Alex Ovechkin accepted his fourth career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas Thursday after leading the League with 51 goals last season, but finished 23rd in voting for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was a near unanimous winner, earning 128 of 137 first place votes in winning his second career Hart Trophy. Crosby had 36 goals and a League-best 104 points in leading Pittsburgh to the regular-season Metropolitan Division title.
Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers finished second and third in MVP voting, while Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov and Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron rounded out the top five.
As for Ovechkin, he received a single fifth place vote from the panel of 137 writers. It was a dramatic drop for Ovechkin, who just last year won the Hart Trophy for the third time in his career.
According to the NHL, the Hart Trophy is given to the player “adjudged to be the most valuable to his team,” as selected by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Ovechkin’s 51 goals were not only the most in the NHL last season (eight clear of Anaheim’s Corey Perry) but they accounted for 23% of Washington scoring last season, the highest percentage for any player as it relates to his team’s total offensive output.
The Capitals’ captain also led the League with 24 power play goals and was as big a reason as any why Washington finished the year with the NHL’s top rated PP unit.
Despite Ovechkin’s offensive prowess last season, his 200-foot game naturally came into question with his minus-35 rating ranking third-to-last in the League.
Perhaps there is something to be said for the value of a more rounded game when it comes to MVP voting. Consider that the three finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the League’s best defensive forward- Bergeron, Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Toews- all finished among the top nine in Hart Trophy voting.
Below is a look at the voting results for the Hart Trophy, courtesy the NHL:
1. Sidney Crosby, PIT 1341 (128-8-1-0-0)
2. Ryan Getzlaf, ANA 877 (5-96-28-5-0)
3. Claude Giroux, PHI 435 (2-15-42-27-19)
4. Semyon Varlamov, COL 256 (1-8-23-22-9)
5. Patrice Bergeron, BOS 137 (0-4-9-17-13)
6. Tyler Seguin, DAL 84 (0-1-6-12-11)
7. Joe Pavelski, SJ 71 (0-0-3-11-23)
8. Anze Kopitar, LA 58 (0-0-4-9-11)
9. Jonathan Toews, CHI 53 (0-2-4-4-7)
10. Ben Bishop, TB 52 (0-0-5-6-9)
11. Tuukka Rask, BOS 35 (0-1-2-5-3)
12. Jamie Benn, DAL 35 (0-1-2-4-6)
13. Corey Perry, ANA 29 (0-0-3-4-2)
14. Carey Price, MTL 20 (1-0-1-0-5)
15. Duncan Keith, CHI 19 (0-0-1-3-5)
16. Gustav Nyquist, DET 13 (0-1-0-2-0)
17. Matt Duchene, COL 11 (0-0-1-1-3)
18. Alex Steen, STL 9 (0-0-1-1-1)
John Tavares, NYI 9 (0-0-1-1-1)
20. Patrick Sharp, CHI 7 (0-0-0-2-1)
21. Shea Weber, NSH 4 (0-0-0-1-1)
22. Joe Thornton, SJ 3 (0-0-0-0-3)
23. Jaromir Jagr, NJ 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Patrick Marleau, SJ 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Alex Ovechkin, WSH 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Ryan Suter, MIN 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
ALL-STAR OVECHKIN: Despite finishing 23rd in MVP voting, Ovechkin was named to the Second All-Star Team, marking the ninth time he was named to a postseason All-Star Team in as many seasons (six First Team selections and three Second Team honors).
Ovechkin’s nine career postseason All-Star Team selections are the most among active players, one more than Jaromir Jagr (seven First Team selections and one Second Team).
The First Team All-Stars included goalie Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins, defensemen Zdeno Chara of the Bruins and Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks, and forwards Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars.
Ovechkin was joined on the Second All-Star Team by goalie Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche, defensemen Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators and Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues and forwards Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks.
JOHANSSON IN THE DISCUSSION: While Ovechkin was the only Capital to win a major individual award this season, teammate Marcus Johansson finished sixth in voting for the Lady Byng Trophy.
According to the NHL, the Lady Byng Trophy is awarded to the player who is “adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly won the award posting a career-high 64 points, leading the Avalanche with a team-high 28 goals, and picking up just one minor penalty in 80 games.
Johansson had just two minor penalties (4 PIMs) in 80 games, while recording eight goals and 44 points.
Below is a look at the Frank J. Selke Trophy results courtesy the NHL:
1. Ryan O'Reilly, COL 1181 (110-5-8-1-3)
2. Martin St. Louis, NYR 358 (4-20-27-11-10)
3. Patrick Marleau, SJ 323 (3-15-23-21-10)
4. Tyler Seguin, DAL 289 (2-23-15-7-12)
5. Frans Nielsen, NYI 182 (1-15-6-9-10)
6. Marcus Johansson, WSH 128 (1-7-7-9-7)
7. Teemu Selanne, ANA 115 (5-4-4-4-5)
8. Matt Duchene, COL 104 (1-3-8-9-6)
9. Daniel Alfredsson, DET 97 (1-5-6-6-4)
10. Anze Kopitar, LA 61 (2-4-1-2-2)