NHL: Who Has the Heart to Win the Hart?

Mike BogaczCorrespondent IApril 3, 2008

If the Rockies 2007 World Series run teaches fans anything, it's that they should no chant "M-V-P."

The Coors faithful chanted "M-V-P" during each of Matt Holliday's at bats. But look what happened.

Washington Capitals fans, take note. Chanting "M-V-P" last night during the Captials' home win does not guarantee Alex Ovechikin the Hart trophy.

I would love for Ovechkin to win the Hart and two other awards he is up for, a hat trick.

The third-year Russian is already assured the Maurice "Rocket" Richard trophy with his NHL record of most goals by a left-winger, unless fellow Russian Illya Kovalchuk can score 12 goals in the Thrashers' remaining games.

For the Art Ross trophy, Ovechkin has a slim lead over other top candidate, Evgeni Malkin. As of right now, Ovechkin has only a four-point lead over Malkin.

Both have impressive stats.

The Penguins are the best team in the east right now, whereas the Caps are straddling the playoff line. They could either win the Southeast division or be left out in the cold.

Some in Alberta will be pleading the case for 2002 Hart winner Jarome Iginla. The Flames too are in danger of missing the playoffs, and could be off worse if Iginla was not able to be the great captain he is.

Malkin may be the most logical choice for NHL MVP. Not only does Malkin have the Calder trophy in his case, the very same trophy Ovechkin lost to Sidney Crosby, but Malkin picked up the Penguins when both defending MVP Sidney Crosby and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had high ankle sprains.

Malkin had many multiple-point games in Crosby’s absence, lifting the Penguins to the "elite of the NHL." 

The case for Ovechkin is obvious. All you have to do is look at his stats, and then jump into a time machine to 1993 to see these numbers in a hockey season stat sheet. In Ovechkin’s defense, he plays in a "not big on hockey" hockey market.

The Capitals did have some promise going into the season, but Chris Clark, Mike Nylander and Alex Semin missed substantial amount of times due to injury, hindering the Caps’ chances.

Ovechkin picked up the slack before the brilliant Washington trade-deadline pick ups of Federov, Matt Cooke, and Cristobal Huet.

Also, the Capitals do have MY front-runner for the Rookie of the Year Calder trophy in Nicklas Backstrom.

Both the Penguins and Capitals are two teams that will rule the east. Both teams have impressive young cores. Both teams will be cup contenders as long as they have these.

With the play of Malkin just starting to stem roll, he will have more chances to have MVP honors, but I cannot over look the two stats of leader in goals and points.

My Hart, Art Ross, and Maurice Richard trophies are awarded to Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.