Re: Awards- Hart
posted at 4/25/2013 4:30 PM EDT
Kicking this to the top after seeing the Selke conversation. Toews came up there as a guy who could take the Selke ahead of Bergeron, and you know, that's entirely possible. But I'd make Toews my pick for the Hart.
He's 10th in scoring in the league, but if you subtract PPG, he's the league leader in goals with 18 ESG and 2 short-handed goals. He's tied for second overall in +/- (for whatever that's worth), and he's tied with Datsyuk - thief of thieves - for take-aways. 3rd in faceoffs won, 2nd to Bergeron in percentage. 2nd in shootout goals. Plays over 1:30 in PK and 2:42 in PP TOI per game. And he's the captain and undisputed leader of the best team in hockey with a bullet. The could conceivably finish as much as 9 points up on the Penguins despite playing in front of the sometimes shaky Joey Crawford and the oft-injured and wacky Ray Emery.
Crosby has more points, and you can't undervalue his points per game and the difference between his linemates and Toews's. Goals are comparable if you project for the injury, and with a similar non-PPG lens. +/- in the same ballpark. Crosby only plays about half the PK TOI Toews does, and twice the PP TOI. His FO% and Shooting % are both significantly lower, and where Toews has three times as many takeaways as giveaways, Crosby has nearly twice as many giveaways as takeaways. And he will have missed about 30% of the season.
Ovechkin has more goals but more than half of his 31 are on the PP and his shooting % is lower than Toews or Crosby. He doesn't kill penalties and he doesn't take faceoffs. The one thing he does better than the other two is hit - a lot more. To channel Buddy Ryan, all he does is score goals.
If these are my finalists (no disrespect to Tavares), Toews has brought more to the table night in and night out in more facets of the game and done more to help his team win than any other player. Hart. And not to repeat the debate I had with dez, but I take most valuable to be only partially dependent on team fortunes - maybe the Isles or Caps don't make the playoffs without Tavares and Ovechkin, or Columbus doesn't flirt with a playoff bid without Bob, but Chicago doesn't post the fourth best records in NHL history (82.3% of available points) without Toews. 4th best season ever behind the '29-'30 Bruins, the '43-'44 Shabs, and the '76-'77 Shabs.