The NHL season is in full swing as it passes its midway point, and once again the stars of hockey have shown their skills time and again. Night in and night out, the likes of Claude Giroux and Henrik Lundqvist battle it out, leaving it all on the ice.
While there’s still a lot of hockey to be played, with the All-Star game looming next week, it feels like an appropriate time to glance around the league to take stock of who’s been playing the best and deserves some credit as the NHL’s midseason MVP.
The aforementioned Giroux has been stellar for his Philadelphia Flyers, helping rejuvenate Jaromir Jagr‘s career and keep the new-look Flyers at the top of the standings. His 18-31-49 totals are good for fourth in the league, all the more impressive considering the time Giroux missed and the struggles his team went through while the center suffered from post-concussion symptoms.
Lundqvist, the New York Rangers goalie, currently sits third in the league in terms of goals-against average and fourth in save percentage. The 29-year-old has been a top netminder for years, but the Rangers’ resurgence has shone the Madison Square Garden spotlight on one of the NHL’s premier goalies having another prolific season.
Bruins fans are all too familiar with Patrice Bergeron‘s play, although the center may not get the love he deserves nation-wide. Bergeron leads the Bruins in points and is coming off one of his best games of the season, having scored two goals and added a clutch shootout tally in Monday’s win against the Florida Panthers.
Elsewhere around the league, Marian Hossa has led the Blackhawks to another fast start, posting 48 points and a plus-23 for a team tied for first place in the Western Conference. Evgeni Malkin has done his part as well to keep the Pittsburgh Penguins relevant without star Sidney Crosby out on the ice.
Of course, we could mention Henrik and Daniel Sedin also piling up the points in Vancouver, but we’d rather not.
All in all, there’s plenty of competition when trying to narrow the MVP candidates down this early in the season. But right now, is there anyone who looks like the midseason favorite to take home the Hart Trophy?