Sunday, December 17, 2006

New MVP Pick

I have been picking Nicklas Lidstrom as the MVP so far this season. He has been in a tight battle with Chris Pronger for MVP. Pronger has more points (he leads defencemen with 35 points). This is particularly impressive since he plays in the lower scoring West Conference. Both Lidstrom and Pronger are defensively strong as well. Lidstrom leads the NHL with a +23 +/- rating and Pronger is closing fast. Pronger's +19 is third in the NHL. This week a third serious candidate emerged. Sidney Crosby scored 10 points in two games this week and took a commanding lead of the NHL scoring race.

While Crosby has been impressive of late, I don't think he is the MVP of the whole season. Clearly he will take over that position soon if he keeps his hot streak up, but he hasn't done that for long enough yet. The race is between defencemen Lidstrom and Pronger. Chris Pronger has taken over the MVP lead. His defence is nearly equal of Lidstrom and he is a bigger offensive presence.

Pronger is having a great season so far. He is only one of three defencemen in history to have won the Hart Trophy (joining Eddie Shore and Bobby Orr). He is the only one of the three to have only won in once. Maybe they could all be multiple Hart winners if Pronger keeps playing this well.

If the Penguins make the playoffs, Crosby is a lock to win. The red Wings and Ducks are deeper teams, and Prongers vote will split with Neidermayer's from an Anaheim POV.

It's early still - last season at this point most thought Daniel Alfredsson was a leading candidate for the Hart.

Now they wanna line him up for a firing squad.

Cristobal Huet will be in there by seasons end. He's stealing games on a consistant basis and allowing the Canadiens to sneak out of dreadful periods and games unscathed.

I see him fourth in the lump pile for now.
As of right now, I am not addressing who I think will win. I am addressing who I think should win.

Crosby is good, but he hasn't consistently been as good as Pronger or Lidstrom.

Its a nice story if Pittsburgh makes the playoffs to credit it to Crosby, but the fact is he would not have done it without a team. Malkin, Recchi, Gonchar, Whitney, Fleury deserve a lot of credit too. They wont make the playoffs without them.

The fact is Pronger and Lidstrom have been the the best two players in the NHL so far this season.
That is not a fact. That is your opinion.
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