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Crosby, Ovechkin, and Tavares are your Hart Trophy finalists

May 10, 2013, 10:15 AM EST

Alex Ovechkin AP

Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, and John Tavares are your 2013 Hart Trophy finalists, the award given for the league’s most valuable player.

Crosby, 25, missed 12 games this season thanks to a broken jaw but was only edged out as the league’s leading scorer late in the season. His 15 goals and 41 assists had him finishing fourth in the league in points. He helped lead the Penguins to the top seed in the Eastern Conference and an Atlantic Division title. He has one previous Hart Trophy to his credit for his play in the 2006-2007 season.

Ovechkin, 27, turned it on late in the season finishing the year with a league-leading 32 goals and finished third in the league in points. His play helped dig the Caps out of an early season hole that saw them near the bottom of the league. The Caps finished the year atop the Southeast Division and third in the East. He’s a two-time Hart winner taking home the award in back-to-back seasons in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.

Tavares is the new guy in the group here. At 22 years-old, it’s his first time as a finalist for league MVP and his efforts in leading the Islanders to the playoffs for the first time since 2006-2007 didn’t go unnoticed. He finished the regular season third in the league in goals with 28. His steady improvement through his career shows this might be the first of many shots at MVP.

Possible snubs: Chicago’s Jonathan Toews for leading his team to the best record in the league. Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf for leading the Ducks to a division title after missing the playoffs last year. Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky for nearly getting the Blue Jackets to the playoffs.

  1. eigglesnosuperbowls - May 10, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Tavares

  2. ravenscaps48 - May 10, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    As A Capitals Fan, it should go as the following:
    1.) John Tavares
    2.) Alex Ovechkin
    3.) Sidney Crosby

    John Tavares WAS the New York Islanders and Ovechkin WAS the Washington Capitals this season. Difference is, look at what Ovechkin has as support and look at what JT has. HUGE difference! Washington had three people finish in the top ten in points. So I’d put Tavers over Ovie. Crosby in third because they did just as well without him in the lineup.

    • f2maestro - May 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      I agree and disagree with your points here. In my opinion, John Tavares should be the league MVP. Tavares was and continues to be the Isles. I don’t necessarily agree that Crosby should be penalized because he had a must more robust roster to support him. Had he not taken a puck to the face I don’t see any reason why Crosby wouldn’t be the MVP. As for Ovi, his absence for the first 20+ games this season ruins his candidacy (for me). I know the post season doesn’t impact this voting, but he continues to show why he doesn’t deserve the C on his sweater or the MVP.

    • har21441 - May 10, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Agree with your points, but Crosby IS the NHL

  3. pens87 - May 10, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    As a penguins fan….this was a pretty big snub to Kane or Toews. I thought at least 1 would be a finalist, they had terrific seasons. Surprising.

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 10, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      I agree – Toews has to at least be considered for the Selke, I’d hope.

    • r8rbhawk - May 10, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      Toews and Kane may be victims of how deep the Hawks are. They are certainly valuable and had the great seasons, but with how stacked the Hawks are, they would have needed Crosby-like seasons to be considered. Crosby himself should not win the Hart because the Pens did not skip a beat without him. Based off of how Kaner and Tazer have spoken all season, it sounds like they have their priorities straight, that is, bring home the cup. Maybe they can pickup the Conn Smythe in the process…

    • chicagobtech - May 10, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      I can understand why Toews and Kane didn’t get the nod. As awesome as their seasons were (both were at or above 1.0 points per game), the Blackhawks won it as a team. Fourteen different players had game-winning goals, with Hossa leading that race with six. Only four players ended up minus for the whole season. Tough to say either of those two were so important to the Blackhawks this season that one or the other missing out on an extended number of games would have dropped the Blackhawks to a lower seeding for the playoffs.

      For this group, I’m not sure I can give Crosby the nod. He missed a quarter of the season, the Pens still ended up first in the East by a pretty wide margin. It’s hard to justify him as the best player in the NHL with that in mind. With Ovechkin his work ethic bothers me. Yes, he scored a lot of goals this year. No, he didn’t contribute much to the defensive play (32 goals but still only a +2). There are two halves of the ice, play has to take place on both sides of the red line. Which leaves Tavares. I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about this kid’s play, so I really can’t give him much support. Probably would have to go with Ryan Suter based on his TOI. More than 27 minutes a game, and played all 48?

      Though to be honest, I’m not much of a fan of these subjective awards. Best pair of goaltenders? Most points scored? Most goals scored? Great, love ‘em. Get a bunch of people together and ask their opinions? Meh.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 10, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      I think the word snub is misused. To me, the several players deserving of consideration who are not among the finalists for this or any other award (such as the Oscars) are not necessarily being rejected but are the victims of there being a limited number of spaces in the top 3.

    • hawk29 - May 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      To hell with the Heart Trophy…I’d still take Toews over anyone to start a team. He has been an incredible leader from the day he entered the league and is the epitome of leading by example. He’s the best two way center is the game…you want +/- he’s got it — +28…Face-off — 59.9% (63.9% so far in playoffs)…Game winning goals — 5…Short handed goals — 2. Oh and he had 23 goals and 25 assists on a team that had 9 players with 20+ points.

      • basedrum777 - May 10, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        SC almost had as many assists as Toews had total points. Missed 12 games and still was top 3 scoring. Having a good team can’t be held against SC and for Toews.

  4. bronxsanman - May 10, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    I’m a lifelong rangers fan as much as it hurts its Tavares hands down.He took the Islanders on his back and brought them to the playoffs.Congrats on a wonderful season John.I hope you win it.

  5. bcisleman - May 10, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Guessing this will go to Ovie, but it certainly is good recognition for JT to be nominated over the likes of Toews and Getzlaff.

    • steelpenbucs87 - May 10, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      It won’t be his last nomination that’s for sure.

  6. jpelle82 - May 10, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    ovechkin gets his 3rd tying him with bobby orr and mario lemiuex. only gretzky and howe have more than 3. cant see crosby getting it due to injury, and tavares…well…i cant see anyone justifying giving it to a guy who was below a ppg and a – player. he didnt lead in any stat category and when the islanders were streaking to finish strong he only had 11 pts in april – they were doing it in spite of him not because of him. not to mention his lackluster postseason thus far…

    • jeffchadwick - May 10, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      Have you actually watched any of the Pens-Isles series?

      • blackfoot11 - May 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        This is a regular season award. Playoff performance has no bearing on who wins.

      • jpelle82 - May 10, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        every game. he has 2 goals total…both in one game. 4 pts total for tavares – he’s got the worst +/- on the team and czikas has 2 goals and 2 assists for crying out loud. okposo has been their mvp so far in the playoffs hands down. okposo has 3 and he had 4 all year before that.

    • islesjb - May 10, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      All of his goals didn’t come in one game. He scored the tying goal in Game 3 (OT loss) and he scored the go-ahead goal in game 4.

      I do however, agree that Okposo has been the MVP of the playoffs so far- it all started with him lighting up Kiskonen in his first NHL fight. He’s had some big goals as well (a couple of them fluky bounces though)

    • sabatimus - May 11, 2013 at 2:21 AM

      Again, this is NOT an award based on playoff performance.

  7. multiplemiggs - May 10, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    JT

  8. hammerhead5573 - May 10, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    At some point Towes and Kane will likely get theirs. Knowing the player towes and to a certain extent kane are i think they would rather have the bigger prize than the hart. Every year someone is considered snubbed and this year is no different. I as a hockey fan would rather have great players win the cup than 1 hart trophy winner sitting at home watching the big game.

  9. langforc - May 10, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    When I think about the MVP of any league I think the player that is most valuable to his/her team’s overall success. With that in mind I think of these three Tavares should win but I feel like Crosby will win. Crosby had a terrific season, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like the Pens still played pretty well without him. As far as snubs go, how is Bob not a finalist? The Jackets aren’t even close to a playoff spot without him between the pipes.

  10. steelhammer92 - May 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    You can’t penalize Crosby because his supporting cast is better or the team fared well without him. The guy played at a level of hockey that would have made him MVP worthy no matter what team he played on. If they don’t give it to him because of time missed, then so be it. I’d still argue he finished 3rd in points, led the team into a hot streak that had them finish 1st in the East, and while this doesn’t count for anything; he pretty much brought Iginla to Pittsburgh.

    • chicagobtech - May 10, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      Actually, you can. This award is not for the best player (which I don’t think Crosby is), this is for the most valuable player (which, again, I don’t think he is). The best player is often the most valuable player, but not always. Last season I would have said that Patrick Sharp was the best player on Chicago’s bench, but given the blow that Hossa took demoralized the Blackhawks I would give the MVP status to Hoss.

      • steelhammer92 - May 10, 2013 at 11:46 AM

        Crosby’s not the best player? LOL.. Okay bud.

      • chicagobtech - May 10, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        All things being equal, I would rather keep Toews as my captain rather than replace him with Crosby.

      • basedrum777 - May 10, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        I’m biased as a pens fan but there is almost no argument that isn’t tainted to argue that SC isn’t the best player in hockey. He is the focus of EVERY team’s defense when he’s on the ice to the point he’s made two good but not great wingers (including Duper who was cut by other teams) into top 10 point scorers. He’s once a generation.

      • 2jivecrew - May 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        Toews has never even come close to dominating the NHL like Crosby has. Good guy, great captain, and great player but sorry……….he ain’t on Crosby’s level. Nobody is. Toews is certainly better than the one trick pony Ovechkin though for sure.

    • edwelsh8 - May 10, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      The player most valuable to his team of these three is Tavares.

      The NHL has a trophy for Most Outstanding Player (Pearson), which should be Crosby. Although, you can almost always make a legitimate argument for the leading goal scorer for this trophy as well.

  11. colossal87 - May 10, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Cant wait to see thick Crosby win this. All the other candidates lack the skills he possesses

    • r8rbhawk - May 10, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      the Hart trophy is for the MVP. Although he’s hands down the best player in the league, he is not the MVP

    • isithockeyseasonyet - May 10, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      lol you’re a silly troll, aren’t ya?

    • phillyphanatic77 - May 10, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      Great more “thick” posts from mr. multiple personality. Give it a rest.

  12. yousuxxors - May 10, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    to say that the islanders won in spite of tavaras is insane.

    • jpelle82 - May 10, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      numbers dont lie…man, he had one game winner in april and it was in a game they blew out a stumbling toronto.

      • tuberippin - May 10, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        You really don’t like John Tavares.

        Get over it.

  13. gettingpwned - May 10, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Such a weird decision this year. JT might not have been the best player on the Isles the last month of the season.
    When Ovie was bad, he was really bad. But when he was good, he was REALLY good.
    The diver may be the best player, but they did more than fine without him. So while he is the best player, he probably wasn’t more valuable to the Pens than JT and Ovie were for their teams. Tough call.

    • jpelle82 - May 10, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      he wasnt, nielsen and bailey each had same number of pts as tavares down the stretch and nabakov along with secondary scoring is what got them where they’re at. look at tavares goal numbers for the season he scored 18 of his 28 against the bottom 7 in the east this year. he scored 0 vs boston, 0 vs ott, 1 vs pitt this year. he had 3 on washington when they were struggling still. he feasted on crappy goalies and bad defenses all year.

      • islesjb - May 10, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        Yeah the second line and Nabakov’s play in April are what got them to the playoffs, along with Tavares (I don’t agree that it was in-spite of him). Tavares did do a lot that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet however- I can think of a couple big PP goals late in the season that he basically created but did not get an assist for.

        Whoever they give it to, I’m just glad people are finally realizing what we’ve known on LI for the past couple of seasons- #91 is a friggin beast. I wouldn’t trade him for any player in the league.

  14. jakreidler - May 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    I would’ve picked Bobrovsky.

    • drone501 - May 11, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      yeah the ex flyer goalie who is one of the best goalies in the league.

  15. glukas18 - May 10, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    I wonder if the Hurricanes had made the playoffs if Eric Staal would of been in this. He had better numbers than Johnny T

    • jpelle82 - May 10, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      so did a ton of other guys

      • glukas18 - May 10, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        True that

    • fantasyhockeyguru - May 10, 2013 at 3:35 PM

      JT had the most goals in the league in 1 goal games (whether his team was down 1 goal or up 1 goal). His numbers may not be league leading or top 5, but he stepped up when his team was desperate and needed him. Ovi did the same last half of the season, but voters may give him a hard time for his start. Crosby is the league’s best player, but this is most Valuable, and his team managed the best record in the east by far without him. Him being there would only had padded his stats for most outstanding, but that shows/proves the Value wasn’t as sky high as these other 2, or even Toews, Kane, Bobrovsky, Getzlaf.

      In games, the following numbers represent down by 2, down by 1, tied, ahead by 1, and game winning (in order)
      Crosby 0, 2, 7, 4, 1
      Oveckin 2, 4, 8, 4, 4
      Tavares 2, 4, 8, 8, 5

      That is a good idea of splits on the value to your team when they need you to come up big. Based off of sheer value, JT or Ovi should win the award, in my opinion

  16. Jackson Scofield - May 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Surprised Toews nor Kane got in, but then again, those are three damn good players up there.

  17. kemm77 - May 10, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Crosby deserves it. Yes he missed 25% of games, on a star filled team that finished 1st in their conference. Well in 1993, Lemieux won the Hart despite missing 29% of games cause of cancer, on a star filled team that finished 1st in the league. So there is a precedence set. The Hart rarely goes the most Valuable player. Always to the Best player unless one player hasn’t seperated themselves from the pack. Can u tell me Gretzky was the most Valuable player all those Hart winning years when he played on those superstar laden teams?

    • tuberippin - May 10, 2013 at 6:06 PM

      I’m pretty sure everything after your second sentence displays why Crosby doesn’t deserve the Hart Trophy.

  18. aso513 - May 10, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    It’s a joke if Sid doesn’t win.

  19. bru308 - May 10, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    2013 +/- stats

    Tavares -2
    Ovechkin +2
    Crosby +26

    Really? You guys are actually debating this? I know you hate 87, but don’t ignore the facts. Not to mention he missed 12 games and still finished 4th in points.

    Crosby = 2013 MVP

    • islesjb - May 10, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      + / – is not a good way to measure players. It doesn’t consider other players on the ice, defense or goaltending. The majority of the players on the Islanders are – players because they let up among the most goals in the league.

      Don’t get me wrong, Crosby had an extremely impressive season and if he wins I wouldn’t take too much issue with it (other than the fact that his team continued to win and be elite without him), but + / – is no way to decide the Hart.

      KO, Nabby and Bailey’s play in April had a lot to do with the Isles making the playoffs, but without Tavares there all season, the Islanders don’t even sniff the post season.

      • kemm77 - May 10, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        8th seed in a league where most of the teams get in. Lets give the Hart to someone from that team. That doesn’t sound silly at all…

      • bru308 - May 10, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        I think +/- does have a lot to do with judging the MVP candidates. As you’ve seen during this series, Fleury has not been a strong suit for the Pens this year, and the Pens defense was under scrutiny for 3/4’s of the season. Yet, Crosby still managed a +26? And it wasn’t the other players on the ice doing it for Crosby. Dupuis and Kunitz are not all-stars, Crosby carried them on his back hands down. For example, look at their stats following Crosby’s injury.

        So you say to throw out +/- rating because you can’t control the players around the candidates? I bet Crosby would beg to differ on that. He’s proved that even though he’s on a great team, when he’s on the ice, he makes everyone else around him better. That’s the essence of the MVP or as many call it “most valuable to his team”. +/- does matter.

      • bru308 - May 10, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        Kunitz 30 +/-
        Dupuis 31 +/-

        If you think that Kunitz and Dupuis carried this high of +/- ranking by themselves, then I would have to be prepared to call them allstars if I were you. Crosby makes his linemates better.

        -2 and +2 is not making your linemates better. +26 is

    • ravenscaps48 - May 10, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      So Pascal Dupuis should be the MVP?

      • bru308 - May 10, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        Good comment bro. Shows that you read what was written.

    • tuberippin - May 10, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      So valuable to his team that when he was sitting with a broken jaw, the Penguins cemented the #1 seed and continued to win games.

      He’s a great player, but he was not the one providing the Most Value to his team this year. That’s either Ovechkin or Tavares.

      • bru308 - May 10, 2013 at 7:22 PM

        Based on that argument, Gretzky (and many other greats) shouldn’t have won any MVPs because they played on great teams.

        Obviously the NHL doesn’t agree with you on that argument.

  20. modellforprez - May 10, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Pens fan but Sidister did miss almost a qtr of a season and ovie one kanobi didnt show up for the first qtr of the Cap season and this might leave Johnny Boy as the winner. simply put all three of these guys and toews and getzy are all deserving but there can only be one my choice is tune in next week to find out….

  21. 19to77 - May 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Ovi only played well for about half the season and Crosby wasn’t necessary for his team to excel – after all, they won almost every game without him. Tavares is the only one of the three who both played great consistently and was unquestionably key to his team’s success.

  22. buffalomafia - May 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Cynthia Crosby was hurt! Ovechkin had one good month!

    The winnet Tavaras!

  23. ryanoffski - May 10, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    I say Tavares

  24. stunzeed5 - May 10, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    It’s OVIous who should win ;)

  25. gertrudegoat - May 13, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    John Taveras. True leader. Never takes a game off. A leader on ice and off.

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