The Serious Contenders: Sergei Bobrovsky, Brent Burns, Sidney Crosby, Erik Karlsson. Sometimes I’m guilty of overthinking these things, but Edmonton scored 247 times and Mc David had 100 points. He didn’t let it affect him, simply bearing down and doing what he needed to do.Also Considered: Victor Hedman, Patrick Kane, Nikita Kucherov, Brad Marchand, Auston Matthews. But can he be a legit Hart Trophy candidate when constantly getting suspended? Cam Talbot was exceptional and the defence is better, but you can’t win without scoring.Games played has real value in this category because even though the NHL is nowhere near as nasty as it used to be, it is still a grind. That’s the most since 2005-06, when the total was 34.The schedule is tight and there is plenty of travel. Laine, who took a massive hit from Buffalo’s Jake Mc Cabe, missed only nine games. That was tied for sixth behind Matthews, who led with 32.The first five of my final six feature three serious Hart contenders (Crosby, Karlsson and Mc David), one for the Norris (Karlsson) and two for the Calder (Laine, Matthews). Detroit’s captain had 13 more points than Vrbata and 17 more than Sedin.
The Serious Contenders: Viktor Arvidsson, Cam Atkinson, Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund, Tyler Seguin and Vladimir Tarasenko.Jordan Staal simply did not get enough credit for what he did this year.Meanwhile, if you get a chance, watch Stone in the playoffs.Also Considered: Logan Couture, Patrick Eaves, Seth Jones, Roman Josi, Duncan Keith, Phil Kessel, Sean Monahan, Artemi Panarin, Rickard Rakell, Brandon Saad, Jeff Skinner, Mark Stone, Alexander Wennberg, Zach Werenski and Mats Zuccarello.(I wanted to include Anders Lee, who quietly had a terrific year.