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Alex Ovechkin close, but Sidney Crosby tops MVP ballot for now

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Adam Oates answered a simple question from our Mike Harris on Tuesday night with a simple answer. Harris asked the Washington Capitals’ coach if Alex Ovechkin should be NHL MVP.

“I’m obviously very biased about that, so my answer would be yeah, absolutely,” Oates said. “Obviously Sidney Crosby is another candidate, for sure. He had such a scoring lead, but I think you’ve got to factor in the fact he’s missed a lot of games. That’s not really for me to say though, it’s you guys.”

As a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, I get a vote for the Hart Trophy and a few other postseason awards. With the asterisk that the season isn’t over yet, here’s a look at my ballot if cast today:

1. Sidney Crosby, Penguins

Before suffering a broken jaw, Crosby was the unquestioned MVP. Despite missing six games, he still leads the NHL in scoring with 56 points (15 goals, 41 assists).

2. Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

By the true definition of “most valuable player,” Ovechkin is it. The Caps lead the Southeast Division because of their captain’s hot streak: 19 goals and nine assists in 18 games, and Washington is 14-3-1 in that time.

3. Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks

It’s tough to choose between Toews (21 goals, 23 assists, plus-27 rating) and teammate Patrick Kane (20 goals, 27 assists, plus-14), but Chicago’s leader is the backbone of the best team in the West.

4. Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks

Ex-Caps coach Bruce Boudreau should get some Jack Adams Award consideration, but on the ice Getzlaf is carrying the Ducks to a Pacific Division title.

5. Zdeno Chara, Bruins

A potential Norris Trophy candidate, the big defenseman is one of the keys to the Bruins’ sustained success. With seven goals and 10 assists, the stats don’t tell the story of what Chara means to Boston.

Also considered: John Tavares, Islanders; Steven Stamkos, Lightning; Patrick Kane, Blackhawks.

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