The battle for the coveted Hart Trophy has come down to the NHL’s three regular-season scoring leaders.
The NHL announced Thursday that Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf and Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux have been named finalists for the award, which goes to the league’s MVP. Of the three, only Crosby has won the prestigious honour before, that coming for the 2006-07 season.
Voting for the award is done by members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Tuesday, June 24, during the 2014 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
Crosby posted 36 goals as well as a league-leading 68 assists and 104 points to capture his second career Art Ross Trophy and lead the Penguins to their second consecutive division title. He registered points in 60 of the 80 games he played in (75.0%), including 30 multi-point performances, and never went more than two consecutive games without registering a point.
Crosby also reached the 100-point milestone for the fifth time in his career and on Nov. 29 hit 700 career points, doing so in his 497th game, the fastest among active players and sixth-fastest in NHL history.
Getzlaf scored a career-high 31 goals and ranked second in the league with 87 points to power the Ducks to the top record in the Western Conference for the first time in franchise history. He posted a 14-game point streak Nov. 15-Dec. 15 (6-11—17), the longest in the NHL since the 2011-12 season.
Getzlaf also set a career high with seven game-winning goals, second on the team to Corey Perry (9), and recorded a plus-28 rating, the second-highest of his career (2007-08: plus-32), to help the Ducks set franchise records for wins (54), points (116), points percentage (.707), home wins (29) and road wins (25). The 28-year-old Regina, Sask., native is a Hart Trophy finalist for the first time.
Giroux matched a career high with 28 goals and finished third in the NHL scoring race with 86 points to help the Flyers bounce back from a 3-9-0 start to the season to qualify for the playoffs for the sixth time in the past seven years. After being held pointless in his first five games and not scoring a goal until his 16th contest, Giroux totaled 28-51—79 in his final 67 outings of the season, an average of 1.18 points per game.
Giroux also compiled a career-long, nine-game point streak Dec. 11-30, totaling 6-11—17 in that span, and recorded his 100th NHL goal Dec. 19. The 26-year-old Hearst, Ont., native is a Hart Trophy finalist for the first time.