"[Alex] Ovechkin has been named the best player in the NHL in a vote of his Russian peers, a vote of his NHL peers (the Sporting News Player of the Year), a vote of NHL journalists (USA Today panel), The Hockey News and by Phil Esposito (the NHL Home Ice Espo Award).
"Any doubt who takes home the big prizes at the NHL Awards Show next week?"
In a poll of 292 players, Alex Ovechkin became the first back-to-back winner [of Sporting News' player of the year award] since Pittsburgh's Jaromir Jagr (1999-2000). The top three:
1. Alex Ovechkin, Capitals 147
2. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins 65
3. Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings 23
"The only defenceman for the Washington Capitals is [Mike] Green and and he should win the Norris because he has no help on the blueline. Milan Jurcina is the second highest scoring defenceman on the Capitals with 14 points and the Bruins gave him away. Tom Poti is the third highest scoring defenceman with 13 points. Green is +24 on a team without a goaltender."
"Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin is piling up the points but doesn't seem to be piling up support in the Hart Trophy race.
"In USA TODAY's latest NHL Power Rankings vote, Malkin is ranked No. 2 to the Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin for MVP, even though he has a 10-point lead in the scoring race.
"In USA TODAY balloting, Ovechkin received 10 of 11 first-place votes. The New Jersey Devils' Zach Parise got the other."
...sophomore center Nicklas Backstrom, who might be in line for the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward. Entering the weekend, not only was he tied for ninth in the League with 66 points, but he ranked third with 62 takeaways.
Green earned Third Star honors for the second consecutive week after posting seven points (four goals, three assists) and becoming the first NHL defenseman in nearly 25 years to score a goal in six consecutive games. He notched one goal and one assist in a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils Feb. 3, tallied another one-goal, one-assist effort in a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Kings Feb. 5 and concluded the week with two goals and one assist in a 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers Feb. 7. Green's current six-game goal-scoring streak is the longest by an NHL defenseman since Ray Bourque's six-game streak for Boston in March, 1984 and is one shy of the League record for blueliners set by the Bruins' Mike O'Connell in January, 1984. Green's 19 goals and 47 points lead all defensemen this season.
"Green tied for second in the League in points for the week with seven (3-4-7) as the Capitals gained five of a possible six points, improving to a record of 32-15-4, 68 points, first in the Southeast Division. He began the week by notching one goal in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins, Jan. 27. On Jan. 31, he recorded one goal and one assist in a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings and he closed the week by recording one goal and three assists in a 7-4 win over the Ottawa Senators, Feb. 1. For the season he has appeared in 38 games and is tied for the League lead among defensemen with 40 points (15-25-40)."
Alex Ovechkin has been named the NHL's top star for the month of November. He is the second Capitals player to be named so in as many months. Alexander Semin was the No. 1 star for October. Ovechkin led the NHL with 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in November.