Penguins' Crosby finalist for Hart Trophy
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin were each named finalists for the Hart Trophy.
Share with others:
Asked why he thought teammate Sidney Crosby should win the Hart Trophy as the MVP of the 2009-10 NHL season, Max Talbot resorted to counting on his fingers.
"It's because of all the things he brought every night -- not only his goal-scoring this year but his faceoffs, his timely goals, his power-play goals, his time on the [penalty-killing], his leadership," Talbot said.
"All of the above is a good reason why he deserves it."
Crosby was named Thursday by the NHL as one of three finalists for the Hart, which he won in 2007. The others are Henrik Sedin of Vancouver and Washington's Alex Ovechkin. The winner will be announced June 23 in Las Vegas.
"You look at Sedin, Ovechkin, yes, they did good," Talbot said. "But the way Sid rounded himself out to being a complete player this year is, to me, that's the reason."
Crosby, in his fifth season, eclipsed 50 goals for the first time. His 51 tied him with Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos for the league lead. Thirteen of his goals came on the power play, and six were winners. He finished tied with Ovechkin for second in NHL scoring with 109 points, three behind Sedin.
Crosby also improved in faceoffs -- taking a league-high 1,791 of them and winning 55.9 percent, which ranked eighth among those with 1,000 or more draws -- and in shootouts, where he led the NHL by scoring on 80 percent (8 of 10) of his attempts, with four of his eight recorded as winners.
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said accolades do not come easily when it comes to the team captain -- but only because Crosby has been ballyhooed so much for so long.
"What else to say?" Fleury said, smiling. "He's a guy that works hard every day, shows up, shows leadership on and off the ice every day in practice and games. I think he's had a very consistent season and with that many goals, I think that's a big accomplishment for him.
"I think he's a dangerous guy when you play against him every night."
Ovechkin, looking for his third consecutive Hart Trophy in his fifth NHL season, reached 50 goals for the third season in a row despite missing 10 games because of injuries and suspensions. He led the NHL with 368 shots and had the best plus-minus rating among the league's forwards, plus-45. He was named captain of the Capitals Jan. 5.
Sedin, with 112 points, topped his previous high by 30, with a career-best 29 goals and an NHL-high 83 assists. He is the first Vancouver player to win the Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion and would be the first Canuck to claim the Hart.
He is Crosby's choice.
"I don't know the exact definition of he Hart -- I don't know if it's the best player or the most valuable to their team -- but I think clearly he was consistent throughout the whole year," Crosby said of Sedin. "He plays in a lot of key situations. He's responsible defensively.
"I just think he's a complete player that's really had a great year."
Of course, Crosby likely would not point to himself. Others with the Penguins did that for him.
"The intangibles that he brings to the rink every day and that he brings to our team in a leadership capacity are becoming more and more evident," coach Dan Bylsma said. "He gets better in certain areas."
First Published April 30, 2010 12:00 am