The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

Evgeny Kuznetsov is Your 2019 NHL MVP

Evgeny Kuznetsov is currently at +4400 odds to win the Hart trophy. That is the 22nd best odds in the NHL; odds that are too nice to pass up on. I currently have a measly $20 on him to win a whopping $880.

While Kuznetsov is ranked behind some players that won’t surprise you like Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, and Alex Ovechkin, there are others that absolutely don’t deserve to be higher than Kuzy, like Artemi Panarin, Vladimir Tarasenko and Blake Wheeler. These players are all great, but I don’t see how they can have better odds to win the Hart after Kuzy played such a crucial role in the Caps bringing home their first Stanley Cup.

During the 2017-18 regular season, Kuznetsov showcased his ability to be a star in the NHL, scoring 23 goals en route to racking up 83 points while displaying the skating, stickhandling, and playmaking ability that made him such a highly-touted prospect coming over from Russia.

In the postseason, Kuzy stepped it up even more. He led the entire playoffs with 32 points in only 24 games. Kuznetsov also provided Caps fans with a memory they will never forget when he scored the overtime goal in game six which eliminated the Penguins. Throughout the Caps playoff run both Ovechkin and Kuznetsov were making claims with their exceptional play to win the Conn Smythe trophy. While the stats Kuznetsov put up and skill he showed put him in a class of his own, this was Ovechkin’s playoffs, Ovechkin’s Stanley Cup, and Ovechkin’s time. But without Kuznetsov none of it would have been possible. Scoring 12 goals and dishing 20 assists in only 24 games, Kuznetsov cemented himself as one of the top players in the NHL during the 2018 playoffs.

Kuzy has carried over the momentum from the playoff run and has elevated his game to another level to start the regular season. In order to win MVP Kuzy will have to keep up points wise with players the likes of Connor McDavid- no easy task. If the start of the season is any indication, it looks like Kuzy is up for the challenge. In just four games this season Kuznetsov already has seven points scoring three goals and handing out four assists. After Kuznetsov’s brilliant four-point performance in the Caps 5-2 victory over the Golden Knights, teammate Niklas Backstrom said, “He’s just unbelievable. He is by far my favorite player to watch when you’re watching hockey. He looks like he’s just dancing out there.” Backstrom wasn’t the only Caps player swooning over Kuznetsov’s play against the Knights. TJ Oshie told the media that Kuznetsov is a top 5 player in the NHL. When the media informed Kuzy of Oshie’s comments about being a top 5 player, he simply said “I dont give a shit about that.” Kuzys bright personality makes him such a joy to watch on and off the ice.

So throw on Kuzy to win MVP and by the end of the year we may all be bird walking to some money like the legend himself.

-Sean

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