Ovechkin’ed

This might not be a popular notion, but I expected Ovechkin to win the Hart Memorial Trophy at last weekend’s NHL Awards. Don’t forget, the Hart Trophy is awarded to the player who is most valuable to his team, not to a player that gives the best performance league-wide.

In the first 16 games of the season, Ovechkin had just five goals. In the final 32, he had 27, and was single-handedly the reason Washington not only made the playoffs, but won the Southeast Division this year after sitting dead last in the standings.

(You could make a case for Braden Holtby, too, but 90 goals against is a lot.)

Sure, Sid’s overall effort – finishing in a tie for third in points after missing 12 games due to a broken jaw – may have been more impressive, but the Penguins still cruised through games without him.

Don’t confuse any of this as me saying either Sid or Ovi are better than the other, because that’s irrelevant. What matters here is that Ovechkin was more valuable to his team this year than Crosby.

Doesn’t mean I still don’t like the guy, though.

Daft Emrick

Here’s someone we all like.

Earlier in the Stanley Cup Finals, Harrison Mooney over at Puck Daddy got a list of all the terms NBC broadcaster Mike Emrick used for “pass.”

Well the folks at Deadspin turned it into this nugget.

Brad Marchand

Just because.

Canadian Tire Centre

No, it’s not an auto parts super store – it’s now the home of the Ottawa Senators.

And no, the Ottawa Senators aren’t playing in an auto parts super store.

According to the Senators, Canadian Tire has been a big sponsor of the franchise since it returned in 1990. In addition to being an auto parts company, Canadian Tire also has sports, outdoors and kitchen divisions…sort of like a north-of-the-border Lowe’s.

But I think I know what Sens owner Eugene “Sherlock Holmes” Melnyk is up to here. Isn’t it obvious? As a tire company, Canadian Tire will be able to better analyze the laceration on Erik Karlsson’s Achilles, and certifiably prove that Matt Cooke’s skate intentionally did the severing.

I’ll tell ya, that guy will stop at nothing.

Snubbed Toews

Justin Bourne at The Score’s Backhand Shelf made an excellent observation after Monday night’s Game 3 about the way Chicago was using its captain, Jonathan Toews.

“...it’s pretty clear in hindsight that the idea was to trade Toews’ minutes as a wash versus Chara’s (anything gained is a bonus), and leave the rest of the talent to try to beat the Bruins.”

Bourne also wrote how dumb an idea this was for the Blackhawks, and agreeably so.

But I’d like to add that if anyone wanted to watch how not to play Boston in the Stanley Cup, all they had to do was watch the Eastern Conference Finals. If there’s one thing you don’t do, it’s take your best player (maybe a guy like, let’s say, Sidney Crosby) and waste his minutes against Chara, and expect the rest of the team to pick up the slack.

The Penguins weren’t guilty of that all the time, but it played a factor into a good portion of that series.

It’s not too late for Chicago.

Jaromir Jagr

See “Brad Marchand.”

Also, either grow a beard or don’t. You look like a fool.

Goalie invasion

It’s natural for Canadians to not like European hockey players. They’re natural rivals, and have been since the advent of the sport.

But the CHL’s so called European goalie ban might have taken it a bit too far. Last week, the CHL announced it would no longer allow its clubs to select goaltenders in its annual import draft.

And it turns out that denying people a lawful right is frowned upon, and may be illegal.

If you can interpret all this legal mumbo-jumbo, you’ll understand more about it (and, also, I applaud you for understanding).

The point I’m trying to make is why the CHL feels the need to do it. I get that it’s a Canadian league, and, first and foremost, wants to ensure the development of national talent. However, only a handful of the goalies from the CHL are European. Furthermore, the ban doesn’t include American-born goalies.

The only reasonable explanation is that Don Cherry made this motion. Which brings me to…

Don Cherry

I put Cherry at the bottom for his comments about Malkin because I, and most normal people, don’t consider Don Cherry a legitimate source on anything.

His aforementioned – and well documented – hatred of anything non-Canadian in hockey discredits his opinion to me.

In case you missed it, here’s what he said about Evgeni Malkin:

“I wouldn’t give that guy anything. I think he’s a dog – a talented dog. He turns it on when he wants to turn it on. He couldn’t play for the Bruins, I’ll tell you that. You’re going to say, ‘Well, what about Jagr?’ Jagr’s out there giving every ounce he’s got every time. I don’t know if he can score, but he’s giving every ounce he can. You can’t compare them.”

I mean, no one was comparing them until you just did.

Whatever makes you sleep at night, Don. Because we all know your suits don’t.

Well that does it for this week’s edition, be sure to check back next week for more. Until then, happy hating!