Crawl Across the Ocean

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hart Trophy Thoughts

Naturally, as a Canucks fan, I'd be happy to see Henrik win the Hart trophy. He led the league in points, dominated the assist category, carried the team while Daniel was injured for a quarter of the season, was in the league leaders in plus/minus and shooting percentage, and did it all with less ice time than any of the other top 20 scorers.

Still, having said all that, it would be hard to argue with the Hart being given to Crosby (1st in goals, 2nd in points, played with weak linemates much of the year, dominated in the faceoff circle and was great in the shootout) or Ryan Miller either (most dominating goaltending performance since the Dominator himself was between the pipes). I can't see why you would nominate Ovechkin when he didn't lead in any scoring categories despite playing on the (by far) highest scoring team in the league in the league's weakest division, took far more shots on net than the other scoring leaders (meaning many more pucks given away on shots that didn't go in) played way more power play time then most other scoring leaders, didn't spend any time killing penalties and also got suspended twice.

But the main reason I felt motivated to write this post was to mock anyone who gives serious consideration to Ilya Bryzgalov. The best stat we have for goalies is save percentage, and on this measure, Bryzgalov came 7th, a long ways behind Miller and also behind Vokoun, Howard, Nabakov, Lundqvist and Kiprusoff.

Even if you look at other (less important) stats, Bryzgalov was 4th in goals against and 3rd in wins. There's no way you can make any kind of case for Bryzgalov to be the best goalie in the league, let alone the overall most valuable player. The only argument people seem to have for Bryzgalov is that Phoenix was really bad last year and they were better this year. But in my mind, only the truly deranged could build a case for Bryzgalov being the most valuable player in the league this year on the fact that he stunk last year! Besides that, anyone who watched Phoenix play last year and this year knows that while, yes, Bryzgalov played better than he did last year, the real difference in Phoenix was in the coaching and in the commitment to team defense.

I don't get to vote on the Hart trophy, but I vote that anyone who does get to vote and votes for Bryzgalov (or to nominate him) should have their voting privileges revoked.

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2 Comments:

  • I guess Gretzky didn't find your post to be convincing:

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Gretzky-My-Hart-Trophy-vote-would-go-to-Bryzgal?urn=nhl,234314

    By Blogger Simon, at 11:26 PM  

  • Gretzky has to support the guy from his organization - I don't expect him to offer an impartial opinion on this one!

    By Blogger Declan, at 10:01 PM  

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