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Congratulations, Alex Ovechkin!
Photo by Clyde Caplan
Only a season ago, a number of people, including fans and media, thought Alex Ovechkin was washed up. His 2011-12 numbers – 65 points – was a far cry from the 109 he tallied only two seasons before that. And though the lockout-shortened season didn’t give him an opportunity to match any career highs, the 48 games were plenty to once again prove to the league that he’s the Most Valuable Player – the third time he’s won the Hart Trophy.
Ovechkin, however, caught a couple of breaks to win. Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos both finished with more points than Ovi, but the Lightning didn’t make the playoffs. Then there’s Sidney Crosby, who had the same point total as Ovechkin despite playing 12 fewer games. But the Penguins didn’t struggle without Crosby, which doesn’t help his MVP case. Crosby did, however, win the Ted Lindsay award, which is the MVP award voted by the players.
Ovechkin’s resurgence fueled the Caps’ run to the playoffs after the team struggled in the early months. His 32 goals, 16 power play goals and 220 shots led the league. It was the third time in his career that he led the league in goals, and seventh time in shots (last year being the only time he didn’t).
If coach Adam Oates is right when he says Ovi has ‘tons of room to improve,’ then Ovi might not be done winning this award.