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THat is a tough one. Both Jagr and Ovechkin are really helping their teams, but if you ask me, Jagr has asolid suporting cast while Ovechkin has nobody. Odds are the player on the better team wins the award but that doesn't make him the MVP in my eyes.

Any thoughts??

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&pubid=968163964505&cid=1140994211138&call_page=TSS_Leafs&call_pageid=1044442959412&call_pagepath=Sports/Leafs


NHL stars expected to finish 1-2 in MVP voting based on special Campbellnomics rankings for scoring important goals


Feb. 27, 2006. 01:00 AM
KEN CAMPBELL
SPORTS REPORTER

If Jaromir Jagr and Alexander Ovechkin continue to do in the final quarter of the season what they did in the first three, they should emerge as the winner and the runner-up for the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player.

No player has ever gone six seasons between Harts, but that's exactly what Jagr will do if he wins the award this year. Only one true rookie has ever won the award, but it's clear Ovechkin has to receive serious consideration to become the first player to do just that since Nels Stewart took the Hart in 1925-26. (Wayne Gretzky and Herb Gardiner were also first-year NHLers who won the Hart, but neither was considered a rookie because of previous pro experience.)

Jagr and Ovechkin are MVP favourites this season, which resumes tomorrow night, because when it comes to providing impact goals there's nobody in the league who comes close to them.

Coming out of the Olympic break, Jagr and Ovechkin are running 1-2 in the Campbellnomics rankings, a way of judging a player's offensive worth to his team by emphasizing contributions on important goals — such as the first goal of a game, when the game is tied, overtime and shootouts. The player who scores the sixth goal in a 6-2 win gets comparatively little credit.

Jagr and Ovechkin have both been stellar in key situations. Jagr, who leads the NHL's scoring race with 40 goals and 88 points, also leads in Campbellnomics with 46 points on goals and 22.5 points on assists for 68.5 points, six ahead of Ovechkin, who has 48-14.5-62.5 totals. No other player even has 50.

Several players make impressive gains under this way of looking at offence, none more so than Ryan Smyth of the Edmonton Oilers. He shoots up from 60th on the NHL's scoring chart to a tie with Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers for eighth. Ovechkin jumps to No.2 from eighth, Philadelphia's Mike Knuble from 63rd to 11th and Boston's Patrice Bergeron from 54th to 12th.

Conversely, No.4 scorer Daniel Alfredsson and No.7 Dany Heatley of the Ottawa Senators drop out of the top 20 entirely, as does No.9 scorer Alex Tanguay of the Colorado Avalanche.

Here's how it works:

Unlike conventional stats, goals are far more important than assists. In this system, a goal is worth one point and an assist is worth a half point. But more importantly, it's the quality of the goals that matters most. Players only receive points if they register a goal or an assist in one of the following situations: the first goal of the game, a goal that puts their team into a tie or gives them a lead, a game-winning goal, an overtime goal or a shootout goal.

Goals are undoubtedly more important, but some goals are even more important than others. For example, if a player scores the only goal in a 1-0 overtime win, he receives four points — one for the first goal, one for putting his team ahead, one for a game-winner and one for an overtime goal. Other overtime goals and shootout-deciding goals are worth three — one for putting the team ahead, one for the game-winner and one for either the overtime or shootout goal.

Admittedly, there are some flaws in the formula. A player can score the first goal of the game and get two points for it, even if his team loses 5-1, and there are no allowances made for comeback goals, ones that were scored prior to a team tying a game when it was down by two or three goals.

It is also skewed toward players on good teams because they're in a position to score big goals more often. But that also makes what Ovechkin is doing for the lowly Washington Capitals all the more impressive.

And it should at least make him a finalist for the Hart Trophy along with Jagr.
 
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