Geno got Hart!
Early and midseason predictions were that Claude Giroux was the runaway leader for the Hart trophy. The Sedins were in the race, as was Kessel. How things change so quickly in this game.
Kessel has come back to earth – albeit at a much higher place than previous seasons. He’s really coming into his own and proving he is an elite player in this league. He proved me wrong and Im eating some crow.
Giroux is in the same boat as Kessel. Coming out of the gate on fire, he has slowed a bit and is settling into a normal pace. A lingering injury may be at play but who really knows.
The Sedins are doing what they do … remaining at about a 1.2ppg pace, as they always do.
Some new faces have appeared on the list recently.
Marian Hossa is 3rd in the league in points, top 10 in +/- and is playing well on both sides of the puck.
Mr Toews is 2nd in the league in goals, and as well, playing an all around great game for his club.
Stamkos has slowly and quietly climbed in the league lead in goals (5 up on his closest enemy) and is tied for 3rd in points.
Geno came into this season after having surgery on one knee and had to rehab the other (albeit only a little) after a fluke injury when Tyler “Gigantor” Myers fell on Geno’s leg. Fast forward to this season. Geno started off slow .. again, compared to his standards. His skating didnt seem right. He’d have jump one day, then miss practice and skate like mud the next game. Over the course of October, he would miss 8 games attributed to soreness and pain in his injured knee. After about 2 months, he was on pace for about 70pts. Sure, a pretty good total for most players but for a guy who averaged 95pts a season, thats a pretty low total. Fast forward again to January 23rd. Malkin is on a tear.
– 12pts in his last 5 games (including 9 goals)
– He has shot up from well behind the pack to leading the league in points (despite having played less games than anyone else close to him)
– He is tied for 3rd in the league in goals.
– He is taking less stupid penalties
– His shooting %age has climbed back to where it was earlier in his career
– His 7 GWG goals are 2nd in the league and shows that Geno is “clutch.”
– His +/-, while not among the league leaders, is better than his career average
– As of today, the only player in the league going to top 100pts
He has taken the team on his back and with the help of (mostly) Neal and Fleury, have carried the team to remain in the thick of the playoff race in the east.
Dont know if Geno will keep up this pace to win the Hart trophy, but he has certainly taken the lead in the race.