The Chicago Blackhawks had two viable candidates to make the Hart Trophy final cut. In the end, neither made it.
Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and John Tavares of the New York Islanders were named finalists for the Hart Trophy, the NHL announced this morning. The Hart Trophy, voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, is awarded to the player judged most valuable to his team.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Patrick Kane were both in the Hart talk throughout the season. Each finished with 23 goals, with Kane besting Toews in the points category (55 to 48). Kane’s point total was fifth best in the league.
Without looking at everyone’s ballot, don’t be surprised if some votes got split among Kane and Toews. Both were very worthy candidates on a team that surged to the top of the Western Conference en route to claiming the Presidents’ Trophy.
Kane talked about it after the Blackhawks’ Game 5 victory over the Minnesota Wild, saying if he or Toews did make the finals, it was because of their supporting cast.
“Probably for this year, at least, it’s more of a team award of one of us gets nominated,” he said.
Crosby, who missed a month with a broken jaw, nevertheless finished tied third in the league with 56 points. Ovechkin, who got off to a quiet start this season, came on strong in the end of the regular season and also collected 56 points. Tavares had a team-leading 47 points including 28 goals, third most in the league.