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On Taylor Hall and his chances of winning the Hart in consecutive years

August 19, 2018, 11:02 AM ET [8 Comments]
Todd Cordell
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Winning the Hart Trophy once is extremely difficult. Doing so in consecutive years is almost unheard of.

Only one skater – Alex Ovechkin – has won the award twice in a row over the last 30 years. Bovada seems to think Taylor Hall has a decent chance of doing so.

They recently released their Hart Trophy odds for the 2018-19 NHL campaign and only five players are favored more than Hall to take home the hardware.

While Hall is a truly spectacular player, I think he is overvalued here for a few reasons.

First and foremost, you have to make the playoffs to win it. That's not in writing, but the proof is in the pudding.

Connor McDavid led the league in points, 5v5 points, and posted a plus-20 goal differential at 5v5 last year. He was as dominant as anyone and was not even a *finalist* for the award because the Oilers were not a playoff team.

Hall isn't going to accomplish those feats, so the Devils absolutely have to get in for him to have a shot. Could they do so? Sure, but they made the playoffs by one point last year and have not made any additions to the team. It's far from certain they make it again in a tough division.

I also think Hall's point totals are likely to drop a little bit, which would undoubtedly hurt his chances.

Hall's big spike in production last year was a byproduct of power play performance (and some puck luck). Simply put, everything went right when he was on the ice.

His PP on-ice shooting percentage was better than 19%. That led the league and was well above his average of 13.9% over seven years prior.

Had his on-ice SH% been in line with his career norms, the Devils would have scored 12 fewer goals with him on the ice. That'd cut quite a few points from his total considering he was in on 82% of the PP goals.

Given there is some expected regression with Hall, and most of the players priced similarly are safer bets to make the playoffs, I think you'd be better off putting your money elsewhere.

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