No matter what the discussion in hockey, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby generally incite debate. That is no different this season, especially with the recent announcement by the NHL Players Asssociation that the Caps' Ovechkin and Penguins' Crosby are finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, given annually to the league's Most Outstanding Player.
Ovechkin and Crosby are joined by Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning as the three finalists for the Lindsay trophy, the only NHL award voted on by the league's players.
In 36 games, Crosby scored 56 points (good for third in the league), tallied 41 assists, 15 goals, and lead the NHL in points per game at 1.56. Crosby won the Lindsay Award in the 2006-07 season, and was a finalist in 2009-10. Last year, Crosby's Pittsburgh teammate Evgeni Malkin claimed the Lindsay trophy. This season the Penguins won the Eastern Conference, taking the No. 1 playoff seed, and the team is currently tied at two games a piece in a first round playoff series with the New York Islanders.
Though he started slowly after an offseason position change, Ovechkin played like a dominant force for the final half of the shortened NHL regular season. The Russian forward played in all 48 of the Capitals' games, leading the NHL in goals at 32, tying Crosby with 56 points on the season and the top rank in the league for power play goals with 16. In leading the Capitals to the Southeast Division title and a No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, Ovechkin collected the "Rocket" Richard Trophy. Ovi has won the Lindsay Award three times previously, winning consecutively from 2007 through 2010.
The leading point scorer in the NHL, St. Louis scored 60 points this season, playing in all 48 games. He ranked first in assists with 43, won his second career Art Ross Trophy, and placed second in points per game at 1.25. Though the Lightning missed the playoffs this season, this would be the second Lindsay trophy for St. Louis, who also won in 2003-04.
The NHLPA will announce the winner of Lindsay Most Outstanding Player Award during the Stanley Cup Finals. The trophy is named for Ted Lindsay, an ALL-Star forward who played with tenacity and grit and would later form the original Players Association.