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Who's the MVP?

Seems to me like the MVP race is going to come down to four players: Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier, Vancouver's Roberto Luongo and New Jersey's Martin Brodeur.

Right off the bat, let me say that my vote goes to Lecavalier, who brings his league-high 50 goals into tonight's game against the Caps at St. Pete Times Forum.

We all know about Crosby, who leads the league in points with 116 points. The Canucks wouldn't be where they are today without Luongo, who has 45 wins and an eye-popping .923 save percentage. And what more can be said about Brodeur? He's been the world's best goalie for a while now, and is proving it again with 12 shutouts this season.

But I've always loved silky smooth goal scorers, especially ones who score them in all situations--on the PP (Lecavalier has 16 of them), on the PK (five shorties) and in the clutch (seven game winners).

Putting the puck past a world class netminder is the hardest thing to do in hockey. And Vinny has done it more than anyone else this season.

Who do you like?

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 31, 2007; 3:01 PM ET
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I like Luongo. I don't think Vancouver would be anywhere close to where they are without him in net. He's been rock solid and that trade is looking like one of the worst in history. I understand that he wasn't going to re-sign with Florida but they could've gotten a lot more than what they winded up with.

Posted by: idl | March 31, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I'd have to agree that Luongo is the one who really stands out. Lecavalier will probably always be paired with St. Louis (at least in the minds of many), which may hurt his personal impact, and if any forward is going to take it I can't see Crosby losing in this NHL. If the MVP is decided as it should be, Luongo will take it as he's had the greatest effect on his team's performance.

Posted by: brad | March 31, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

As much as I hate the Pens, Crosnby should win it, and it will be a farce if he doesn't. Luongo is doing well, and the 'couv has been on a tear since Xmas, but I don't think its enough to overcome a 19 year old leading the league in points.

thats the Hart though, the Pearson will be a whole different story, because sometimes I get the impression that some NHLers don't like Sid (see Alfredsson's commentes last year). It could also be jealousy...

Posted by: Graham | March 31, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

When you look at the difference that Luongo has made on the Canucks based off of the change from last year to this year I think there is no contest. Luongo has to win the Hart

Posted by: Mike P | March 31, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I go with Luongo. I just really do think he's meant the most to his team. Vancouver is 22nd in goals scored and is ranked 4 in the West. They are 3rd in goals allowed, up from 14th last season.

Posted by: false_cause | March 31, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Brodeur. This has got to be the least talented team he's played on, yet his stats are about as good, if not better, than before. Other than Rafalski, who on their defense is really good/impressive? And considering they play to win 2-1 or so, he's got no margin for error.

Posted by: TG | March 31, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

All commenters above have valid points, and there's very good cases to be made for Lecavalier, Luongo and Brodeur. But I'd bet no one gets a quarter the first-place votes Crosby gets. Crosby's going to win this trophy, end of story, whether he deserves it or not.

Posted by: katzistan | March 31, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

"Ovechkin emerged from the locker room and smashed his stick repeatedly against the wall and a trash can until it broke into four pieces ... Ovechkin's iPod and headphones also were completely destroyed ... Ovechkin and Semin ... left without speaking to the media."

Kolzig - "He's probably frustrated with what happened and in the meeting ... It wasn't targeted at Ovie. He's obviously our guy. But it was something he didn't want to hear."

Still think it's impossible that he'd want to play somewhere else? Despite 30 years of disappointment, even I didn't think they could screw this one up.


Posted by: Oneal | April 1, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if that's what had him pullin' a Kolzig on his Ipod but I think everyone has to agree that was a STOOOPID penalty by Semin.
The good news is, They're just kids. With some help from the veterans and coaching staff. Both Ovie & Semin will be able to see why you can't take penalties like that.

Posted by: Pete | April 1, 2007 2:55 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if anyone watched Buffalo play last night, but Zubie had a terrific game. Can anyone explain why that trade was made? We gave away an incredibly valuable building block. And I think any suggestion that he'll come back as a UFA is fantasy after watching him start to blend in wit the Sabres.

Back on point: Crosby, even though Lecavalier and especially Luongo deserve it more.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 1, 2007 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Oneal, since neither of us were in the locker room, we don't know what ovi was pissed about. hopefully tarik will find out more. perhaps he had the hoyas in the team pool. but seriously, if he didn't care about playing here, then would he have been that p'od or just shrugged his shoulders. don't worry about ovi not wanting to play here. he's frustrated as everyone should be. hopefully big ted has been whispering in his ear that serious help is on the way.

as for zubie, he was a UFA with us and neither side could/would agree on an extention. he's not a building block, hes a veteran. and if, as you said, he would resign here, than getting something for him while they could was a good idea. time will tell if it was worth it. and i don't think one game is enough to evaluate him on. i have heard he hasn't been as valuable as they thought. i'm a big zubie fan but i do think his value on the ice was overstated by playing w/ ovie. i hope he gets his cup...

Posted by: Ovi and Zubie | April 1, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Luongo. without him the canucks are in the cellar.

Posted by: mac | April 1, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Crosby isn't a serious candidate because he's an assist man. Fact is, if the NHL woke up, the scoring should be adjusted so that goals count more than assists. And many second assists are a total farce. It should be Brodeur or Lecavalier

Posted by: Joe | April 1, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The Hart is not for the best player in the league, it is for the player judged most valuable to his team. Take any of these four away from their clubs, and where would they be? Crosby plays in a relatively weak division with eight games against the Flyers (7-9-16, +9) padding his totals. Lecavalier has St. Louis and Richards riding shotgun, and he's gotten fat off the Caps (9-7-16, +4). Brodeur has all those wins and shutouts, but he's also 6-0-1 against the Flyers with rather mediocre statistics to back that up (2.62, .904).

I was on the Brodeur bandwagon for a long time, but Roberto Luongo has really closed with a rush (15-6 in his last 21 decisions) and plays in a difficult division. Luongo would be my choice.

Posted by: The Peerless | April 1, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I would vote for Luongo. I really do think he's been the best in the league for a few seasons now, except now he's finally out of the whole that is the Florida Panthers. He put up good save % in Florida, but didn't have the backup to get the wins or shutouts. Now he's finally showing everyone that he deserves to be considered right along side Brodeur as the best goalie currently playing.

As for who I think *will* win, it'll probably be Crosby. Everyone loves scoring and he's put up the best offensive numbers. Combined with the hype (deserved or not) and I don't think it will even be close.

Posted by: FN | April 2, 2007 1:16 AM | Report abuse

I despise the penguins, but it should go to crosby, unless Brodeur breaks a record or something. If anyone other than those two win it, it will be a farce

Posted by: Graham | April 3, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

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