Edmonton Oilers

Bruins' David Pastrnak: Leon Draisaitl 'no question' should win Hart Trophy

Bruins' David Pastrnak: Leon Draisaitl 'no question' should win Hart Trophy

Boston Bruins right winger David Pastrnak doesn't think there's much of a debate over which player should win the Hart Trophy as the NHL's MVP for the 2019-20 season.

He's of the opinion that Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl is the most deserving candidate.

"The way he played this year, it's absolutely no question for me," Pastrnak told reporters on a Zoom conference call Monday.

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Draisaitl has a very strong case to win the Hart Trophy.

The Oilers star already won the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer with 110 points (43 goals, 67 assists) in 71 games. He helped keep the Oilers offense going when superstar teammate Connor McDavid missed about two weeks in February, during which the team earned a 3-2-1 record. His case also is strengthened by the fact Edmonton finished the regular season in second place in the Pacific Division, which earned the Oilers a spot in the upcoming play-in round as part of the league's return to play plan. It's not often a player wins the Hart from a team outside the playoff picture.

Draisaitl does have some competition for the award, though.

Pastrnak has a good chance to be a Hart Trophy finalist himself. He tied for the league lead in goals with 48, and his 95 points led a Bruins team that won the Presidents' Trophy for having the league's best regular season record. 

Two other players with a chance to win the award are Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and New York Rangers left winger Artemi Panarin.

Panarin, in particular, could be Draisaitl's toughest competition for the Hart. The Russian forward put up similarly strong offensive numbers surrounded by far less talent in New York than Draisaitl was in Edmonton. The Rangers also were better defensively with Panarin on the ice than the Oilers were with Draisaitl.

It's going to be a fascinating vote, but after leading the league in scoring by a wide 15-point margin on a team in the playoff mix, Draisaitl should be considered the favorite for the Hart Trophy.

Breaking down the winners and losers of NHL 24-team season return format

Breaking down the winners and losers of NHL 24-team season return format

The NHL has their 24-team postseason format and they’ve even drilled down on some of the specifics this week.

We still don’t know exactly when the Stanley Cup postseason can start or when NHL training camps would be going full speed ahead. Also, all of the matchups beyond the “qualifying round” are still very much in the air.

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Clearly there is still plenty we don’t know about the Stanley Cup Playoffs once the NHL presses the play button in the next few months.

But we do know enough about the proposed postseason to know who will benefit, and who will be getting the short end of the stick. So that’s enough to put together the always popular winners and losers list when it comes to the new NHL postseason format. 

Click here for the gallery.

This Date in Bruins Playoff History: Wayne Gretzky beats B's in final Oilers game

This Date in Bruins Playoff History: Wayne Gretzky beats B's in final Oilers game

There's been one game played on May 26 in Boston Bruins history, and it was a historic one.

However, the real reason it's memorable has little to do with what happened on the ice and more about what occurred in the months that followed.

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The Edmonton Oilers swept the Bruins in the 1988 Stanley Cup Final with a 6-3 Game 5 victory (Game 4 wasn't completed due to a power failure at the Boston Garden) at the Northlands Coliseum. It was a fitting end to a dominant series for the Oilers, who outscored the B's 18-9 in the four games that were completed.

The win clinched Edmonton's fourth Stanley Cup title in five seasons.

Game 5 of the 1988 Cup Final also was Wayne Gretzky's last as an Oilers player -- an idea that, at the time, seemed inconceivable. Gretzky was a Canadian icon and the league's best player, but for a variety of reasons, the Oilers traded him to the Los Angeles Kings on Aug. 9 of that year. The trade was, and remains, one of the most debated and discussed transactions in league history.

So, this matchup between the Oilers and Bruins literally was the end of an era, one that produced perhaps the greatest dynasty in NHL history.

However, the Oilers weren't done winning Stanley Cup titles or beating the Bruins. These teams met again in the Stanley Cup Final two years later, where the Oilers eliminated the Bruins in five games for the franchise's fifth championship.