Michael Russo's Sunday Insider: Penguins' Crosby looking like Hart Trophy favorite

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 11, 2014 - 10:58 PM

Halfway through this season, Sidney Crosby is the Hart Trophy favorite.

hide

Sidney Crosby had a league-leading 67 points and 25 goals, tied for second, into Saturday’s games.

Photo: Gene J. Puskar • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

A season ago, once we passed that 41-game plateau, we were well into the stretch drive of the shortened season and readying for the playoffs.

Not this year. We have half a season left, which means it’s time for the midseason awards:

Hart Trophy (MVP): Three years ago when Sidney Crosby was running away with the Hart race, he sustained a concussion that derailed everything. If he remains healthy this second half, Crosby will win his second Hart Trophy and second scoring title. Crosby is running away with the scoring race with 67 points, 13 more than anyone else. Crosby has helped catapult the Penguins to the tippy top of the East despite an unbelievable run of injuries. Runners-up: Patrick Kane, Chicago; Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim; Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay; Alex Ovechkin, Washington.

Norris Trophy (Best defenseman): Duncan Keith is a remarkable defenseman to watch. He’s got tremendous skill, mobility, vision and passing ability. And for a guy who’s not overly big at 6-1 and 200 pounds, he’s surprisingly strong in the corners and down low. He leads all defensemen in scoring this year and is a plus-17. Runners-up: Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis; Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis; P.K. Subban, Montreal; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles.

Calder Trophy (Best rookie): In the first half, this was a two-man race between Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, and San Jose’s Tomas Hertl, the No. 17 pick in the 2012 draft. Hertl made a name for himself with a four-goal, seven-shot performance against the Rangers in October, but MacKinnon, who is just phenomenal with electrifying skill, speed and a big shot, has consistently gotten better all season long. This kid is going to be scary and one of the league’s best for many years to come. Runners-up: Hertl (now out with a major knee injury); Torey Krug, Boston; Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim; Antti Raanta, Chicago.

Vezina Trophy (Best goalie): For a team that has played a large chunk of the year without goal scorer extraordinaire Steven Stamkos, 6-7 behemoth Ben Bishop, the University of Maine product, has been exceptional to help keep the Tampa Bay Lightning afloat. He is 22-5-3 with the NHL’s second-best goals-against average to the Wild’s Josh Harding and league’s best save percentage at .935. Runners-up: Harding; Tuukka Rask, Boston; Semyon Varlamov, Colorado; Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh.

Jack Adams Trophy (Best coach): In the first year under former goaltending great Patrick Roy, the Avalanche has surged to being one of the top teams in the Western Conference and maybe the biggest surprise in the NHL. Everybody knew how deep the Avs were up front, but nobody could have predicted that their blue liners would be as good as they are. Roy and his staff have to be given credit for how well players such as Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda have performed. Runners-up: Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay; Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh; Craig Berube, Philadelphia; Bruce Boudreau, Anaheim.

Selke Trophy (Best defensive player): Jonathan Toews is one of the best two-way forwards in the game and is having another exceptional season for the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. He has 45 points, is plus-21, has a 56.8 percent success rate on faceoffs and is a total pest to play against. Runners-up: Patrice Bergeron, Boston; Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles; David Backes, St. Louis; Ryan Kesler, Vancouver.

 Wild awards: Hart and Vezina: Harding; Norris: Ryan Suter; Calder: Justin Fontaine; Selke: Mikko Koivu; Best newcomer: Nino Niederreiter; Mr. Clutch: Jason Pominville.

  • related content

  • The Wild's week ahead

    Saturday January 11, 2014

    The Wild’s week aheadSunday: at Nashville, 6 p.m. (FSN Plus)Tuesday: vs. Ottawa, 7 p.m. (FSN)Thursday: vs. Edmonton, 7 p.m. (FSN)Saturday:...

  • Michael Russo's short takes

    Saturday January 11, 2014

    Explanation doesn’t workScott Burnside’s ESPN.com piece on the U.S. Olympic team’s selection process put Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards, the...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 12:05 PM
Detroit
Philadelphia 12:05 PM
Houston
St. Louis 12:05 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12:05 PM
Tampa Bay
NY Yankees 12:05 PM
Pittsburgh
Chicago Cubs 2:05 PM
San Francisco
Los Angeles 2:05 PM
Chicago WSox
San Diego 2:05 PM
Seattle
Cleveland 2:05 PM
Cincinnati
Milwaukee 2:05 PM
LA Angels
Oakland 2:05 PM
Chicago Cubs
Texas 2:05 PM
Kansas City
Colorado 2:10 PM
Arizona
NY Mets 4:05 PM
Washington
Boston 6:05 PM
Minnesota
Toronto 6:05 PM
Baltimore
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Chicago
Dallas 9:30 PM
Portland
Calgary 6:00 PM
Boston
St. Louis 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Washington
Toronto 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Dallas 6:30 PM
Florida
NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Nashville
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Arizona
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 3:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Niagara 4:00 PM
Siena
Holy Cross 6:00 PM
Bucknell
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Navy 6:00 PM
Colgate
Temple 6:00 PM
East Carolina
UAB 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Lafayette
American Univ 6:00 PM
Lehigh
Wisconsin 6:00 PM
Minnesota
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Saint Peters
Arkansas 6:00 PM
South Carolina
Morehead State 6:00 PM
UT Martin
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
North Florida
Southern Ill 6:05 PM
Missouri State
Texas State 6:30 PM
Appalachian St
SC State 6:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 6:30 PM
Coppin State
Middle Tennessee 6:30 PM
FIU
Texas-Arlington 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Norfolk State 6:30 PM
Hampton
NC A&T 6:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Georgia State 7:00 PM
ULM
Marshall 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Rice 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Grambling St
Alabama A&M 7:30 PM
Jackson State
Sam Houston St 7:30 PM
Lamar
Central Arkansas 7:30 PM
Nicholls
Portland State 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Southern U 7:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Houston Baptist 7:30 PM
TX A&M-CC
SE Louisiana 7:45 PM
New Orleans
California 8:00 PM
Arizona
Eastern Ill 8:00 PM
Belmont
Memphis 8:00 PM
Connecticut
VA Commonwealth 8:00 PM
Davidson
Ark-Pine Bluff 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Marist 8:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northwestern St 8:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
North Texas 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 8:00 PM
Washington
Idaho 8:00 PM
Weber State
Abilene Christian 8:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Eastern Wash 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Bradley 8:35 PM
Drake
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Long Beach State
UC Riverside 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 23 2nd Half
Canisius 24
Wake Forest 10:00 AM
(22) Syracuse
Saint Louis 10:30 AM
VA Commonwealth
Saint Peters 10:30 AM
Rider
UNC-Asheville 11:00 AM
Liberty
UNC Greensboro 11:00 AM
(17) Chattanooga
Michigan State 11:30 AM
Michigan
Arkansas 12:00 PM
Ole Miss
Manhattan 12:30 PM
Niagara
Massachusetts 1:00 PM
Richmond
Virginia 1:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Campbell 1:00 PM
Winthrop
Jacksonville St 1:00 PM
Belmont
Morgan State 1:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Furman 1:15 PM
Samford
Oregon 1:30 PM
Washington St
Indiana 1:55 PM
(23) Rutgers
Pepperdine 2:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Auburn 2:25 PM
(18) Texas A&M
Morehead St 3:00 PM
Tennessee St
George Mason 3:30 PM
Saint Josephs
Western Carolina 3:30 PM
East Tenn St
Arizona 4:00 PM
UCLA
Texas State 4:00 PM
Appalachian St
TX-Arlington 4:00 PM
Georgia Southern
SC State 4:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 4:30 PM
Coppin State
Portland 4:30 PM
Santa Clara
Norfolk State 4:30 PM
Hampton
NC A&T 4:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 5:00 PM
Florida A&M
Virginia Tech 5:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Central Arkansas 5:00 PM
Nicholls
Houston Baptist 5:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Radford
Georgia 5:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 5:00 PM
Marshall
Ark-Little Rock 5:00 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 5:05 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 5:15 PM
ULM
Sam Houston St 5:30 PM
Lamar
SE Louisiana 5:30 PM
New Orleans
Northwestern St 5:30 PM
Stephen F Austin
Alabama A&M 5:30 PM
Jackson State
Alabama State 5:30 PM
Grambling
Ark-Pine Bluff 5:30 PM
Miss Valley St
Southern U 5:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 5:30 PM
Texas Southern
Wofford 5:45 PM
Mercer
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Incarnate Word
La Salle 6:00 PM
Rhode Island
Illinois 6:00 PM
Nebraska
TX-San Antonio 6:00 PM
Rice
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
Oakland
Missouri State 6:05 PM
Indiana State
Georgia Tech 7:00 PM
(15) North Carolina
Presbyterian 7:00 PM
High Point
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM
UAB
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
North Texas
Wichita State 7:00 PM
Evansville
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Bradley 7:05 PM
Drake
Vanderbilt 7:30 PM
(12) Kentucky
Colorado 8:00 PM
USC
San Francisco 8:00 PM
Pacific
FIU 8:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
Weber State 8:00 PM
Idaho
Purdue 8:25 PM
Minnesota
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach St 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Hawaii 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Northern Ariz 9:00 PM
Portland State
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Utah 10:30 PM
Washington
BYU 10:30 PM
St Marys-CA
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close