NHL Awards

Quick Links

NHL Awards tracker: How Malkin is helping Ovechkin's case for the Hart

usatsi_10577231.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: How Malkin is helping Ovechkin's case for the Hart

A week by week look at where the race for the major individual NHL awards stands and which Caps could be in contention.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been red-hot as of late and so has Evgeni Malkin. In his last nine games, Malkin has tallied a whopping 11 goals and 17 points. His current run has some people talking about him contending for the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player.

But if you want to talk about Malkin for the Hart, you have to talk about Alex Ovechkin as well.

Malkin has 66 points this season, Ovechkin has 65. Even with his impressive goal run of late, Malkin still trails Ovechkin in the goal-scoring race 34-32. What's more, Ovechkin's Capitals still hold a three-point lead over Pittsburgh with two games in hand in the Metropolitan Division.

Granted all of this could change by next week. Perhaps Malkin will pass Ovechkin in goals or the Penguins will pass the Caps in the standings which will change the conversation. Until then, however, there's no way to push Malkin's Hart candidacy without thinking about Ovechkin. What he is doing at the age of 32 with a Capitals team in which no one really knew what to expect is more impressive than what the 31-year-old Malkin is doing with players like Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby with the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is third among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With two rookies on the blue line and an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Braden Holtby

In contention for: Vezina

Holtby is on pace to be a 40-win goalie for the fourth consecutive season. He would be the first goalie in NHL history to accomplish that feat.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

If Malkin is a Hart candidate, so is Ovechkin who has done more with less in Washington this season.

Barry Trotz

In contention for: Jack Adams

The Caps still hold a three-point lead in the Metropolitan Division despite having two rookies on the blue line, dealing with more injuries than they have seen in years and down offensive years for some of its top players. Trotz deserves a lot of credit for that.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!

Quick Links

NHL Awards tracker: Russian vs. Russian

usatsi_10048667.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: Russian vs. Russian

A week by week look at where the race for the major individual NHL awards stands and which Caps could be in contention.

Alex Ovechkin remains a dark horse for the Hart Trophy because he remains atop the NHL in goals helping to boost a Caps' offense that has been inconsistent this season. But he may not be in the lead for long.

Evgeni Malkin of the rival Pittsburgh Penguins is on a hot streak and has pulled to within two goals of his fellow Russian countryman. In his last five games alone, Malkin has found the back of the net nine times. That's an unsustainable pace, but it has propelled him to second in the NHL with a lot of time left to catch Ovechkin.

Just yet another storyline to watch between the rival teams.

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is fourth among all defensemen with 41 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With two rookies on the blue line and an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Braden Holtby

In contention for: Vezina

Holtby sits third in the NHL in wins with 27 in 39 games played. The two goalies who boast more wins, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Connor Hellebuyck, have also played in more games (45 and 44 games, respectively).

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

Ovechkin still leads the NHL in goals with 32. Yes, Malkin is hot on his heels, but it should be noted that even with nine goals in a span of five games, Malkin still trails Ovechkin by two. That's how good Ovechkin has been.

Barry Trotz

In contention for: Jack Adams

Let's turn the clock back to before the season. No one knew what to expect from the Caps. Maybe they were a playoff team, maybe they weren't. The fact that Barry Trotz has coached this team to first place in the Metropolitan Division at this point, especially given the injuries the team faced earlier in the season, may be a bigger surprise than it would have been if the Caps were on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. So long as Vegas continues winning, Gerard Gallant is going to win this award, but a case can be made that this is Trotz's best season since coming to Washington.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!

Quick Links

NHL Awards tracker: A sprint to the finish

usatsi_10547254.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: A sprint to the finish

A week by week look at where the race for the major individual NHL awards stands and which Caps could be in contention.

No more breaks, no more resets. The longest break the Caps have between games from no to the end of the season is three days. They will play the remaining 32 games of the season over a 65-day stretch. That leaves the team's possible award candidates with plenty of opportunities to make their case for some hardware.

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Only two defensemen among the NHL's top ten in points were not extended invites to the All-Star Game. Carslon, currently No. 3 with 40 points, was one of them.  While that and the fact that he ranks fifth in the NHL in time on ice per game was not good enough to get him to Tampa, it should be enough to at least warrant Norris consideration.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Braden Holtby

In contention for: Vezina

Holtby is second in the NHL in wins with 26. His save percentage and GAA are not among the league's leaders, but considering he is playing behind a blue line with two rookies in the top six, the fact that he keeps winning is pretty impressive.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

Alex Ovechkin leads the league in goals with 30. Washington has scored 155 goals this season which means Ovechkin has contributed over 19-percent of his team's offense. That's higher than Nikita Kucherov, John Tavares and Auston Matthews. In fact, it is the highest percentage in the NHL.

Barry Trotz

In contention for: Jack Adams

Let's turn the clock back to before the season. No one knew what to expect from the Caps this season. Maybe they were a playoff team, maybe they weren't. The fact that Barry Trotz has coached this team to first place in the Metropolitan Division at this point, especially given the injuries the team faced earlier in the season, may be a bigger surprise than it would have been if the Caps were on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. So long as Vegas continues winning, Gerard Gallant is going to win this award, but a case can be made that this is Trotz's best season since coming to Washington.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!