The NHL announced the three finalists for the 2013-14 Hart Trophy, given to the league’s MVP.
And to the surprise of no one, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby’s name was on the list.
Crosby had an NHL-leading 104 points (36G-68A), 17 more than second-place finisher Ryan Getzlaf of Anaheim. Crosby won the Hart Trophy in 2007 and was a runner-up in 2010 and ‘13.
Crosby joins Getzlaf and Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux as the three finalists.
“It’s an honor,” Crosby said. “To be recognized with that group of players and who has won that trophy in the past, it’s an honor.”
Crosby helped the Penguins win the Metropolitan Division despite suffering an NHL-leading 529 man-games lost due to injury. The Penguins were 47-8-4 (.825 percent) when Crosby recorded a point and just 3-16-1 (.175) when he was scoreless.
MAGNITOGORSK WINS TITLE
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has played three-plus seasons for his hometown team in Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League in his career.
Malkin played three seasons with the club before coming to the United States to begin his NHL career with the Penguins in 2006. He played half a season with Metallurg during last year’s work stoppage.
Magnitogorsk played Lev Praha in the KHL championship this week. Malkin and his Penguins teammates posed with a sign showing their support for his hometown club saying “Let’s Go Metallurg!”
On Wednesday Metallurg defeated Lev Praha, 7-4, in Game 7 to win their first-ever KHL Gagarin Cup.
“It’s a good year for my team and it’s so exciting because it’s been a long time since they won,” Malkin said Thursday. “I know how the fans and people who live in Magnitogorsk love hockey and every game is sold out. It’s a big win for the city and the team, too.”
After the victory, Metallurg sent a picture back to Malkin to show their support for the Penguins Stanley Cup playoff run.
“They sent me a picture and I’m excited,” Malkin said. “Thank you to them for watching Pittsburgh hockey. I always watch my hometown team and how they play.”
(From Evgeni Malkin's Instagram)
(From Metallurg's official Twitter handle)
Defenseman Brooks Orpik
was the only player absent from the team’s Thursday practice at CONSOL Energy Center. He missed Games 5 and 6 against Columbus with an undisclosed injury.
Per Penguins’ playoff policy, head coach Dan Bylsma did not give any updated information on his or any other injured players’ statuses.
Forward Brian Gibbons (undisclosed) did participate. He has been out of the lineup since leaving Game 2 of their opening-round series against Columbus.
The Penguins used the following workflow…
The seven defensemen rotated their pairings, but the initial six duos looked like this…
PP1: Niskanen, Martin, Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz
PP2: Maatta, Letang, Jokinen, Neal, Sutter