Jun 17 2013, 2:24am CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
Ovechkin beat out the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby and the New York Islanders' John Tavares, per the Huffington Post. He led the NHL with 32 goals during the lockout-shortened 48 game regular season. This marked the first time he's lead the league in scoring since 2009, when he won his second MVP award.
He garnered 1,090 points to Crosby's 1,058 in a voting by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. The 32-point margin of victory represents the closest Hart Trophy race since the Montreal Canadiens' Jose Theodore and Calgary Flames' Jerome Iginla finished in a virtual tie in 2002, per the NHL.
"I'm not going to get too upset over the fact that I didn't win (the Hart). I was in the mix and Alex had a great second half there and I ended up getting hurt and missing some time there and that's how it works sometime."
On his part, Ovechkin said this didn't come easy for him.
"It was kind of hard, but as everybody knows, I like challenges. It was a big challenge for me and the coaching staff, but we make it."
The Huffington Post also points out Ovechkin joins the ranks of NHL greats Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Clarke, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, Eddie Shore and Howie Morenz as the only players to win three or more Hart Trophies.
Katie Carrera of the Washington Post says "regardless of the coach or the system, no player's individual success is as intertwined in the ebb and flow of the Capitals as Ovechkin's." In her June 17 report, she quotes Washington general manager George McPhee as saying Ovechkin's recognition as the NHL's best player will help the team accomplish anything - even winning a Stanley Cup.
"Careers don't go in straight lines, the needle goes up and down from time to time. But I think we all recognize that when Alex is feeling this way and playing this way this organization can accomplish anything. That this team can win a Cup."
Carrera notes that in spite of all the accolades Ovechkin has earned - three Hart trophies, three Ted Lindsay Awards, three Rocket Richard Trophies (top goal scorer) an Art Ross (top point scorer) and a Calder (rookie of the year) - he has yet to lead the Capitals past the second round of the NHL playoffs.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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