At the midseason break, there are a few clear frontrunners for the league's M.V.P. title. Ovechkin and Malkin immediately come to mind and, while Ovechkin trails Evgeni Malkin in points, it's arguable he's more worthy of the M.V.P. award.
The stats clearly show that Ovechkin is an asset to his team and is a key cog in any Capitals victory. Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals, is in the top 10 for hits and, once again, leads in shots, but what is most impressive is his goal totals in the last five minutes of play.
15 of Ovechkin's 31 goals this season have come in the last five minutes of play.
That's right, nearly HALF of Ovechkin's goals this season have come in the last five minutes of play.
Did I just blow your mind? But wait, there's more!
Consider this, since his rookie season in the NHL, Ovechkin's late-game goal totals have increased each year. In 05-06, he had 13 goals in the last five minutes. In 06-07, he had 16. In 07-08, he had 20, and now 15 at the halfway mark of the 08-09 campaign.
That's 32% of his 194 career goals.
When the Caps are looking for a game winner, put away or go-ahead goal, Ovechkin is the man who delivers, consistently.
So when choosing the award for the league's M.V.P, do you look solely at total points scored, or the quality and value of the points scored?