The story of the first half, perhaps, has been Steven Stamkos' emergence as a threat to Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin as the game's best player. Stamkos has 67 points through 51 games, and the 20-year-old has orchestrated a drastic turnaround in Tampa Bay, leading the Lightning to the league's third-highest point total. He was even taken ahead of Ovechkin as the de facto top pick in this weekend's All-Star fantasy draft.
Crosby, of course, will nearly always have an argument for MVP. The Penguins star has compiled 66 points in just 41 games, having missed most of January due to a concussion, but his points-per-game pace is the best in the league. As usual, his team is near the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
The team with the most points in the entire league, though, is Vancouver, tied atop the NHL standings with the Flyers with 71 points. That success can be attributed in large part to the play of the Sedin brothers. While Daniel has more points than Henrik, Henrik's 50 assists in 50 games has been a staggering achievement, and his playmaking ability has been massively influential.
For every goal that the Sedins create, however, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has probably saved one. A year after losing his starting job, Thomas has come back with a vengeance, performing at far and away the highest level of any netminder in the league. As a result, no team has allowed fewer goals.
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