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Morning Reading List: Another MVP?

We've mentioned this, but it bears repeating: Hart Trophy nominee Alex Ovechkin can become the NHL's first back-to-back MVP since Dominik Hasek in 1997 and 1998, and the first forward to accomplish the feat since Wayne Gretzky, who won every year straight from 1980 to '87.

The awards show is tonight on Versus at 7:30. Until then, here's some reading material:

* Handicapping the NHL Awards. From the Sporting News:

Who will win the Hart Trophy: Ovechkin -- Between goal celebrations, leading the Capitals to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and another dominant year offensively, Ovechkin's stardom rose another notch this season. He finished the season with a league-best 56 goals, outscoring No. 2 goal-scorer Jeff Carter by ten goals. "It just gets better all the time," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He's maturing in his defensive role more than he is in anything else. He's just growing into his body, he's becoming the man and I think he'll be stronger again next year."
Who will win the Norris Trophy: Chara -- The Bruins were one of the biggest surprises of the regular season and Chara's presence on the blue line was one of the biggest reasons for it. He's physical, he's consistent and he's quietly one of the best leaders in the game. Mike Green certainly garnered votes and attention after compiling one of the best offensive seasons by a defenseman in recent history with his 31-goal season. But Chara's well-rounded game (he scored 19 goals) will give him the edge. "He's an all-around defenseman for sure. He's playing both ends and he's really dangerous that way," fellow defenseman Mark Stuart said this season.

* Green Rubbing Shoulders with NHL Royalty. From Canwest News Service:

If he wins the Norris Trophy Thursday night, Washington's Mike Green will cap a spectacular, injury-shortened season in fine style.
But the smooth-skating, hard-shooting Calgarian truly is honoured just to be nominated along with classy veterans Zdeno Chara of Boston and Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom, who has won the award the past three seasons. In fact, Green is really looking forward to rubbing shoulders in a hospitality suite instead of trading elbows on the ice.
`"Yeah. I'm excited to meet that guy,'' Green said of Lidstrom, a 39-year- old, six-time Norris winner. "I haven't met him yet. I haven't met a lot of guys actually. I'm new.''

* The National Post's picks: Ovechkin for Hart, Green for Norris.

* Is Vegas a Viable Market? From The Hockey News:

Palm trees, poker, poolside piƱa coladas and...pucks?
When the NHL announced its 2009 awards gala would be moved from traditional Toronto to exotic Las Vegas, it begged and pleaded the question: "Why?"
Why hold one of your marquee events in a town saturated with marquees? A town that is firmly surrounded by desert, about 300 miles from your closest franchise location? A town in which NHL hockey barely registers on the radar screen, let alone the gambling board.

* Puck Daddy and Japers' Rink are teaming up for an NHL Awards party tonight. Click here for all the details.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  June 18, 2009; 10:26 AM ET
 
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Next: Updates on Winter Classic, Steroids

Comments

Go AO and greenie!!!!

Posted by: Redwolf1 | June 18, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

2 possible d-men for Caps to look at??

Seidenberg & Babchuk from Canes.

i luv that Ovie and Greenie are up for awards, but what really matters is Lord Stanley's Cup. the past 2 years running during playoffs I got highly irritated when Caps fans start yelling "MVP." in a game 7, should that be the focus???

Posted by: doughless | June 18, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

They probably started yelling that after he scored a sick goal. I don't think it's the focus for anyone, especially Ovie, the fans are just showing appreciation and declaring who the MVP of the league is...and they're right.

Posted by: Moose33 | June 18, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

You're preaching to the choir, doughless. I think we're all keenly aware, most especially the players, that the Stanley Cup is the main goal for every hockey season. While this year it's escaped us once again, I don't think there's any problem with celebrating the accolades bestowed on our players for what they've accomplished during the regular season.

As for people chanting "MVP", who said that it's only relegated to the person on the winning Stanley Cup team that can be considered an "MVP"? I highly doubt that's a bunch of fans ignoring the fact that it isn't over until one of the teams, hopefully our team, is raising the Cup over their heads. Regardless of whether we win or lose, Ovi and on occasion some of our other stellar players on any given night is a Most Valuable Player. You get irritated by that? Life's too short, man. You could let it go, I'm sure.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | June 18, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

doughless - that's not exclusive to the playoffs. Ovie is the reigning MVP and we Caps fans like to salute his stellar plays by recognizing that fact.

Posted by: CapsChick | June 18, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Vegas is a viable market for hockey. It is too firmly associated with other activities in the minds of visitors. Even the recent Ted's Take mentioned that the NHL Awards is barely registering outside of the host hotel.

Posted by: pstenigma | June 18, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Shocked if AO doesn't get it; surprised if Green does. It'd be nice to see Green win, but I think I agree with the assessment that "beans a la" Chara is the more all-around player. The perception, even if it's not 100% reality, that Green doesn't get it done in his own end, would probably cost him a few votes.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | June 18, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

how bout Babchuk and Seidenberg??? maybe the Ovie thing is small potatoes, but it just seems like the MVP chant is salve for something that can't be addressed without the Caps raising the cup. or at least exercising some demons by winning a game 7.

Posted by: doughless | June 18, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Go Ovi!! I would love to see Greenie win too, but I'm not banking on it (I wonder what the Vegas odds are of him taking it?).

On a different note, this is the way that I prefer to remember the playoffs:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/rangers_win_stanley_cup_15

The Pens don't have a comment? Typical.

Posted by: Boo- | June 18, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

We've been chanting "MVP" all year long. It's a great and well deserved honor.

Posted by: pstenigma | June 18, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Its definitely possible for AO to repeat for the MVP. Green on the ohter hand will be a suprise if he does win. The observation of him not being an all around defensive player is correct and for that fact alone I dont think he will get the Norris

Posted by: CapsFan44 | June 18, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Boo, No way. That's the thing, everyone else gets whats so funny with blonde jokes.
Excited to see how much hardware our boys come home with tonight. Anyone know of an online stream or liveblog for it? I'm having TV issues.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 18, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin deserves to win the MVP.

Green to me is #3 among the 3 candidates for the Norris.

He is just not consistent enough in his own end yet to justify the award.

Both Lidstrom and Chara are two way players that simply dominate games and shut down opponents.

Green may score a goal to win a close game with an end to end rush, but when was the last time someone credited him with shutting somebody down?

Posted by: leopard09 | June 18, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Looks like I'm alone on this but I really think the Pearson is the biggest award. Who knows better than the players who the best really is? The media? No way. No offence Tarik you do a great job!

Posted by: jfwil | June 18, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I have to be honest. I am kind of shocked at the lack of love towards Greenie. I know he has some flaws and didn't perform well in the playoffs, but it's almost like some of you have turned on him. I know the Norris is for the regular which helps Greenie in this.

I'm sure some of you had Center Ice just like I did which was the only way to catch most of Bruins run because that weren't really nationally televised. Chara was getting abused by much smaller players by the end of the 1st round and in the 2nd. Not sure if he was nursing an injury but he looked BAD. Now we know Lidstrom was really nursing an injury, the man had the family jewels worked on, but he didn't look all that great either.

I guess my point is if the Caps wouldn't have made the playoffs more Caps fans might be willing to admit he had a pretty darn good season. Unfortunately for Greenie we have short memories and the last thing we remember is his tough post season (-5).

It was nice to hear that Greenie spent most of his time off with his personal trainer working on that shoulder. I don't think we have to worry about him getting a big head. These elite hockey players all have the same dream, the same one they have been having since they were 10, to skate with the Stanley Cup over their head.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 18, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Can we try to think positive for a second that Green gets the Norris? Let's stop analyzing and celebrate the fact that he must have done something right to even get nominated. It's not like someone was using darts to choose who got nominated.

And we can't possibly think that any of the players know anything about who's the best. Otherwise, Crosby wouldn't exactly be the face of the NHL if you asked the other players. =P

Let's go Ovi!

Let's go Greenie!

Either way, men, you come back to DC as winners! =)

P.S. Nice dress, Sidney. =P

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | June 18, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Start again from 0.

Posted by: Section117 | June 18, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

doughless, do you get mad when a goalie's name or nickname is chanted after a big save? I'm going to speak for the group when I say you can acknowledge individuals while keeping your eye on the big prize. Sort of a fandom multi-task. Seems to me that you are looking for reasons to be mad.

Posted by: ouvan59 | June 18, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I have to be honest. I am kind of shocked at the lack of love towards Greenie. I know he has some flaws and didn't perform well in the playoffs, but it's almost like some of you have turned on him. I know the Norris is for the regular which helps Greenie in this.
Posted by: fanohock1 | June 18, 2009 1:09 PM |

Oh...but these are the same nitwits who chased Larry Murphy & Gonch out of town & into Cup carrying situations.

I don't give those haterz much of anything but the good ole intl' sign for #1.

I guess those are the same nitwits who complained that we lacked toughness against the pinz even against midgets like kinitz & yet cheered that the Donald was suspended. Or that the only way we got to the second rnd was some 40 year old shot us in.

Oh well, there are a lower IQ group of fringe fans out there just like the Brits have those hooligans in soccer.

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 18, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

There goes nutless & his mindless lashing out. Missy Doom & gloom.

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 18, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

ouvan59:

i am sick of always having to clam up when talking trash to some visiting team fan with the dropping of the ULTIMATE trump card: "Where is your Caps Stanley Cup?!?!?"

Individual honors are great and I did my share of yelling MVP during the regular season. That said, team play has been a problem for the Caps this year.

whatev, I ain't no hater!!!

Posted by: doughless | June 18, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

[I have to be honest. I am kind of shocked at the lack of love towards Greenie. I know he has some flaws and didn't perform well in the playoffs, but it's almost like some of you have turned on him. I know the Norris is for the regular which helps Greenie in this]

shocked? I'm shocked that Green was even considered as the NHL's best DEFENSEMAN. He's a closet forward. He was awful in the playoffs and he had no interest in defending his own end of the ice until about the last 4 weeks of the season. Too bad he got hurt against the Rangers, I would have liked to see if his newfound attitude at the end of the season would have carried over into the playoffs. Its great that he scores goals, but that does not make him a defenseman

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 18, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

only thing dimwitted around here is any fan who calls other fans "haterz" because they opt to critique Mike Green's overall game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 18, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

you are ALWAYS correct, Rocc00

Posted by: doughless | June 18, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

doughless,
i also think babchuk and seidenberg would be a great fit for the caps and they wouldnt cost much. babchuk (led all canes d-men in scoring) could replace mo or juice. Seidenberg is one of those erskines or potis that play a solid game and have experience. i wish GMGM would read these forums...

Posted by: wowkanut | June 18, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

wowkanut:

personally i don't advocate replacing Juice. i think one of either Seidenberg or Babchuk would be a nice fit/upgrade.

Posted by: doughless | June 18, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

juice is more like a defensive babchuk. the two could do well together on a line..

Posted by: wowkanut | June 18, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong, I love the Caps, but there is no way Green or OV wins tonight. OV is up against two people that helped get their teams to the Cup finals. Green has not had a good game since he broke the record.

Posted by: jmb9778 | June 18, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

jmb9778:

Going to the finals won't help Malkin or Datsyuk: hockey writers voted at the end of the season BEFORE the playoffs.

Posted by: doughless | June 18, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

only thing dimwitted around here is any fan who calls other fans "haterz" because they opt to critique Mike Green's overall game.
Posted by: cstanton1 | June 18, 2009 2:03 PM |

U mean critique a player within a vacuum? I guess u know a thing or 2 about empty holes.


U & nutless are inbreds or what? Cause u certainly ain't Caps fans.

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 18, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

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