Top 3 NHL MVP Candidates in the 2021-2022 Season

NHL, Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
NHL, Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /
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2. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin did not have his best season a year ago, but that has not been the case during the 2021-2022 campaign. The Great 8 leads the Washington Capitals in goals and points while ranking near the top of the NHL in both categories.

So far this season, Ovi has racked up 29 goals, while adding 29 assists to total 58 points. His 58 points are 13 clear of Evgeny Kuznetsov, who is the second-highest scoring Capital, while Ovechkin’s goal total more than doubles the number scored by any of his teammates.

His team’s performance has been directly correlated to his output, and when he was scoring often, the Caps were at the top of the Metropolitan Division. Now that he has cooled off slightly, Washington has fallen to a wild card position.

The Caps are 5-7-2 since the calendar flipped to 2022, including 0-1 since the captain tested positive for COVID-19. In the 13 contests that Ovechkin has played this calendar year, he has only five goals and three assists, and he has not tallied a point since January 22.

That output is a departure from what his overall body of work depicts this season, and as a result, Washington has suffered. That’s not to dwell on the recent struggles, as that will happen to any player or team in an 82-game season, but it points to how much Ovechkin influences his team, which is the mark of a true MVP candidate.

The Capitals have gotten some scoring from other players, such as Kuznetsov (45 points), but it’s Ovechkin that determines this team’s success or lack thereof. There may not be a player that is more important to his team than number eight in D.C.

So in that case, why is he not number one? Because there is a player in the Sunshine State that is doing it all right now.