Over the last 50 years, the Buffalo Sabres’ Dominik Hasek (1997 and 1998) and the Montreal Canadiens’ Jose Theodore (2002) are the only two goalies to win the Hart Trophy.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association vote on the award and traditionally have seemed reluctant to hand the award to goalies, much like baseball writers don’t often choose pitchers as MVPs.
But Montreal goalie Carey Price is the favorite to be league MVP with a month left in the season. Here’s why:
1. His play has been the primary reason the Canadiens have been among the NHL’s top teams all season. The award is for the player “most valuable to his team.” The Canadiens are tied for 22nd in goals per game, and they wouldn’t be in the hunt for the Presidents’ Trophy without Price’s contributions.
2. Price leads the NHL in wins (37), goals-against average (1.86) and save percentage (.937). He has surrendered 17 goals in his last 13 games.
3. His numbers are more impressive than Hasek’s and Theodore’s statistics when they won the Hart Trophy. Neither boasted a goals-against average below 2.00 when they won.