When you look at THN’s three finalists for the Hart Trophy, each one of them got there by having distinctly different seasons.
Daniel Sedin, who is our winner of the award, represented sustained excellence from the start of the season right through to the end. Runner-up Corey Perry virtually came out of nowhere with a late-season flurry of goals that quite likely has propelled him past Steven Stamkos for the Rocket Richard Trophy and almost certainly made him the only 50-goal scorer in the NHL this season. Second runner-up Tim Thomas was absolutely dominating for the first half of the season, but his play slipped a little after the all-star break.
Daniel Sedin was the model of consistent excellence this season. He did not go pointless in a game until the Vancouver’s 10th game of the season and with one game remaining in the season, had scored points in 63 games. At no time this season did Sedin go more than three games without a point; he went three games in a row without only once.
Going into the last weekend of the season the twins Daniel and Henrik were poised to become the first back-to-back Hart and Art Ross Trophy-winning brother act in league history. The only two brothers to even win the scoring championship period were Max and Doug Bentley more than 60 years ago. And with a combined 195 points with one game remaining in the season, the Sedins are the highest two-brother scoring combination in the same season in NHL history.
But only one of them can win the Hart Trophy. This year that’s Daniel.
THN’s TOP THREE HART TROPHY CANDIDATES
Want to know how valuable Daniel Sedin was this season? He scored the first goal of the game 12 times and assisted on 15 more, making his 27 points on those goals by far the most in the league. He posted 18-25-43 totals on goals that put the Canucks ahead in games. The only player to even come close was Henrik, who was 3-34-37 in that department.
With two games remaining in the season, Perry still had an outside chance at catching Daniel Sedin for the Art Ross Trophy. And with a streak that saw him score 19 goals in 14 games down the stretch, it would be unwise to bet against him.
Going into the final weekend of the season, only the Carolina Hurricanes were giving up more shots per game than the Boston Bruins. Thomas did falter a little, but his numbers are mind-boggling. Perhaps the one thing that kept him from more consideration was the fact he played so few games for a No. 1 goalie.