TRIKOS: Not full enough? Auston Matthews stripped of NHLPA player poll award

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With 60 goals this year, Auston Matthews could be a favorite for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player. But he is not a complete player – and not even someone you would like to have on your team in a game that needs to be won.

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At least that’s what his peers think.

These are just some of the shocking findings from this year’s NHLPA Player Survey, which polled more than 500 players on a variety of hockey-related issues, from the serious (best shot) to the silly (best haircut).

Goalkeeper you would like to see in a decisive game

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Andrei Vasilevsky, Tampa Bay (37.4%)

Carey Price, Montreal (13.9%)

Marc-André Fleury, Minnesota (6.7%)

John Gibson, Anaheim (3.5%)

Jacob Markstrom, Calgary (3.1%)

NHL players are incredibly loyal. Or they live in the past. While two-time defending champion Andrei Vasilevskiy topped the list of goaltenders you’d like to see in a mandatory match, it makes sense that Carey Price came in second despite only playing four games this year. was dizzying. Even worse was the absence of Vezina Trophy favorite Igor Shesterkin, who leads the league with a GAA of 2.07 and a .935 save percentage.

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The skater you would like to play in the mandatory game

Connor McDavid, Edmonton (42.4%)

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh (17.3%)

Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay (6.7%)

Alexander Barkov, Florida (3.5%)

Nathan McKinnon, Colorado (3.3%)

Connor McDavid leads the league with 144 points and is the most gifted shooting forward we’ve seen maybe since Wayne Gretzky, so it makes sense that most players would want him on their team in a do-or-die game. But what seemed odd was that he was the only player in the top 15 in scoring to get votes. No Auston Matthews. No Johnny Gaudreau. Leon Draisaitl is gone. In the case of Matthews, this omission makes sense. In the end, he lost in three games of 7, as well as in the deciding game of 5.

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Best Handler

Patrick Kane, Chicago (57.3%)

Connor McDavid, Edmonton (22.8%)

Nathan McKinnon, Colorado (5.3%)

Alexander Barkov, Florida (2.4%)

Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary (1.4%)

Auston Matthews, Toronto (1.4%)

There are no arguments here. With a puck on his stick, Patrick Kane is a magician. The only glaring omission is the absence of Trevor Zegras from the list. Anyone who can perform lacrosse-like moves in the middle of a game deserves to teach at Hogwarts School of Hockey Wizardry.

Best passer

Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton (17.7%)

Patrick Kane, Chicago (15.6%)

Niklas Backstrom, Washington (15.4%)

Connor McDavid, Edmonton (10.6%)

Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay (6.2%)

You would think that being the best passer in the league would come from assists. Yet Leon Draisaitl is tied for 23rd overall with 54 assists this year. It wasn’t as bad as third-place finisher Niklas Backstrom despite only having 25 assists in 46 games. Meanwhile, top playmaker Jonathan Huberdeau, who leads the NHL with 85 assists in 80 games, failed to break into the top five in the voting. Neither Johnny Gaudro (74 assists), nor Artemy Panarin (74 assists), nor Roman Yozi (71 assists).

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best shot

Alex Ovechkin, Washington (53.1%)

Auston Matthews, Toronto (24%)

Patrick Laine, Columbus (3.4%)

David Pastrnak, Boston (1.7%)

Stephen Stamkos, Tampa Bay (1.3%)

Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay (1.3%)

I’m surprised this one wasn’t closer. While Alex Ovechkin’s shot is still deadly, you’d think 60 goals this year, including 50 in 50 games, would put Auston Matthews in first place, or at least close the gap between the two. It’s also odd that a quarterback like John Carlson or All-Star winner Victor Hedman didn’t get votes.

Most Complete Player

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh (29.5%)

Alexander Barkov, Florida (20.5%)

Patrice Bergeron, Boston (19.5%)

Connor McDavid, Edmonton (9.2%)

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Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles (2.6%)

Forget the Hart Trophy or the Ted Lindsay Award. This is the category in which every player should want to win. The fact that Sidney Crosby still tops the list is a testament to the level of respect the rest of the league has for the Penguins captain. But the real surprise is that Alexander Barkov is in second place and Connor McDavid is fourth, with Auston Matthews nowhere to be seen. Perhaps that will change when – or if – McDavid and Matthews win the Stanley Cup. Until then, Crosby remains king.

Player you hate to play against (but want to have on your team)

Brad Marchand, Boston (26.4%)

Connor McDavid, Edmonton (18.3%)

Tom Wilson, Washington (10.7%)

Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay (6.9%)

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Nathan McKinnon, Colorado (5.3%)

There is hatred. And then there’s respect. Connor McDavid came in second on this list. You don’t hate playing against him because he’s going to lick you or hit you with the back of his club. But rather because he will burn you one on one. In some ways, it’s even worse.

best hair

Cody Eakin, Buffalo (8.9%)

William Karlsson, Vegas (7.9%)

Eric Karlsson, San Jose (4.8%)

John Merrill, Minnestoa (4%)

Brandon Tanev, Seattle (3.8%)

When did we start writing the worst THE BEST?

best ice

Bell Center, Montreal (39.6%)

Rogers Place, Edmonton (13.7%)

Canadian Life Centre, Winnipeg (12.2%)

T-Mobile Arena, Vegas (5.8%)

Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota (5.8%)

There is nothing surprising here. When it comes to making ice, you can’t beat Canada’s northern climate. Although Vegas seems to have come up with something.

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Best Road City

Vegas (30.6%)

New York (17%)

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (10.4%)

Los Angeles (10%)

Nashville (8.7%)

Not Winnipeg? Also, it’s funny that Fort Lauderdale is mentioned here since it’s about 40 minutes away from where the Panthers play their games.

Best female player

Marie-Philip Poulain, Canada (43.2%)

Hilary Knight, USA (20.7%)

Amanda Kessel, USA (6.2%)

Kendall Coyne Schofield, USA (5%)

Sara Nurse, Canada (2.9%)

Captain Klatch was the obvious choice after winning three Olympic gold medals, scoring the winning goal in all three championship finals.

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