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Ovechkin Nominated for Hart Trophy

Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin has a chance to repeat as the NHL's MVP after being named a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy this afternoon.

Ovechkin, the NHL's top goal scorer with 56 this season, joins fellow nominees Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who led the league in points and will face off against the Caps in the second round of the playoffs, and Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings. It's the first time the Professional Hockey Writers' Association has nominated all Russian players.

If Ovechkin were to win for the second consecutive season, he'd be the first player to do so since Buffalo goalie Dominik Hasek, who won the award in 1996-97 and 1997-98.

Winners will be announced June 18 at the awards show in Las Vegas. But in the meantime, who do you think will earn the NHL's highest individual honor?

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 29, 2009; 12:36 PM ET
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Back to back, baby!

Posted by: ModestProposal | April 29, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

1st in goals, 2nd in points. He hustles, hits, and plays D better than most offensive minded guys.

If Malkin was 1st in points, and 2nd in goals, I could see an argument for him. But I don't believe he is. He should be wearing that "C" in Pittsburgh though. Malkin is their leader.

Posted by: EckertA | April 29, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Ovie hands down.

Highlight goals > 1st and 2nd assists

Posted by: NatyBG | April 29, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

if he wins he would be the first repeat since??? dominic hasek???

Posted by: deadskin | April 29, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Three Russians vying for the Hart. Bet that's never happened before.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 29, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I am biased, but my vote is for OV.. ;)

Posted by: hbcapsfan | April 29, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the Caps and Pens brass will complain to the league about the schedule. they certainly don't have the advantage the other teams have.

Posted by: oo7 | April 29, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

anyone got the % of goals and points Ovi and Malkin are responsible for on their respective teams? I think that should be a consideration as well.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 29, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

If Ovie wins does that synch a spot for him in the HOF?

Here is a list of players to win the Hart two or more times in their career. Theme: All are either in the HOF or will be one day.

Nels Stewart, Howie Morenz, Eddie Shore,
Bill Cowley, Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Bobby Clarke, Guy Lafleur, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Mario Lemieux, Dominik Hasek

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | April 29, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

OV does more hitting than any elite player in recent memory.
He set the tempo for the Caps this entire series. More so than any grinding line player on our team.
Even when they tried to bump him, the Rags fell backwards.
You could count on 1 hand how many times in the 7 games he got knocked off his feet.

So - You have to go back to Gordie Howe or maybe Messier/Neely to see the same overall combination of skill & nastiness.

Overall - he has more speed & offensive skills than any of those mentioned.
And defense? He comes down low to take away the puck as well as any1.
Also - tell me how come puck possession isn't mention as a defensive tactic like time possession is in the NFL.

Ummm, there was a reason the Rags got 1 shot in the 3rd pd.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 29, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Vote for Pedro!

Posted by: CheyenneWY | April 29, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Ovie should...but he won't...Malkin will get it...:(

Posted by: R617 | April 29, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I would have liked to see Thomas on that list, but I'm an East Coast Homer (Western Conf games are past my bedtime).

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | April 29, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

of course I want OV to win it, but I think Malkin gets it this year.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | April 29, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Poor little Crosby ... I wonder how he is holding up after getting the news *sniff-sniff*.

Posted by: Boo- | April 29, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

yeah, capitalist, why isn't Thomas on that list? 11 losses? that sounds like MVP...

Posted by: oo7 | April 29, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@007 what disadvantage are you alluding to?

Posted by: Caps16Fan | April 29, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

There are two arguments for Malkin:

1) he carried the Pens while everyone else on the team sucked.

this is fair and this is where you COULD argue that Malkin deserves it more, but under that logic (and that logic is technically what the definition of the award says) then Zach Parise or Steve Mason should win, because they clearly carried their team this season.

2) He has the most points.

True, but not by much. And how many of those points are from secondary assists, or if you want to be more fair how many of his assists are just lucky bounces where the puck happened to bounce off his foot or stick. Of course you can also take away these cheep points from Ovie too.

The best way to do that has been from Campbellnomics on The Hockey News. Where the goals and points that count are the ones that actually change the game and lead to wins.

That link is only through Round 1 and so is skewed, but it gives you the theory. At the end of the season Semin was 1 and Ovie was 2, by a lot. Malkin was like 9 or 10.

Additionally as has been mentioned before, Ovie is top ten in hits (9th with 243, or just over 3 per game). Malkin was around 250th (80 hits, thats just under 1 per game!).

There is also all the shots. Shots in the NHL, as you all know, are not like shots in basketball. To put a shot on net means you created a scoring opportunity for your team and had to work to get open for that shot. That means over 500 times Ovie was in a position to score for his team. That a goalie was there to stop the puck does not discount the skill it takes to just get a puck on net.

I am preaching to the choir here, but that is the way i see it. The Hart is defined as the player most valuable to his team and that is not necessarily true for Ovie (as japers tried to argue it may have been Green, or even Backstrom) though it probably is the case. If voters followed this definition then Parise or Mason should be getting it, but they dont follow that definition they pick the best player in the league. And that is undoubtedly Ovie.

Also when i was looking up stats, says that Jordan Leopold played 83 games this year. Can you guess why? He played 64 games with the Aves before being traded to the Flames who had 19 games left. This allowed him to play 83 games this season. Pretty fancy.

Posted by: QuintenD | April 29, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

whoa, i just looked at the playoff schedules for all 4 groups. ...we are the only ones with back to back games!!!. .. BS on the NHL. . .i know this is the marque matchup, but geez. .. .what does BB do in goal if it goes to game 5? TZAR-lamov up to playing two nights in a row?. ..does BB start jose in game 4 and give varly a night off?.. . .gonna be interesting to be sure. . . thank you gary bettman and the NHL for once again screwing with a caps/pittsburgh series. . ..anyone see the circus coming to town????

Posted by: madmax521 | April 29, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

deadskin, yeah, hasek was the last 97 & 98, iirc, while he was still a Buffaslug.

Everything I've read is that while Ovie won't run away with it like he did last year, he'll still win be a decent margin. (because the real penguin MVP is Gonchar, given how he helped turn their season around when he came back from injury)

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 29, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I looked it up and here is the % of goals and points comparison between Ovi and Malkin:

Ovi - 21% of the team's goals and 15% of the team's points

Malkin - 13% of the team's goals and 15% of the team's points

Seeing the disrepancy in game winners, hits etc. and only 3 points separating them in total points, it's got to be Ovi.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 29, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

pointed out elsewhere (possibly a penguins site), but Someone crunched the numbers. Malkin played 82 games, while Ovie play 79 (two missed to go back to Moscow, 1 for the foot). Take Ovie's average ppg production, and Ovie makes up the 3 point gap to malkin, and then some.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 29, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Totally biased but I still think OV should get it, considering how much he contributes to every aspect of the game and our team. He does it all.

Posted by: mrszilla | April 29, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

redbirdie, what was our record for the 3 games Ovi missed? For the MVP debate, I hope it was 0-3.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 29, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see Ovie repeat, but I don't think it will happen. I think Malkin will get it.

Overall, Ovie is the better player, but it's the writers that vote for it. I'm thinking that after Ovie's Tampa celebration he'll lose points from Canadian writers. They'll think that Ovie won it last year and will win the Richard, Malkin had another great year and hasn't won anything yet.

I think it's bogus, but I think that's how it'll go down.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 29, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Big Caps fan stuck in Pittsburgh. Can't wait for the second round. Want to get tickets to either Game 3 or 4 here, but wondering where Caps fans who are making the road trip next week will be sitting (what section in Mellon Arena). I want to rock the red here but not among Pens fans. And where do you buy your tix? Thanks.

Posted by: redrocker2 | April 29, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

i think the fact that the B's have a perennial norris finalist in charra, and a pretty good team around him, hurt thomas' chances at mvp. plus, like pitchers in baseball, his position has it's own mvp award.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 29, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I love Ovie and he deserves a lot of praises for another excellent season. Nevertheless, my choice is Pavel Datsyuk, the most complete player in the NHL currently and perhaps of the last 15 years. He is greatly responsible for the success of the Redwings and the desire of so many other good players to want to give up some $ to stay with the Wings. Plus, he has not won this recognition yet so it would be a fair thing to do to give him the award.

Posted by: atybat | April 29, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Additionally as has been mentioned before, Ovie is top ten in hits (9th with 243, or just over 3 per game). Malkin was around 250th (80 hits, thats just under 1 per game!).
Posted by: QuintenD | April 29, 2009 1:26 PM

That's a defensive stat that no1 ever mentions - thanks QuintenD for bringing it up.
When you dish it out as much as OV does, the other guys will back off from what ever they are doing.
Do the Rags hear footsteps when OV is on the ice & lose focus? heck yea.

That's why I was surprised they didn't hit Feds at all in the series.
Redden even admitted to backing off on the goal by Feds.

Hits are a defensive stats taht tells me OV is an overall great player.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 29, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@redrocker2: I'm contemplating it. I have an old and dear friend who lives in Pitt and is a Pens fan, but is from the DC area. I really really want to go to a game with her in this series.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 29, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I think Malkin made the case LAST year, the Pens never even make the playoffs without his effort, much less the Finals. This year, same thing.

But there is thinking that Malkin has Crosby taking most of the press(ure) off is back, whereas OV is the man in DC, he makes the team go, ergo the true meaning of MVP.

I think it's a real tough call, and honestly I'd be a little surprised if it didn't go to Malkin.

Posted by: soloman5000 | April 29, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I read somewhere that Ovie led the league with giveaways. Is that true?

Posted by: Kroke96 | April 29, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

redbirdie, what was our record for the 3 games Ovi missed? For the MVP debate, I hope it was 0-3.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 29, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what games they were off the top of my head. The post did have them, though, and I think also had ovie historical averages against those teams. A lot of work went into the post that made the case that Malkin should consider himself very very lucky that Ovie's grandfather was so seriously ill he needed to go to Moscow mid-season.

I'll see what I can dig up.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 29, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

oh, and I'll be very curious to read James Mirtle's take on the Harta nd who he picked later today!

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 29, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I was so impressed by my comments, I am reposting for posterity.


--Ovie is the complete package and becoming more so each day. He scores, passes, blocks shots, hits -- whatever it takes to help his team win

--Ovie is undeniably a much more critical force in his team than Crosby is

--Ovie is a star (in a good way); a game changer. Crosby is a very good character actor or studio musician. Crosby is more of a passer than a goal scorer, Ovie has led the league in goals two years in the row. Ovie is a source of energy & inspiration for his team and the league. He sets the tone. He defines style and reframes rules rather than simply exceling in following them, as Crosby does. Ovie is the one who will have a significant impact on the sports evolution, not Crosby.

--In terms of attitude and values, Ovie is the opposite of a star. He is a quintessential team player, throwing himself into the game 150%, never hesitating to block shots, make a hit, protect the goalie or take on any role needed. He exudes sheer delight in playing hockey as part of his team, no matter who scores and what the circumstances are. Crosby comes across as whinny.

So there!

Posted by: caraveli | April 29, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I think OV does get the Hart. Malkin is a local star while Ovechkin is a global star. I am surprised though that no one offers reasons for Datsyuk to win it? That would turn some heads.

Posted by: lornemyoung | April 29, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Ovie didnt deserve the MVP last year as much as he does this year.

My MVP is for the guy who leads his team to a solid year from start to finish...

Posted by: SA-Town | April 29, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

here's the "What if Ovie played all 82 Games?" post:

the comments, of course, are typical Pittsburgh fan and aren't worth the electrons. The post itself, hwoever, is interesting.

Just fyi, the games Ovie missed were:
Oct. 28, shootout win against Nashville.
Nov. 1, painful 5-0 loss to the Buffaslugs
March 5, 2-1 loss to Leafs.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 29, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Mirtle has spoken: (

"Ovechkin's going to win, becoming the first back-to-back MVP since Dominik Hasek did it 11 years ago in 1997-98 and only the second since Gretzky's eight straight Harts from 1980 to 1988. Who you take after Ovechkin isn't a huge deal, but I gave some credit to the excellent year Datsyuk had at both ends of the ice:

1. Alex Ovechkin, Washington
2. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit
3. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh
4. Zach Parise, New Jersey
5. Tim Thomas, Boston

Would be interested in hearing who else people can make a case for this year."

I'm not surprised he picked Ovie, at all. I'm somewhat surprised he went with Datsyuk second. I'm trilled with the certainty in which he states that Ovie will be the winner.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 29, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

There was a poll somewhere on the NHL website, about whom people preferred to watch play: Ovie or Crosby. Ovie won by a landslide. How he won the All Stars above Ovie is beyond me.

I am surprised that some of you think it is unlikely for Ovie to get the Hart Trophy this year. All the press predictions have him win. Isn't it who votes for this?

Posted by: caraveli | April 29, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin will win AND he deserves to be MVP. Ovie plays hard all season, every game, every shift; Malkin is soft, and everyone knows it; he puts up good numbers yes, has good vision, is a good playmaker. But he doesn't score a lot of goals, shys away from contact, and only is effective in space. Datsyuk is good defensively, but so is Ovechkin, the only reason Ovie doesn't get the credit he deserves for his defensive play is because is offensive skills are so dazzling. Also, Ovie has the highlight-reel goal of the year (vs Montreal). Sorry Malkin and Datsyuk, hope you enjoy your trip to Vegas, MVP goes to Alex

Posted by: | April 29, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

So Ovi and Greenie will be going to Vegas together in June. Whether they win or lose the awards, I'll bet there'll be some serious partying.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 29, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Haha I'd love to hang with that posse!

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 29, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm from Pittsburgh and am suprises to see so many think it will go to malkin. Here the opposite is true as most think OV gets it. I personally think it should be Mason. Columbus doesn't have a sniff at the playoffs without him. Malkin's defensive game is much better than you think, as you'll probably see in this series. He doesn't hit as often as OV but he is great at takeaways, and plays very sound in the defensive zone. I agree with the guy who said Malkin should be wearing the C instead of Crosby. He is by far the Pens most complete player and the one who usually steps up to spark the team. Same goes for OV, and Datsyuk. The Russians are more complete players.

Posted by: Jadosa29 | April 29, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Easy..Let this series decide it.

Posted by: cappies | April 29, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I think Ovi and Green could have some sort of Gumball Rally race to Vegas: Lambo vs. Hammer. Now, that's something to discuss.

56 goals and 54 assists is tough to beat. I think a ton of voters will look at a few other things. First, new coach in Pittsburgh. Second, Kunitz and Guerin. Third, the return of Gonchar. The Penguins have become a much different - and better team - since those four things collided. Crosby and Malkin were there all season even during the 10th-place holding first half or two-thirds. The fortunes of that team change completely when the new wingers, coach, a PP specialist showed up. I think that's a mark against Malkin. The Caps, in the meantime, lead the division from nearly day one, had tons of injuries, made no trades, and nded up 2nd in the East. I really like Malkin's game but I don't actually think he's that much better than Backstrom (and in another year, won't be...). In the end, it's AO. And it's by a pretty large margin that will only seem small when compared to last season.

Posted by: saintex | April 29, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I think any objective analysis would have to give the Hart to Ovi. He leads Malkin by 21 goals. Does anyone serious think that assists (esp when some are secondary) compares with putting it in the back of the net?

What hasn't been mentioned but if Ovi does win, he will be the only athlete in DC sports history (big 4), to win two MVP's.

And he will do it back to back before he turns 24!!! He might have a half dozen before he's done. I'm so glad he's on my team.

Even though I was routing for NJ because I think they are weaker than Pitt, I'm glad for the marquee matchup between Malkin/Cindy and Ovi. Good for hockey.

Posted by: rjma1 | April 29, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Malkin is a Center, of course he is going to get more points than a left winger.

Alex win MVP again - he is the guy. Probably biased, but that doesn't mean it's not true.

Posted by: _828 | April 29, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

All Russians. I think Don Cherry's heart just stopped...

Posted by: BearsWoooo | April 29, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Malkin will win the Hart trophy. The kerfuffle over the "excessive" celebrations will hurt Ovechkin in the voting. Other writers will think it's only fair to extend it to Malkin now that Crosby and Ovechkin both have won. Then there's Pittsburgh's rebound after the rough first half - that's the kind of stuff that writers love.

Ovechkin will win the Lester B. Pearson, though. The players frequently acknowledge that he's the best in the league.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 29, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse


our dear Nicky looked like quite the confident playoff, battle-tested veteran lately, no? And he's all of, what 21? 22?

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 29, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

@Bearswooo, I was thinking the same thing. Cherry is going to blow a gasket about how there aren't any Pretty Canadian Boys in the list (and then he'll proceed to name 5 guys from Ontario).

Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 29, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Are Malkin and Crosby even the best players on the Penguins? Probably, but you have to acknowledge the team was mediocre until Gonchar returned midseason.

Posted by: basingstoke | April 29, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

If I recall, Malkin was ahead of Alex by a bunch of points until the last few weeks of the season when Alex caught up.

I guess the Caps could have done some trades at the deadline to win the Presidents trophy - are you saying, that would helped Alex win the Hart this year?

I personally don't think anything is going to hurt Alex in the voting. He is the best player in the NHL and the MVP for his team. If Malkin went down after all of those trades, the Pens probably would have been alright. If Alex goes down, then the Caps struggle. It's MVP for their team... and that is why I understand why people say Mason or Thomas should have been nominated. It's not, well, this guy has won it, lets give another guy a shot at it. It is what it is and I can bet that Alex will win it again.

Posted by: _828 | April 29, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Ovi and Greenie in a Gumball Rally? Lord, no! Keep them away from motorized vehicles. We saw what happened when Mike tried to drive the Segway and when Ovi was driving the utility cart.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 29, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Gonchar and the fact that their coach changed up the system to a similar style of the Caps rather than the Devils. They used their strengths...

Posted by: _828 | April 29, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Malkin was the league leader in points all season long, but the pens were not a playoff team until Gonchar came back from injury, Kunitz and Guerin were acquired at the deadline. A fine season for sure, but the Hart stays in Washington.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | April 29, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@redbirde, Backstrom turned 21 last fall. In their first two seasons Malkin 80/111/191 and Nicky is 36/121/157. Considering Backstrom is a full yearh-and-half younger, I'll take him. I don't need goals from my center - I've got AO and Semin - I'd like assists. I think Backstrom runs something like 30/75/105 next year and everyone will know his name. He's so strong on his skates, doesn't give the puck up, plays very hard on both ends (as good centers should), and is completely balanced.

Posted by: saintex | April 29, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone discussed the booing that took place after the second period last night? Yes, the Caps weren't playing their best, but it wasn't for lack of effort. I don't think we should be booing our boys. This isn't Philadelphia...

Posted by: ccCapsfan | April 29, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If you follow what the writers with votes are saying, OV has it in the bag. Most of the season, everyone had OV without question. Then Malkin had a big surge in points and was way out ahead and they all said he was the front runner, but at the end of the season, OV's run for the Ross won all those voters back. Everyone I've read who's got a vote (excluding writers from the Pitts) says it's OV in a landslide.

Posted by: Southwester | April 29, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse


I for one dont have a problem with the boo's. I think it is no different to Bruce ripping them a new one about the way things are going.

What should we cheer at the end of those 2 bad periods?

It's not like we werent going to completely get behind them in the third...

These guys are big boys...they know we want to win...nothing wrong with letting them know.."we have to be better."

Posted by: SA-Town | April 29, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

One thing you have to look at with Malkin is the lack of talent on his wings. He has played with has Beene and never will bes all of his career. Crosby always automatically gets the most talented line mates because that's the only way to get anything out of him, he's a playmaker, nothing more. OV is a terrific player and may be the best in the world but he has a LOT more around him than Malkin, and that has to be considered.

Posted by: Jadosa29 | April 29, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@ccCapsfan: I didn't boo and at the time I thought they were booing an offside call (my view got obstructed by some schmuck making a early run for beer, so I wasn't quite sure). In retrospect, though, I don't have a problem with the booing. The boys were giving the Rags way too many chances in our end, they weren't playing with fire and I think sometimes fans need to let them know we expect better. They certainly showed us a better game afterward, didn't they?

Posted by: Southwester | April 29, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the misspelled words. I hate the auto complete on the iPhone sometimes it changes what you type I didn't catch it.

Posted by: Jadosa29 | April 29, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone discussed the booing that took place after the second period last night? Yes, the Caps weren't playing their best, but it wasn't for lack of effort. I don't think we should be booing our boys. This isn't Philadelphia...

Posted by: ccCapsfan | April 29, 2009 2:57 PM

I didn't say anything yet today because the boo'ers get offended. I brought it up after they boo'd the team as they left the ice after losing game 2 and everyone trotted out their (correctly) recognized first amendment rights.

They were booing the team, and loudly, at the end of the second period in a 1-1 tied, game seven at home. You can justify it away if you boo'd and that's your perogative, but I think those that boo'd are about as immature as the two drunks behind me that got in a fight on the stairs last night. That's my first amendment right.

Posted by: saintex | April 29, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I didn't even realize how big Matt Bradley was on that Feds goal until I looked at it again. Wow, Matt Bradley had an unbelievable series against the Rangers. He's been doing all the little things that people won't be talking about but I'm just really impressed with him. Go Brads!!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 29, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm also surprised there wasn't more love for Mason. I'll put him #4 behind the three Russians.

Backstrom - one year to go on his entry-level deal. I would not be surprised if McPhee offers him 11 years as extension to put him the same years as Ovie, with salary like Zetterburg $6M/per. They might also do the exact same thing with Semin to lock up the nucleus through 2021.

Hopefully the Caps can "copy" the Wings' model.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 29, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

As for booing...I would never, ever boo my own team. It's like booing your family. Either say nothing, or get on them a little:

"C'mon, boys! Pick it up a little! One period to do or die!"

But boo your own team!? Booing is for the other team, the refs and the commissioner.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 29, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town : I don't think we should be cheering when they play poorly. But, I kind of feel like it's our job to be the "7th man" and in taking on that job we should be supportive all the time. To me, that means just being quiet when they are playing poorly or, better still, being encouraging. I saw some comments from GMGM today where he was surprised that the crowd would boo their beloved Caps. Of course, when you're paying what we pay for tickets, you certainly have a right to boo if you want...

Posted by: ccCapsfan | April 29, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I have to say that I'm more 'supportive' of the booing if we tank a game to the Avs and lose 5-0 or get hammered by the Blue Jackets. My theory is that it's regular season, there's not a build-up or tomorrow as in a series, and it's sort of a one-off thing. The playoffs are different. It takes four games to win - or one goal last night - and I don't get the booing. I'm happy they went to NY and split games 3 and 4 but I sure didn't want them heading off the Verizon ice, down 0-2, and the fans booing, and in many cases, giving up and yelling "overrated" and "overpaid" at the players.

I'd like to see GM hold the inevitable Nylander and JT60 money - about $9M in the bank after next season - and earmark it for Backstrom and Semin. They are both up for new contracts after next season and we can split the dif and give them each a $4.5m raise if need be. Don't spend that money anywhere else.

Posted by: saintex | April 29, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

As most here, I have a disdain for the Pens, but do have appreciation for Malkin's skills - he's a heck of a player. I still think Ovi should pick up the MVP again though, and not because I am a Caps fan. 2 points here: Malkin won the scoring title by 3, but that is a merit on it's own and should not factor here. Also, consider what many of you have...hits, ice time, team support, back-checking, etc... I think most would agree Ovi outdoes Malkin here. The second point, is that for most of the season, the Pens were struggling even with Malkin playing good hockey. What he was contributing was still not enough to carry his team. The Pens only made a run with a new coach, getting Gonchar back, and making a couple key acquisitions at the trade deadline. THAT is what helped the team reach the playoffs. The Caps have been consistent all year, with Ovi the clear leader and inspiration. Just to let you know, in case you wonder where "Gonchpup" came from and think I must be a Penguins mole or something, the truth is I named my dog Gonch back when Gonchar played with the Caps. I am a Caps fan through and through, but I can't see changing my dogs name...

Posted by: gonchpup | April 29, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin wins by a land slide. Why? The Caps during the middle of the season played without Semin, Green, Fedorov, Poti, Schultz, Erskine, Fleischmen simultaneously for several games and a few of those players were out for extended periods of time. Ovechkin not only kept the ship afloat, despite being marked EVERY game by the defensive pairing, double teamed and smothered, they Caps set a team point record, home wins record, 2nd place in the East and notched another 50 goal season.

Malkin, what did he do? He led the league in scoring. He did with Crosby as linemate during the middle of the season where he did most of his scoring. Where did that lead the Pens? 10th place in the East. It wasn't until the coaching change, the return of Gonchar and the acquisition of Kunitz and Guerin before the PENs hit their stride. In summary, the PENs were losing with Malkin raking in the points, they would lose without his points too.

Ovechkin by a huge amount.

Posted by: JSchon | April 29, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

i would say the top three non-russian and whos last name doesnt rhyme w/ "hackstrom" stars of that series were:

matt bradley
tom poti
john erskine/brian pothier (tie)

honorable mention
dave steckle

top three opaque players (barely noticible)

fehr/flash (tie)

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 29, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

JSchon, excellent point, and something I feel was sadly overlooked this season. At some points, i felt like I was watching Ovie & The Bears! But the thing of it is, THEY KEPT WINNING. That's a heck of a testament to bruce, and the system he and GMGM have put in place. I'm not sure any other team (except Detroit) could have dealt with such a blow and come out the otherside not only with a commanding lead in the division, but putting up a serious fight for the conference title, too.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 29, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: cappies | April 29, 2009 2:29 PM |Easy..Let this series decide it.

Voting is completed at the end of the regular season, so what happens in the playoffs has no effect.

Posted by: Dalliquippa | April 29, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Ovie had only three points less than Malkin. Ovie also missed three games. At Ovie's PPG rate, he would have had 4 points in those three games, thus beating Malkin by one point.

There's no reason to give the Hart to anyone but Ovie.

Posted by: rw-c | April 29, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

On the booing: Tasteless and classless. Makes you sound like a bandwagon fan. Want to send a message? Utter Silence. Step away from the tunnel when they come through.

Booing? Never. They are our team so keep the faith. Also when a goalie makes an awesome save it makes no sense to start chanting his name. Are you cheering him on?

Posted by: trunkenmath | April 30, 2009 6:14 AM | Report abuse

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