkably, the top three scorers in the league are the Hart Trophy finalists, so maybe there is some merit here.  Now, I wonder how many of the voting members took into consideration that the Hart Trophy is voted as the most valuable player to his team... hmmm!

Leading the NHL in scoring is a wonderful achievement, highlighted by the Art Ross Trophy, but Daniel Sedin also finds himself in the running for the Hart Trophy after a season with 104 points in all 82 games with the Canucks.  Daniel had a very consistent regular season, which helped accumulate all the points he did and help the Canucks to the best record as well.  The best player helping the best team is a mighty fine argument.

Speaking to the consistency argument, there was plenty of it in Martin St. Louis' game in 2011, which got him to the runner-up position in the Art Ross race.  St. Louis was helping a teammate in the Rocket Richard race all season long, but when said teammate fell off in the race, St. Louis was still putting up points to help his Lightning team make a dent in the Eastern Conference standings.  I think in a lot of cases, St. Louis has a good shot at the Hart on Wednesday night.

We can't have the Art Ross winner without the Rocket Richard winner, can we?  As the only 50-goal scorer in the NHL in 2011, Corey Perry did his part to help the Ducks rocket into the Western Conference playoff picture with one hell of a second half.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure an excellent second half of the season will get him a lot of 1st place votes, but it certainly earned him enough good votes to make it in as a finalist.

The argument running in my head is a dead heat between Sedin and St. Louis and if I was to vote based on the premise of most valuable to his team, I would give the award to St. Louis.  I think he was way more valuable to the Lightning's wins than Sedin was to the Canucks' victories, but prognosticating who would win based on the voters, I would say Sedin likely has the edge of 1st place votes, which should put him over the top.

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