Hart Trophy race: Who’s the favorite?
Is the Hart trophy this year going to be one of those awards that literally not one person can agree on. Definitely feels like it. Claude Giroux, no Nathan MacKinnon, no Taylor Hall, no Nikita Kcuherov, no Connor McDavid, no Evgeni Malkin. Make up your mind this isn’t pee-wee soccer not everyone gets a trophy here people. The Hart has to go to someone who is the most valuable player to their team. Yes, Hall is certainly the most valuable to the Devils and without him, that day would be a basement team. Same goes for Claude Giroux although Voracek, Konecny, Ghost, Couturier, and Simmonds are there Giroux really is the mold of this Flyers team. He is a great leader and one hell of a player that the Flyers rely on pretty consistently for a lot of things. For example, Giroux had one of his worst seasons in 2016-17 and the Flyers missed the playoffs, now the guy has a career year and the Flyers are a playoff team. Coincidence? Probably not. Kucherov is the same scenario as Giroux but Stamkos also plays a major role in that team’s success so I could see him not winning it. Malkin in the same sense as Kucherov because without Kessel and Crosby and Malkin performing like this the Penguins would not be as good, the fact that all three chip in and are top 15 players in the league is the main reason the Penguins are successful.
Nathan MacKinnon and Taylor Hall are probably my favorites for the Hart, based on value to a team, these two make or break their teams. Without these two the Avalanche and Devils would be nothing. MacKinnon is posting 1.33 points per game, 92 points in 69 games. Perhaps this guy did not miss 7 games during that time he was posting unreal numbers he may be a lock for the Hart. But, then again Taylor Hall with 86 points in 72 games having a career year and tallying the most wins for the Devils in five years is pretty big. Hall has not only gave hope to the Devils but also to all their fans, this guy is definitely the heart and soul of this organization and without him, the train won’t run. He missed some time this year too, not much but factor in his historic point streak this season and career-high goals and the Devils being a playoff team now, it is tough to not choose this guy. There are still some games left and I think a major component to winning the Hart is if your team is a playoff team or not. That is why I cannot see McDavid winning it, and if the Av’s don’t make the playoffs or Devils don’t make it, it has to go to Giroux. Until then it is a race, people.