Earlier this week, we dissected the NHL awards races by means of the primary quarter of the 2019-20 marketing campaign, and one of many extra fascinating debates was that of the Hart Trophy, notably with the razor-thin margin between teammates Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.
As was mentioned, what makes the near-equal scoring charges of the duo so ripe for debate is that it raises the query of a one-two punch incomes prime billing for a similar award. And so far as the MVP honor is worried, it’s a state of affairs we haven’t seen in a while. Not since 1971 when the Boston Bruins’ Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito completed one-two have a pair of teammates dominated the voting. That occasion, too, was the primary of teammates ending atop the voting since 1955, when Ted Kennedy eked out a win over Toronto Maple Leafs teammate Harry Lumley. And even that got here a full decade after Elmer Lach’s Hart victory over fellow Montreal Canadien Maurice Richard.
So, it’s unlikely Draisaitl and McDavid end first and second in Hart voting. So, what separates the 2? As we additionally outlined within the earlier look, it’d come all the way down to one thing so simple as level technology at five-a-side. In that measure, Draisaitl takes the cake. His 12 targets and 27 factors at 5-on-5 are 5 clear, respectively, of McDavid’s totals. That places No. 29 forward of No. 97 within the MVP race, each in Edmonton and league-wide – at the very least in the interim.
However not each membership has a pair of gamers who’re so evenly matched offensively, nor have they got two gamers who’re as even by way of worth to their very own membership by means of the early a part of the marketing campaign. So, if we have been to try team-by-team MVPs, who would they be? Right here’s a take a look at the quarter-season MVPs for the opposite 31 franchises:
Anaheim Geese: His numbers are not at all gaudy – Ryan Miller truly has the higher statistics of the 2 – however one can’t assist however marvel the place the Geese can be with out John Gibson. Of the 38 goaltenders with at the very least 10 video games performed, Gibson ranks 12th within the NHL with a 2.85 targets saved above common in any respect strengths.
Arizona Coyotes: We will’t say Darcy Kuemper is the Vezina Trophy frontrunner at this level within the season and never record him because the Coyotes’ MVP. Among the many similar group of goaltenders Gibson was measured in opposition to, Kuemper ranks second with a 12.21 GSAA and his .937 SP in any respect strengths is the second-best mark amongst these netminders. He’s been Arizona’s spine for a calendar 12 months now.
Boston Bruins: Are you a kind of who desires to look at the world burn? Then do that on for dimension: Brad Marchand because the 2019-20 Hart Trophy winner. It’s not that far-fetched! His 35 factors in 21 video games are the fourth-most within the NHL behind Oilers duo Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid and Capitals defenseman John Carlson. Marchand’s MVP credentials additionally embody exceptional all-situations play. He’s legitimately reworked into one of the dynamic gamers within the league.
Buffalo Sabres: After a wonderful begin, every little thing is once more falling aside in Buffalo. The Sabres have misplaced eight of their previous 9 and 10 of their previous 11 video games. However think about for a second how a lot worse issues can be with out Jack Eichel. In 21 video games, Eichel has a team-leading 13 targets and 25 factors. The one skater averaging extra ice time is defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.
Calgary Flames: Matthew Tkachuk has been the Flames’ MVP. There’s no query about it, frankly. Not solely has he been efficient offensively, however he has arguably been Calgary’s finest two-way participant, as properly. Not a lot goes proper for the Flames proper now, however Tkachuk’s recreation has been a spotlight.
Carolina Hurricanes: Andrei Svechnikov has been the chief up entrance, but it surely’s Dougie Hamilton who deserves the best reward. His 23 factors are tied for the staff lead and his 9 targets are tops amongst all NHL rearguards. He won’t be the participant who makes the blueline tick – howdy, Jaccob Slavin – however Hamilton is the quarter-season MVP.
Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane’s 11 targets and 28 factors put him head-and-shoulders forward of the remainder of his teammates, however Robin Lehner has been a show-stealer in Chicago. One 12 months after ending third in Vezina voting, Lehner appears dead-set on throwing his hat into the ring for the hardware once more. His 5-Four-2 document belies his .934 save share and 11.02 GSAA.
Colorado Avalanche: There’s a case to be made that Nathan MacKinnon is the very best participant on the earth. His 13 targets and 31 factors are tops on the staff, and if there was ever any query who was the true chief in Colorado – Narrator: “There wasn’t.” – MacKinnon’s level whole regardless of being with out standard running-mates Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen for roughly half of Colorado’s video games is proof optimistic that it’s No. 29’s staff.
Columbus Blue Jackets: The departure of prime abilities put extra onus on the blueline than ever, and Seth Jones has answered the decision. However Pierre-Luc Dubois’ continued emergence as a real top-line heart is one thing to behold. He’s driving play, producing and proving that he will be an elite two-way participant within the NHL.
Dallas Stars: The unhappiness with the play of the highest stars, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, has overshadowed Miro Heiskanen’s stellar sophomore season. By way of 22 video games, he’s averaging 25 minutes per outing and his six targets put him second in staff scoring. His 16 factors are additionally the second-most in Dallas. Heiskanen has a possible Norris case by means of the primary quarter of the season.
Detroit Purple Wings: Steve Yzerman? In spite of everything, the Robby Fabbri deal has been a clear-cut win for the Purple Wings to date. Realistically, although, it’s Anthony Mantha. Nobody has ever questioned Mantha’s skillset, however he’s really placing it collectively this season. His 22 factors in 23 video games have signalled his arrival as a reliable top-line winger.
Florida Panthers: That is the reverse of the Oilers. Jonathan Huberdeau is main the Panthers’ scoring race with 28 factors in 21 video games, however second-place Aleksander Barkov, who has 27 factors in 21 video games, will get the nod. It comes all the way down to all-situations play, and that Barkov is a couple of minute away from all different forwards in common ice time speaks volumes about how closely coach Joel Quenneville has leaned on the pivot.
Los Angeles Kings: We’ve got to choose somebody? OK. Anze Kopitar. That is much less about him main the staff in factors than it’s his total play, although. Taking part in in opposition to the opposition’s finest, he has been a play-driver and boasts a fair 50 % targets share at five-a-side. That’s spectacular when you think about the Kings’ 5-on-5 aim differential is minus-six.
Minnesota Wild: The Wild have been unremarkable this season, however possibly probably the most noteworthy growth has come within the crease, the place Alex Stalock is legitimately outplaying Devan Dubnyk. The previous boasts a .911 SP and a pair of.63 goals-against common, heaps higher than the latter’s .893 SP and three.35 GAA. Stalock is perhaps due a run of begins quickly.
Montreal Canadiens: Just a few Canadiens have had stellar performances, however how about Shea Weber? His return final season seemingly turned Carey Worth into a special netminder and the burly blueliner appears like his previous Norris-contending self proper now. He has six targets and 17 factors in 22 video games, is averaging 23:11 per recreation and boasts strong underlying numbers.
Nashville Predators: It’s an in depth race between a pair of blueliners, however for the sake of straightforward manufacturing, we now have to offer the nod to Roman Josi over Ryan Ellis. That mentioned, based mostly on total play, we could possibly be persuaded to offer the nod to Ellis. So, once more, this is perhaps a state of affairs the place the quarter-season crown ought to be cut up in half.
New Jersey Devils: Regardless of a mere two targets in 20 video games, Taylor Corridor is producing a exceptional quantity of alternatives. His 71 pictures are tied for the 20th-most within the NHL and his 17 factors put him atop all scorers in New Jersey. Nothing has gone all that properly for the Devils this season, although.
New York Islanders: Let’s heap some well-deserved reward on Mat Barzal for the continued transformation into an all-zones participant who can put factors on the board. That mentioned, he finishes second behind Thomas Greiss, who has been out-of-this-world for the Islanders. His .938 SP is among the many league’s finest marks and his sub-2.00 GAA has him in line to land among the many Vezina nominees at season’s finish.
New York Rangers: The Rangers are a .500 outfit, however Artemi Panarin continues to be proving why he was well worth the large low season payday. Of those that’ve appeared in each recreation for New York, the winger is skating extra minutes than all however defenseman Jacob Trouba, and Panarin’s 11 targets and 25 factors are the staff’s finest marks.
Ottawa Senators: Laborious to disregard Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s numbers. He’s an all-situations participant who’s excelling proper now on the again of a 24.5 % capturing success price. The Senators have to start out speaking contract with the pending unrestricted free agent. He could possibly be a middle-six cornerstone for seasons to come back and simply the type of participant Ottawa might use when success lastly comes round.
Philadelphia Flyers: The true standouts are few and much between in Philadelphia, however Travis Konecny is popping heads and incomes his maintain with the Flyers. His eight targets and 20 factors rank second and first, respectively, in Philadelphia. And as importantly, he’s confirmed he is usually a possession beast. The Flyers have one thing particular on their arms.
Pittsburgh Penguins: It could possibly be mentioned that Jake Guentzel is the MVP by advantage of, you already know, truly enjoying 1 / 4 of the season. He’s considered one of solely seven Penguins who’ve appeared in each recreation this season and leads the staff in scoring with 18 factors. However Kris Letang is doing yeoman’s work on the blueline. He’s averaging 25 minutes per outing with strong underlying numbers and 4 targets and 12 factors. Checkmarks throughout the board.
San Jose Sharks: One of many causes the Sharks felt comfy letting Joe Pavelski stroll was the idea the subsequent technology would step up. Tomas Hertl has carried out simply that. His 10 targets are two off the staff lead and his 21 factors put him one again of Logan Couture. Hertl can also be logging 19-plus minutes per recreation, has been distinctive within the faceoff circle and has tilted the ice within the Sharks’ favor persistently.
St. Louis Blues: With completely, positively, all due respect to David Perron, who’s having himself a whale of begin to the season, Jordan Binnington has been and continues to be the spine of the Blues. With a .920 SP and a pair of.32 GAA by means of 17 begins this season, Binnington has silenced any critics who believed he’d be a one-season marvel.
Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning aren’t assembly expectations. That’s no fault of Victor Hedman’s, nevertheless. The one-time Norris Trophy winner, who has been a finalist for the award for 3 consecutive seasons, is third in staff scoring with 17 factors, is the ice time chief and has carried out every little thing in his energy to quiet the opposition’s finest on a nightly foundation.
Toronto Maple Leafs: It’s a toss-up, however Frederik Andersen falls possibly a hair behind Auston Matthews within the quarter-season MVP race. Whereas Toronto is sliding and have simply sacked coach Mike Babcock, Matthews’ offensive manufacturing has been distinctive. His 14 targets and 27 factors are 9 greater than Mitch Marner’s second-best 18 factors and 10 factors greater than another Maple Leafs skater.
Vancouver Canucks: Sophomore droop? Elias Pettersson laughs at your sophomore droop. One season after dazzling as a rookie, the dynamic younger scorer has eight targets and 27 factors in 22 video games. However neglect his numbers for a second. He deserves the nod for this play alone, the place he banks a saucer cross in off of J.T. Miller’s thigh. Genius.
Vegas Golden Knights: It’s Marc-Andre Fleury. No query. Sure, William Karlsson is enjoying the identical model of particular two-way hockey, Max Pacioretty appears to be, properly, Max Pacioretty once more and Mark Stone continues to suit proper in, however Fleury has been in aim for each single Golden Knights victory this season.
Washington Capitals: John Carlson is basically going to maintain this up, huh? Now as much as eight targets and 36 factors in 24 video games, the blueliner is on tempo to obliterate the modern-era document for factors by a defenseman. He’s scored as many factors this season as Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson mixed.
Winnipeg Jets: Just a few candidates, together with sniper-turned-assist machine Patrik Laine (?!), however Connor Hellebuyck has bounced again from final season’s mediocre efficiency and is posting excellent numbers. His .930 SP ranks fourth amongst goalies with 10 video games performed and Hellebuyck has turned apart extra rubber than another netminder.
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Tags: listsConnect: In regards to the AuthorJared ClintonJared Clinton is a author and net editor with The Hockey Information. He is been with the staff since 2014. He was born, raised and resides in Winnipeg, the place he will be discovered lacking the online on outside rinks throughout city.