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Names Trophy Finalists Valuable Player

NHL NAMES HART TROPHY FINALISTS FOR MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

MAY 12, 2022  (11H16)      JON
The Hart Trophy is typically the single-most contentious of all the NHL Awards. Fans erupt in disagreement year after year, bellowing about how their guy is *the* guy. This year, the heat is expected to rise even further as about 10 or 11 guys could reasonably be selected. However, only three names sit on the ballot & those are:

- Connor McDavid (EDM)
- Auston Matthews (TOR)
- Igor Shesterkin (NYR)

With all due respect to Johnny Gaudreau, Juuse Saros, Jonathan Huberdeau, and the like, McDavid, Matthews & Shesterkin were in a league of their own this year in terms of individual impact. The case for McDavid & Shesterkin are quite plain: without them, both of those teams are on the outside looking in. Matthews on the other hand requires a closer look to ascertain just how dominant he was.

Auston Matthews - my choice for the Hart, was dynamic in every area of the ice. While McDavid's impact on the Oilers' offense is extraordinary, the team's defense is abysmal, and his defensive game has improved but not like Matthews'. Auston Matthews broke the 60-goal plane with elite defensive play-driving. Insanely impressive & worth serious consideration. Check out his micro stats, courtesy of JFresh Hockey:


Connor McDavid - unanimously the best hockey player on earth right now, McDavid is the heart, the legs, the backbone & pretty much everything else for the Edmonton Oilers. No one creates more offense than Connor, as reflected in yet another Art Ross Trophy for the Oilers' Captain. His defensive impacts are better than years past, however not where Matthews' are. And in judging the MVP, one must consider all 200ft of ice, not just the O-zone. Here are Connor's microstats:


Igor Shesterkin - one of the best goaltending campaigns in recent memory, Igor deserves most of the credit for the Rangers' success this season. While Head Coach Gerard Gallant did a fine job bringing the game to his goaltender, the team's 5v5 stats were horrendous & if not for the team's potent powerplay & elite puck stopping capabilities of Shesterkin, they'd be drafting in the top 10 this summer, if you catch my drift. Igor's season was one of the best in the 'analytic' era, spanning back to 2007-08:


Between Shesterkin & McDavid, Igor probably has a stronger case for MVP, but no one's on-ice impact compared to Auston Matthews this season.
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