Despite superior numbers in most categories — and carrying the Flyers into the playoffs with 19 goals over the last 29 games — left winger Claude Giroux was not named as one of the three finalists Friday night for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s MVP.
The finalists were New Jersey’s Taylor Hall, Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar, and Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon. The winner will be announced June 20.
Giroux had more points (102, second in the NHL) than all of them and led the finalists in most categories.
The award, voted upon by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, is based strictly on the regular season.
Hall finished sixth in the NHL with 93 points (39 goals, 54 point assists), while Kopitar finished one point behind him, collecting 35 goals and 57 assists for 92 points. MacKinnon had 97 points (39 goals, 58 assists), which was fifth in the NHL, and he was second with a 1.31 points-per-game average as he helped the Avalanche make a 47-point improvement over last season.
But with his team fighting to get into the playoffs, MacKinnon managed just one goal in the last 10 games.
Moved to a new position before the season, Giroux became the 11th player in NHL history to reach the 100-point mark for the first time at age 30 or older. His 102 points were second in the NHL, and he shared the NHL assist title with 68 and finished third in faceoff percentage at 58.6.
Giroux set career highs in almost every category and was involved in a staggering 41 percent of the Flyers’ goals, which was more than any of the MVP finalists with their respective teams. He also had a higher plus-minus rating (plus-28) than Hall (plus-14) , MacKinnon (plus-11) and Kopitar (plus-21), and he helped linemates Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny have career seasons