March 07, 2012
MVP: Stamkos or Malkin?
Steven Stamkos is having an amazing 2012. Since Christmas Stamkos has scored 28 goals in 32 games. That is an unreal pace. He actually has a chance at 60 goals.
At the same time Tampa Bay has quietly climbed back into playoff contention. They currently sit in 10th place with 68 points (tied with Buffalo). That puts them one point back of the free falling Washington Capitals in 9th, and three points back of Winnipeg in 8th. Now Winnipeg has a pretty favorable schedule down the stretch, and two games in hand. But if the Lightning somehow ride Stamkos incredible second half into a playoff spot, you have to put him in the Hart Trophy conversation as the league MVP.
Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin appeared to be the runaway favorite as league MVP prior to Stamkos' recent charge. Malkin has carried the Penguins' in Sidney Crosby's absence. In fact they are poised to be a solid Eastern contender for the Stanley Cup this spring. If Crosby could actually comeback against long odds, the Penguins might be the odds on favourite to win the Stanley Cup.
The third candidate for MVP will likely New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. He has backstopped the Rangers to challenge for the Presidents Trophy all season long.