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Hart Trophy Watch: Daniel Sedin's strong case for MVP

With 100 points, Daniel Sedin has a comfortable eight-point lead in the NHL scoring race. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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With 100 points, Daniel Sedin has a comfortable eight-point lead in the NHL scoring race. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

One day after his wife gave birth to her third child, Daniel Sedin flew across the continent to join the Vancouver Canucks, then scored both goals in a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings last week.

If there were any doubt whether the Sedins would complete the bookend Hart Trophies for the game’s most famous twins, it just might have been erased with his performance that night. Daniel Sedin continues to make an emphatic case for the MVP award. Now the question is, will his brother and last year’s winner Henrik make his way into the top three finalists as well?

It’s possible, although he’ll have to fend off some impressive late-season charges, led by scoring machine and probable Rocket Richard winner Corey Perry. But the stoppers are coming on, too. In fact, our top 10 candidates for the Hart are heavier with goalies than they have been at any point this season.

GAME OF THE MONTH: Daniel Sedin scored two goals, including the winner, and added an assist as the Canucks overcame a 2-0 deficit to come back and beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 March 12.

RISING: Perry’s torrid pace late in the season is a huge reason why the Anaheim Ducks will likely make the playoffs.

FALLING: With just three goals in the past month - one of them into an empty net - Stamkos is struggling mightily in his bid to win back-to-back Rocket Richards.

THE HOCKEY NEWS HART TROPHY WATCH
RK.
TEAM
PLAYER
MAKING THE CASE
1
Vancouver Canucks
Here are a couple of interesting stats to throw at you: 12 times this season Daniel Sedin has scored the first goal of the game and 18 times he has scored to put his team into a lead. That is tops in both categories by a considerable margin and that’s clutch scoring.
2
Anaheim Ducks
With 15 goals in his past 11 games, Perry is powering the Ducks, along with the ageless Teemu Selanne, as they make a desperate push for the playoffs in the final weeks of the season.
3
Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins veteran went into his predictable post-THN-cover swoon in mid-March, but has bounced back nicely and continues to be a key to the Bruins march down the stretch and into the playoffs.
4
Vancouver Canucks
We wish he’d score a few more goals, but the fact of the matter is Daniel seems to be getting them all when the two of them are on the ice. Henrik has displayed some outstanding leadership skills with the Canucks this season as well.
5
New York Rangers
King Henrik picked up his league-leading 11th shutout of the season last week and continues to backstop a scrappy Rangers team that scores goals by committee. As always, he remains lights-out in the shootout.
6
Nashville Predators
Among the teams that would make the post-season if the playoffs began today, the Nashville Predators are the lowest scoring. A big reason for their success has been the play of Rinne.
7
Montreal Canadiens
This team is really coached by Jacques Martin? Only one other goalie in the league has faced as many shots as Price has this season. And while he can’t always produce a miracle - case in point was the Canadiens 7-0 loss to Boston recently - he more often stands tall and gives the Canadiens a chance to win.
8
Chicago Blackhawks
Captain Serious has never finished higher in the scoring race than 35th, but he’s poised to break through into the top 10 this season. His play and leadership down the stretch for the Blackhawks have been outstanding.
9
Detroit Red Wings
With no clear-cut shoo-in for the Norris Trophy this season, Lidstrom might win it on reputation. Lubomir Visnovsky is ahead of him and Keith Yandle behind him in the defense scoring race, but which of the three would you want out in the last minute of the game?
10
Pittsburgh Penguins
Let’s show a little love here to Crosby, who was the hands-down Hart winner before he got hurt. No player will come within even shouting distance of Crosby’s 1.6 points per game this season.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Alex Ovechkin was making a late-season charge, but essentially took himself out of the running when he stopped scoring and missed some games down the stretch.

DROPPED OUT: Steven Stamkos, Martin St-Louis, Ilya Kovalchuk, Roberto Luongo, Keith Yandle.

THN.com's Hart Trophy Watch will appear monthly throughout the season and don't miss out as we'll also track the Vezina, Norris and Jack Adams.

Ken Campbell, author of the book Habs Heroes, is a senior writer for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog will appear every Monday throughout the season.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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