The NHL in victories for a fourth straight time of year

 

Sidney Crosby tied Patrice Bergeron in voting for the most complete player in the NHL, according to a State Hockey Group Players’ Association poll that surveyed almost 500 players.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain received 23.78 percent of the vote, tied with the Boston Bruins captain. Crosby was 10th in the NHL this period with 62 points (24 goals, 38 assists) in 55 regular-season games and is certainly a finalist with Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Edmonton Oilers middle Connor McDavid for the Ted Lindsay Prize, given each year to the most excellent participant in the NHL as voted by members of the NHLPA.

Bergeron, who is trying to get the Selke Trophy seeing that top defensive ahead for a record fifth time, ranked first in face-off percentage at 62.3 percent (minimum, 600 tries). It was tied for the eighth highest percentage among players to take at least that many face-offs since the stat was initial tracked in 1997-98. The center positioned first in face-offs won (714), fifth in face-offs taken (1,147) and third in defensive face-off percentage (59.6 percent). Bergeron was first among Bruins forwards in obstructed pictures (36) and was second in takeaways (35) behind Brad Marchand (42).

California Panthers middle Aleksander Barkov and Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone also are Selke Trophy finalists.

Barkov (14.65 percent) and McDavid (7.22 percent) completed the top four for most complete player in the NHLPA poll.

Crosby was named most complete participant in the NHLPA poll last season.

Crosby, who won the Hart Trophy twice voted NHL most essential player (2007, 2014) and three Stanley Cup championships (2009, 2016, 2017), was runner-up to McDavid simply because the participant of any position you’d most want on your team if you needed to gain one game. The Oilers captain received 36.74 percent of the vote, ahead of Crosby (23.04 percent), and led the NHL with 105 factors (33 goals, 72 aids) in 56 video games this time of year. He is normally a Hart Trophy finalist with Matthews and Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon.

Matthews (46.27 percent) was voted the best goal-scorer, ahead of Washington Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin (33.82 percent). Matthews led the NHL with 41 goals to become the 1st Maple Leafs player to do so in 75 years (Gaye Stewart, 37 goals, 1945-46) and the initial United States-born participant in 24 years (Keith Tkachuk, 52, 1996-97).

Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning was best defenseman for a third straight period, receiving 64.71 percent of the vote, ahead of 7.35 percent for Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators. Hedman was voted a Norris Trophy finalist for a 5th consecutive season after he linked for third among defensemen with 45 points (nine goals, 36 helps) in 54 games. Adam Fox of the New York Rangers and Cale Makar of the Avalanche were voted the various other finalists for the prize given to the best defenseman in the NHL.

Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Lightning (54.12 percent) was the winner in voting for best goalie, ahead of Marc-Andre Fleury of the Golden Knights (8.88 percent). Vasilevskiy was 31-10-1 and led the NHL in victories for a fourth straight time of year. He was voted a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as best goalie in the NHL for a 4th consecutive period, signing up for Fleury and Philipp Grubauer of Co.

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