NHL Players: Sidney Crosby Still the Best in the League

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NHL Players: Sidney Crosby Still the Best in the League
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According to a poll conducted by The Hockey News, the NHL players have voted Sidney Crosby as the league's top player right now, despite having skated in only nine games this year. 

Future Hall of Famer Pavel Datsyuk took the second spot, while rising star Claude Giroux finished third.

Five players from each team were surveyed by THN, each were asked to list who they believed were the five best players in the league today. To improve the accuracy of the tabulations, those that were polled weren't allowed to vote for teammates. The Hockey News then released the top 50 vote-getters on their website.

Surprisingly enough, Evgeni Malkin, the favorite to take home the Hart Trophy this season, finished sixth. The Russian center has 39 goals and 80 points thus far in '11-'12, good for second and first overall in the league, respectively. 

As expected, Datysuk's teammate, Nicklas Lidstrom, was voted as the NHL's best defenseman, while Zdeno Chara and Shea Weber rounded out the top three. 

The No. 1 goaltender was Henrik Lundqvist (13th overall) followed immediately by Tim Thomas (14th). Interestingly enough, Thomas' backup, Tuukka Rask, also cracked the top 50, finishing behind only three other netminders. 

In the battle of the siblings, Henrik Sedin (ninth) edged out his twin, Daniel, (11th) by two spots. Henrik has three more points so far this season than his brother. 

The most noteworthy snub from this list was John Tavares, who, despite playing on one of the worst teams in the league, has racked up 31 goals and 70 points this season at the young age of 21. 

Arguably the most questionable result was the ranking of Jaromir Jagr, who placed 18th despite having only 47 points this year. 

The players had their say, now it's your turn. Did Crosby deserve the top spot? What would your list look like?

Let us know in the comment section below. 

 

Andrew Hirsh is a credentialed member of the Carolina Hurricanes media and a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @andrewhirsh

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