With just about 30 more games left to play, the Norris Trophy race is over. Sportsbooks will always do their best to try to predict, or project, how the second half of the season will unfold. A big part of that will undoubtedly involve foretelling which player will take home the highest-individual award a hockey player can be nominated for; the NHL’s Hart Memorial Trophy.
The Hart Memorial Trophy has been a prestigious award given to the ‘player judged most valuable to his team’ since 1924. 54 different NHL players have received the coveted nomination, including online NHL betting legends like Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, and Gordie Howe.
This year little has changed at the top of the Hart Trophy odds list past Connor McDavid’s and Sidney Crosby’s odds getting significantly shorter. No. 97 and No. 87 have really separated themselves from the rest of the pack.
Crosby has gotten to his 56-point total in just 43 games but to be fair, he’s surrounded by a much more talented cast. In many cases, McDavid is single-handedly winning hockey games and is keeping his team in the hunt for a Pacific Division playoff spot.
There’s a legitimate chance that Crosby can win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer, the Art Ross as the league’s leading point getter and the Hart as the league’s MVP. Alex Ovechkin is the last man to accomplish that feat as he completed the trifecta back in 2007-08 when Crosby played just 53 games.
Other online NHL betting notables include Erik Karlsson who may not be at the forefront of the Hart Trophy, but has made a rather convincing case in the James Norris Memorial Trophy discussion. The Norris Trophy is awarded to the best defenseman in the NHL.
Brent Burns is clearly the best defenseman this season and it’s not close. He’s even getting some recognition in the Hart Trophy conversation and if the Sharks blue-liner was to win it, he would become the first D-man to win the NHL’s MVP trophy since Chris Pronger did it 17 years ago.
Sportsbooks have pegged him as the enormous -333 favorite, meaning it’s highly unlikely anyone knocks him off the pedestal on which he currently resides and the fat lady, also known as Gary Bettman, can start warming up her vocal cords.
So what is Burns doing to earn such high praise and major award consideration? Well, for starters, he has 21 goals to go along with his 32 assists, is a +15 and is averaging almost 25 minutes of ice time a game. His offensive numbers rival those of the best forwards in the league and he does it without abandoning his post at the defensive end. He has more power-play points than NHL points leader Connor McDavid and is also tied for first with Drew Doughty and Ryan Suter with 4.57 defensive point shares apiece. The race for trophies in the NHL is on make your picks at HeritageSports.eu