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The case for Sidney Crosby for the Hart Trophy

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As we near the end of the season, we’re going to take a look at who we think should be three finalists for the Hart, Norris and Calder Trophies, making arguments for each. We start with the Hart Trophy, given to the NHL’s Most Valuable Player. Next up: Sidney Crosby.

Why he deserves it: The player many (well, perhaps half of you) consider the best player in the NHL is in the midst of the best season of his career after finding that putting the puck on net more will result in more goals. Imagine that. He’s leading the NHL with 49 goals and is third in the league with 104 points and with the Pittsburgh Penguins fighting through injuries has become more vital to his team than ever before. Last season Crosby showed us just how great a playmaker he is; this season we’re learning that he is one hell of a goal scorer as well. As if we didn’t already know it, but this season he’s hammered the point home.

Why he doesn’t deserve it: I originally wasn’t going to list Crosby as a finalist, since I wanted just three for each trophy. But I figured that including Ovechkin and not having Crosby in the discussion would be near-blasphemy. All the same, I’m not certain that Crosby deserves the Hart as much as Ryan Miller or Henrik Sedin. He’s not as dominant night after night as they are, and with the Penguins struggling with consistency lately it’s tough to pinpoint exactly how much the impact of their struggles will hurt him. What will certainly play against Crosby is his plus-13, significantly dwarfed by the incredible number put up by Ovechking and Sedin.

Why he’ll get it: Crosby is still evolving as a hockey player and this season he showed that he can certainly take a step in a new direction do what is needed to help his team succeed. He’s the captain of the Stanley Cup defending Penguins, and there’s a good chance he finishes with the most goals in the NHL.

Why he won’t get it: Simply because no matter how great a season he’s had, it hasn’t been anywhere near as great or impressive as the others’. The way he’s struggled to score with Evgeni Malkin in the lineup might also play against him.