Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY Sports

What We Learned: The Jack Adams race could go any way

With Auston Matthews on an absurd goalscoring pace for the last couple months, and hitting 50 goals well before the end of February, it brought a lot of MVP talk into focus.

There's now a camp that believes Matthews deserves the award, but also those that are pushing Nathan MacKinnon's fading hopes, Nikita Kucherov if the Tampa Bay Lightning make the playoffs, or Connor McDavid's slow-rolling inevitability as a finalist (at least). A fourth, wiser group sees this as an award for which Connor Hellebuyck deserves a serious look, and not in the way half the PHWA will view any standard Vezina candidate from an overperforming team ("I guess I'll give him a fourth-place vote so it looks like I'm paying attention but he's not on a crap Montréal Canadiens team so he can never get real MVP considera

Access this article with EP Premium

Go Premium to access this article

Register your Premium-membership at to get access to this article and more quality, in-depth coverage at EP Rinkside

This article is about:
NHL Detroit Red Wings New York Rangers Philadelphia Flyers NHL Connor Hellebuyck Auston Matthews Connor McDavid John Tortorella
Scoring Leaders