Thursday, April 13, 2006


MVP: Joe Thornton vs. Jaromir Jagr

The MVP (Hart Trophy) Award is the most prestigious individual award in the NHL, but I believe it needs to be changed.

Why do defensemen and goaltenders get their own awards, but forwards don't? While it's forwards that most often win the HART, it's not exclusive to them.

So, when I do my HART voting, I am heavily biased against defensemen and forwards. Unless it's Dominik Hasek pwning the league in his prime, the Gs and Ds can stay the hell out! It's time for the MVF (Most Valuable Forward) award.

Oh, you can also throw out the 'Outstanding vs. Valuable' crap. To reuse my old analogy...

You have two boxes of stones. In one box, you have one 3-carat diamond and a bunch of 1-carat diamonds. In the other box, you have one 2-carat diamond and a bunch of stone pebbles.

While the 2-carat diamond may be a hell of a lot more valuable than the pebbles, the fact is the 3-carat diamond will be more valuable than EVERY OTHER stone no matter how you mix up the boxes of stones. Therefore, I don't buy the garbage argument that Ovechkin should win the MVP because he plays with a bunch of crappy players while Jagr and Thornton have actual NHL caliber teammates.

Now, It's no secret that the MVP race has come down to two men: Joe Thornton and Jaromir Jagr. Alexander Ovechkin, Daniel Alfredsson, and perhaps Teemu Selanne will grab a few votes, but it's a two-horse race for all intents and purposes.

The RAW numbers

Jagr: 79 53-68-121 +35
Thornton: 78 28-91-119 +28

James Mirtle makes the case for Joe Thornton:, and makes some legit points.

The craziest part of Thornton's escapades, of course, has been the Sharks' record since trading for the big guy from St. Thomas.

Impressive, most impressive, but I'm throwing that number right out the window. Why?

Do you remember how awful the Rangers were last season? When is the last time they made the playoffs? Jagr has been the biggest reason for their turnaround. On the flip side, the Sharks were a very good team last season and were simply playing beneath their capabilities before Joe got there (plus the injuries to their goalies). It's not as if San Jose was a crappy team that suddenly turned uber-good just because of Joe Thornton. If you are going to give credit to Joe Thornton for the Sharks turnaround, it's nullified by the similar impact Jagr has had to the Rangers.

And the thing is, unlike Jagr, Thornton is an excellent defensive player, a physical force and great on faceoffs (51.5%). He plays the second-most time shorthanded among San Jose forwards (2:03), behind only Alyn McCauley, and wouldn't be out of place among this year's nominees for the Selke. (New York Rangers coach Tom Renny(sic), on the other hand, wouldn't be caught dead with Jagr on the penalty kill.)
Ok, I'll give Thornton the defensive edge. Nobody has confused Jagr with Jere Lehtinen, even if they are both extremely f'ugly.

Still, who in the hell has ever considered Thornton an 'excellent' defensive player? Certainly not anyone I've ever talked to. Above average? Perhaps. He does play quite a bit of PK with the Sharks. I wouldn't go and give him the Selke, but it's Joe's advantage over Jagr.

Ingmar Bergman makes a good post about the fact that it is easier to score in the Eastern Conference compared to the Western Conference. The difference isn't vast, but someone with more time could probably calculate a more adjusted total...

Now, the reason why I pick Jagr over Thornton can be summed up like this:

53 versus 28

That's right, yokels, Jagr has almost twice as many goals as Joe Thornton does.

Quick Question: What's the hardest thing to do in hockey, apart from resisting the urge to tear Sean Avery's head from his body?

Answer: SCORE GOALS!!!

Preventing offence is a hellofalot more easier than creating offence. Scoring goals is the hardest part of the game, and the ultimate goal of the game. You can win a 0-0 game...and even shootout wins mean 'scoring' a goal.

Goals and assists should not carry equal weight, and the difference between Thornton's goal total and Jagr's goal total is too vast to ignore. If a goal is 1.33 times more valuable than an assist, then Jagr would have 138 adjusted points compared to Thornton's 128.

That said, if Thornton does win the MVP, it won't be any injustice to the award. You could basically flip a coin with these two, but the bitter Canucks fan in me is still pissed b/c Thornton just pwned the Canucks last night.

The end.

fowards have about 50 awards of their own and keep making more (what?!? points aint good enough for ya? well lets add the goals only award, next up? the assists only award. and forwards who don't score? well they need their own award too. what about soft trashes nice guy? oooh give them a lady award. lol)

on the other hand, it ain't a two horse race,

other horses entering the gate HAVE to include

tomas vokoun- a cast-away slug, expansion pick as a BACK-UP. handed the job and has done nothing but saddle up and let the team ride his butt. the preds 1 goal game winning percentage is almost always attributed to the toughness of tomas (and deservedly so) and before his recent injury he was the preds chance in the playoffs. and generally considered their ONLY chance. yea he aint a beloved forward, and he has two of his own awards. too bad, he should be not only at the gate, but a front runner. and certainly uncaught by jagr. scott? he has a choice. it is a long race the mvp, not a sprint.

when they start giving out best defensive d-man awards, and most offensively gifted goaltending awards, i'll start caring about trash forwards getting love...

yep TRASH. jagr? trash on a stick. skilled trash, but trash. I've NEVER seen a team close to the cup come away saying... boy... if we just had one more eurotrash on our team!. shut down d-man ? heard THAT. defensive forward? yep. team toughness? yep. tending? yep. eurotrash? never

and when the adage turns from build from the net out to build from the trash back, I'll nod jagr's way.
NYR of this year (without including Jagr) are a stronger team than the one that played last year. When you are on a good team, it is easier for a player to dominate. Gretzky with the Oilers had his greatest seasons because he was on a great team. When he left, the team was still able to win the Stanley Cup.

Joe Thornton has the edge on Jagr because he single handly changed the circumstances of his team. Without Thornton, San Jose would not have made the play offs. Thornton lead his team from not being a contender to 5th place in their conference.

Thornton's contribution to his team makes him more valuable than Jagr being on a team that had other players such as Lundvquist who contributed to the success almost as much.
to the first anonymous:

How many eurotrash has played a big part in the previous Stanley Cup winners?

Do some research and you'll find that your argument is a bit flawed.
read my comments, hell south koreans have been a "major" part of a cup.

what i said is: being close and FAILING and then having gms and coaches and team presidents bemoan the reasons why never include eurotrash shortages.

i will bring up the best coach ever, having his eurotrash heavy wings primed in the regualr season and seeded top for the post season BOWMAN knew BEFORE the playoffs started that his trash wasn't going to be enough, he started a PRE-PLAYOFF game one rant about the refs not calling enough, attempting to get his players space and increases tacky calls and more, power plays. when his "best" team did indeed get it handed to him, in the off season the red wings magically add 5 grit players (some with serious skill ala shanahan) they have been won cups SINCE then.

scoring is real nice, few teams rely on it as a primary victory tool, and those who have generally have 4 or more hall of famers on the team at the same time.

so the blog started it! bemoaning the poor place in our hearts the pure scorers have, i rebutted :)the pure scorers are on a pedastal, shiney and glossy, and made of wax that will melt in the true spotlight of team "goal oriented" cup runs (president or stanley)!


yep. scorers have the world handed to them, and they belong on the cup as much as jimmy paek does. but they shouldnt be handed anything more over the grit, the defense, and the tending!

go dr v!!!!
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