Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New MVP Selection

I have been picking Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings as my selection for MVP this season. Since I have last written on this issue, the case for Lidstrom is not as strong. He is no longer the top scoring defenceman in hockey (he has fallen to third behind Scott Niedermayer and Sergei Gonchar) and he is no longer the top +/- rating in hockey either (he has fallen to a third place tie with Daniel Alfredsson and behind Thomas Vanek and Tom Preissing). So it is time to re-evualute the MVP race.

At forward, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins is the top scorer and top forward in the league. His offensive numbers have benefited from his being in the higher scoring East Conference. The top scorer in the West is Joe Thornton of San Jose and is closing the distance he is behind Crosby in the points race (it is currently a difference of 9 points), but he is well behind in goals (39 to 21).

In goal, both Martin Brodeur of New Jersey and Roberto Luongo of Vancouver are having excellent seasons and are their team's MVPs, but have not been able to keep their saves percentages as high as .930 or so (which would be necessary to be approximately as valuable as the other candidates I have mentioned.

If the season ended right now, I would give Sidney Crosby the Hart Trophy and Nicklas Lidstrom and Joe Thornton the other nominations. Crosby has been the best player in the NHL so far this season ... and he is still improving. How good might he be in a few more years?

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