NHL players will have a tough choice among Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Martin St. Louis. (AP Photos)
By Sarah Kwak
There was little surprise in the NHL Players’ Association’s announcement of the finalists for the 2013 Ted Lindsay Award, given to the “most outstanding player,” as voted by the players themselves. Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin, and Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis, all previous winners of this award, made strong cases at various points of the season, and each achieved remarkable milestones even with the short schedule.
Crosby scored at a rate of 1.56 points per game, a pace that only he, Jaromir Jagr, Eric Lindros and Mario Lemieux have bettered since 1995. A position switch from left wing at the start of the season revived Ovechkin’s stagnant offensive production, and at right wing, the Great 8 exploded with 23 goals in his final 23 games. From March 14 to the end of the regular season, Ovechkin scored nearly twice as often as the next highest scorers (23-12) and regained his title as league’s most fearsome sniper, winning his third Rocket Richard Trophy. And then there’s St. Louis, who at age 37, outscored both Crosby and Ovechkin — not to mention the rest of the league. Playing against some kids who are half his age, the 14-year vet scored 60 points in just 48 games, a career-high per game pace.
So with such impressive cases for each, how does one begin to rate which performance is the most outstanding?