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Four Most Likely NHL MVP Candidates At This Point In The Season

Posted by Don Melrose on 3/21/2013 6:32:02 PM

The Chicago Blackhawks set an NHL record when they went 24-straight games with at least a point to open the 2013 regular season. The Pittsburgh Penguins are right there on the other side of the league on a crash course to meet the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals. Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks are still within reach of Chicago for first place in the Western Conference thanks to an excellent start that has remained under the radar so far, and the Montreal Canadiens are contending for first place in the East after a dramatic turnaround from fishing at the bottom of the conference a year ago. Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, and Carey Price are the biggest reasons for each of these stories, and that is why they are all in the running for NHL MVP heading in to the final stretch.

While the Blackhawks may be one of the deeper teams in the league, no player was as dominant during their run as Kane, whose 38 points are eight more than captain Jonathan Toews for the team lead. Kane has 16 goals and 22 assists through the first 30 games of the lockout-shortened season, and just as importantly, his incredible hands have made the difference in a number of shootout wins for Chicago so far this year. Kane has been the best player on the league’s best team so far this season, and that is why he is the online betting favorite to win the MVP.

That said, no player in the NHL has been better this season than Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby, who leads league in assists and points with 37 and 50 respectively. Averaging close to two points a game for the best team in the Eastern Conference is enough to merit Crosby being a frontrunner for the MVP award, and when you factor in that fact that he is coming back from concussion issues that plagued him all of last sports betting season, the overall story gets even better.

Meanwhile, a case can be made that Getzlaf deserves recognition as MVP for helping turn things around with the Ducks. Anaheim is right there behind the Blackhawks for the best record in the NHL, and Getzlaf has registered a team-high 35 points, ranking him sixth in the league. That said, Price has been the best player for a Montreal team that leads the Northeast division heading in to the final stretch, just one year after finishing with the worst record in the Eastern Conference. Price is second in the NHL with 15 wins, and his 2.35 goals against average is a solid online sportsbook number considering the team in front of him hasn’t always played the most responsible hockey.

There is still time for things to change in terms of the NHL MVP situation, although right now it would be hard to make a case for any player outside of these four. While Kane’s Blackhawks have the league’s best record, Crosby’s Penguins aren’t far behind and his 50 points through 31 games is enough that he should be the favorite at this point to win league MVP honors.

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