The wide-spread opinion that a goaltender has no business winning the Hart Trophy as MVP will probably prevail when members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association file their ballots at the end of the regular season.
That means Tim Thomas probably won’t need room on his trophy shelf for a Hart to go alongside his newest Vezina, which he’s almost guaranteed to win.
Right now, my Hart vote would go to Thomas based on his pace to set a couple records and Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby’s long-term injury. But other members of the PHWA are more likely to steer their would-be vote from Crosby to Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos or any of Vancouver’s three stars — Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and Ryan Kesler — rather than vote for a netminder, just because he’s a netminder.
Over at Fox Sports today, Spector — also known as Lyle Richardson — shows that some of the bigger-named national writers are paying attention to what’s going on in the Bruins’ crease and putting it into historic perspective. After making the case with Thomas’ minuscule goals-against average and lofty save percentage are Hart-worthy, Spector writes this conclusion:
It’s possible Stamkos, either of Vancouver’s Sedin twins or maybe Crosby with a late scoring surge could get the nod over Thomas, but none of them have dominated at their respective positions throughout this season the way Thomas has.
And, arguably, none have been as valuable to their teams this season.
Hopefully, many others will come over to mine and Spector’s side of this argument. Even if Thomas doesn’t muster enough support to win the award, he has to at least be honored as one of the three finalists. The Bruins are ticketed to finish in the top three of their conference with the lowest goals-against average in the entire NHL. Without Thomas, neither of those things would be within reach this season.