Corey Perry versus the Canucks
He is the leading scorer on the best regular season team league. The hugely talented left winger is currently the only NHL player to reach 100 points this season. He has 102 and with a game left to play is likely to win the Art Ross trophy as the league's leading scorer.
That's a compelling argument. The best player on the best team generally wins this award.
The winner of the Hart is voted for by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. They are asked to determine which NHL player is most valuable to his team.
This is where Corey Perry steps in.
The nominal Anaheim Ducks leader and team captain Ryan Getzlaf went down with an injury on December 28th. He was lost by the team until February 9th.
The Ducks had been a mediocre 18-18-4 with Getzlaf healthy. Corey Perry took over the leadership of the team while he was injured. Perry had a point a game and the team went 10-4 while Getzlaf was missing, propelling them back into the playoff race.
Currently, Perry and Getzlaf are two of the hottest scorers in the NHL as the Ducks are fighting to make it into the playoffs. They have a two-point lead on the Dallas Stars with two games left on their schedule.
Who do you think will win the Hart Memorial trophy?
The Vancouver Canucks would have made it into the playoffs this year even if Daniel Sedin was out of the lineup just like they did last season. The Anaheim Ducks are very unlikely to have made the playoffs without a healthy Corey Perry in the lineup.
Perry is also the leading goal scorer in the league with 50 and second in total points with 97. He looks like a lock to win the Rocket Richard trophy and he could conceivably catch Sedin for the scoring lead.
Both players have great linemates and a good supporting cast, but Perry has done more with less this year. He arguably has been more valuable to his team. You could also argue that he could be better than, or at least as good a player as Daniel Sedin is right now.
If the Anaheim Ducks make it to the playoffs, which seems likely, I think the Hockey Writers Association is going vote Corey Perry in as the league's MVP.
It is an amazing accomplishment for a player who wasn't even in the discussion at Christmas.