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11-14-2012, 06:29 PM
  #71
Czech Your Math
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I'll say this, he was racking up assists left, right and center and San Jose was getting higher and higher in the standings. This was noticed throughout the entire NHL so no, personally I don't think a couple points here or there make a difference, but I'm not doing the voting either. An Art Ross makes your season look sexier, but was it a deal breaker? I don't really think it needed to be in this case. I know this has been beaten to death but I don't think it can ever be underrated that he made Cheechoo a Richard winner. He led the NHL in goals when you saw lots of snipers right in the mix (Ovechkin, Jagr, Kovalchuk, Heatley). That's an accomplishment that will never grow old and I personally think a lot of weight went into the Hart voting because of this.
Thornton had a great season, no doubt. I'm not saying Jagr could/would have matched that total of assists, but remember he also was 2nd in goals by two... and he actually scored those goals. He still finished 3rd in assists, two behind 2nd, when their the leading goal scorers were Straka & Nylander approaching their mid-30s and rookie Prucha who never came close to that again. I think a player who led the NHL in assists 3 times could probably find a way to get some goals out of Cheechoo (and Marleau/Michalek/Erhoff/Carle on the PP). He led the league in assists in '99, with more adjusted assists that year than Thornton in '06, while finishing second in goals.

That's what made Jagr more valuable IMO, is that he could either set up the big goal or score it himself, and he led the Rangers from the start. That was a fragile team, that hadn't made the playoffs in several years, was full of new, players (basically unproven and/or marginal players plus a unit of Jagr & his buddies), and he led them straight to the playoffs from game one vs. Forsberg & the Flyers. I just can't see how that could be less than turning around a conference finalist after being traded with over 2/3 of the season to play. Are we forgetting that Jagr set the goals & points marks for an O6 franchise while playing with a broken finger and turning 34 during the season? His leading the Czechs to a best on best WC gold and an Olympic medal (no Hasek in either) before/during season shouldn't affect the vote, but it shouldn't exactly hurt it either.


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 11-14-2012 at 09:59 PM.
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