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Who’s got the Hart?

Each year, the Professional Hockey Writers Association, come together to vote for who deserves the Hart Memorial Trophy. The Hart is awarded to the player who proves to be “most-valuable” to his team. Here at CWGAP, we chose a player from each team in the NHL, then narrowed it down to 5 players whom we feel are most deserving of this years 2010 Hart Memorial Trophy. In no particular order:

Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)- Crosby has won this award before, and for good reason. What hasn’t this 22 year old super star accomplished? This year alone, he leads the NHL in goals at 47, and is very close to approaching his 4th 100+ point season.  He strives under pressure. There has been more than one occasion this year where the Penguins have been down but have come back in large part to Crosby. If a game goes to a shoot-out, he’s scored 8 times out of his 10 attempts and let’s not forget who scored that game winning goal in OT for Team Canada. This year Crosby said he wanted to work on scoring more goals, but that doesn’t mean he has stopped setting his teammates up. He does whatever it takes to win. When his team loses you can see and hear just how not okay it is with him.

Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)- Ovechkin has helped lead his Washington Capitals to the top of the Eastern Conference this year. He is also in the running to score the most goals in the league and is tied for second with the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos. He has already reached the 100+ point mark, for the 3rd consecutive time and 4th time in his career. He also leads the league in plus- at 43. He has an intense playing style. He skates hard, plays hard and doesn’t care what happens in the process. Ovechkin has won the Hart trophy the last two seasons in a row, making him the one to beat.

Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)- Stamkos has done wonders for a guy who plays for a team like Tampa. A team that sits about 3 spots from the bottom of the Eastern Conference. He is right on Crosby and Ovechkin’s tails for the Rocket with 46 goals (tied with Ovechkin for 2nd). The 20 year old forward is also in the race to be one of the youngest players to ever score 50 goals. With not much help from his team, he is making things happen and playing up at the same level as Crosby and Ovechkin. Critics say that it will most likely be a toss up between those two, but Stamkos can sure give them a run for their money.

Henrik Sedin (Vancouver Canucks)- All I have to say is one thing. 104 points. He is the league leader, and not because he scores a large amount of goals, but because he has 75 assists this season. 75! What does that tell us? He is a team player, and many would argue that he only produces when his twin is right there beside him, but Daniel Sedin missed 18 games this season where Henrik scored 10 goals and added an additional 8 assists. The definition of the Hart Trophy is, “player adjudged most valuable to his team” and Henrik does that. He makes those who surround him better, makes the “team” better and a lot of that is lost when you judge that he can’t do much on his own. Help from Daniel or not, Henrik deserves to be a contender for that aspect.

Ilya Bryzgalov (Phoenix Coyotes)- It’s not very often you hear a goaltenders name associated with the Hart. In fact, there have only been 6 in the history of the award. Bryzgalov however, deserves to be in the running with the above mentioned candidates for the same reasons he could win the Vezina, of even the Lester B. Pearson award. He has been the backbone for a team that was not expected to do much, a team that couldn’t fill their seats prior to the season. He leads the league in shut outs, and has helped the Coyotes be the surprise favorite in the Western Conference beating out such teams as the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins, including a 7n game win streak in the month of March.


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