NHL quarter horses: Any Boston Bruins in the mix for awards?

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21: Host Joe Manganiello speaks onstage during the 2017 NHL Awards
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21: Host Joe Manganiello speaks onstage during the 2017 NHL Awards /
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Hart Trophy

The Hart Trophy is given out to the person voted most valuable to his team by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.  Many times there is overlap between the Hart winner and the winner of the Ted Lindsay Trophy (person voted Most Outstanding by the NHL players).  However, that is not always the case.  This is a season where I think there could be a split, and for good reason.  My current pick for the Hart Trophy is:  Nikita Kucherov, RW, Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA, FL – NOVEMBER 4: Nikita Kucherov
TAMPA, FL – NOVEMBER 4: Nikita Kucherov /

Nikita Kucherov has been absolutely dominant this season, and dominant may be an understatement.  In 20 games, Kucherov has 17 goals, 16 assists, and a +11 rating.  He and linemate Steven Stamkos are proving to be the most dynamic duo in the NHL.  In fact, Stamkos is the reason I could see a split in the Hart/Ted Lindsay voting, because each is going to deserve an award by the end of the season.

Now, Kucherov currently sports a 21.5% shooting percentage (17 goals on 79 shots), an unsustainable number for a full season.  At least, one would think so.  But last season he bagged 40 goals on a 16.8% shooting percentage.  Kuch finds himself on pace for a 68 goal, 64 assist, 132 point season, which would be absolutely unreal numbers.  No one in the NHL has topped 120 points since Sidney Crosby in 2006-2007.

I don’t see him getting 60 goals because eventually Stamkos will start scoring more and Kucherov’s shooting percentage will come back to earth.  But if Stamkos starts scoring more, expect Kucherov’s assist total to grow, since they don’t touch the ice without each other.  Pencil Kucherov in for 110+ points this season, and a Hart Trophy on his shelf.

Honorable Mention:  Steven Stamkos, C, Tampa Bay Lightning, 20 games, 10 goals, 25 assists, +12 rating.  This could literally end up being a toss-up between these two come the end of the season.