Four Goalies Enter 2020 Hart Trophy Race; Could Price (+2500), Bishop (+2800), Gibson (+3000) Win NHL MVP?

Canadiens' Carey Price at the bench
Could the Canadiens' Carey Price win his second Hart Trophy? Through one month, he's the goalie with the best odds. Photo by Michael Miller (wikimedia commons) CC License.
  • Four goalies are among the top 15 when it comes to the Hart Trophy Odds
  • The best odds belong to Carey Price at +2500
  • Will a goalie take home the 2019/20 Hart Trophy?

It’s been four years since a goalie claimed the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP.

That was Carey Price in 2014/15 when he lead the Canadiens to top spot in the Atlantic Division.

Now he’s in the mix again. Among the top 15 in the Hart Trophy odds, Price is the top goalie. He’s one of four goalies currently getting some love on the books.

2019/20 Hart Trophy Odds

Player Team Odds
Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers +225
Nikita Kucherov Tampa Bay Lightning +550
Nathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche +800
Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins +950
Taylor Hall New Jersey Devils +950
Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks +1200
Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals +1400
Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs +1800
Carey Price Montreal Canadiens +2500
John Tavares Toronto Maple Leafs +2500
Ben Bishop Dallas Stars +2800
Ryan O’Reilly St. Louis Blues +2800
Sergei Bobrovsky Columbus Blue Jackets +2800
John Gibson Anaheim Ducks +3000
Johnny Gaudreau Calgary Flames +3000

Odds taken November 4th.

Right now, the goalies fall into the longshot category on our Hart Trophy odds tracker.

Entering Monday’s action, Sergei Bobrovsky and John Gibson had their teams in playoff spots. Price’s Canadiens and Ben Bishop’s Dallas Stars are on the outside looking in.

Having won the award before, Price’s pedigree plays a part in this. So could he claim his second award?

Price Behind the Pack in Hart Race

When you isolate his season, Price is having a good year. While it isn’t up to his lofty standards, it’s still early. And two years removed from an injury-ravaged 2017/18, he’ll take it.

Carey Price’s Past Four 55+ Start Seasons vs 2019/20

Season Games Started Record GAA Save Percentage Hart Trophy Results
2019/20 11 6-4-1 2.64 .915 N/A
2018/19 64 35-24-6 2.49 .918 N/A
2016/17 62 37-20-5 2.23 .923 N/A
2014/15 66 44-16-6 1.96 .933 Won Hart Trophy
2013/14 59 34-20-5 2.32 .927 14th

Price has landed on the Hart ballot two other times, finishing seventh and 17th.

While 2019’s numbers aren’t in line with his hardware-worthy seasons, there’s a silver lining. According to Hockey-Reference, Price’s Quality Start Percentage is .636. That’s his highest since 2015/16.

That year, he posted a .667, going 10-2-0 with a 2.06 GAA and a .934 save percentage.

Price’s season is likely on an upward trajectory.

The Numbers Behind the Hart Trophy Race

If two of his contemporaries keep up this pace, Price will need every quality start he can muster.

Hart Trophy Candidate Comparison

Goalie Games Started Record GAA Save Percentage GA%-
Carey Price, MTL 11 6-4-1 2.64 .915 93
John Gibson, ANA 12 6-6-0 2.51 .926 81
Ben Bishop, DAL 11 4-5-1 2.33 .922 85
Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA 11 6-2-3 3.36 .882 129

Bobrovsky’s slow start seems to have doomed him.

Despite his struggles, the Panthers entered Monday sitting third in the Atlantic. With 51 goals-for and 51 goals-against, Florida is succeeding in spite of Bob.

Whether he improves or not, it likely removes him from the Hart Trophy conversation.

Gibson Succeeding Despite Ducks’ Struggles

The Ducks are in a weird spot. They’re middle-of-the-pack when it comes to goals-for, but just creeping into the top ten in goals-against.

That’s entirely because of John Gibson. The Ducks are second in terms of shots-against, giving up 527. That averages out to 33 a game, five more than they’re taking.

Gibson is supremely talented, and should earn some Vezina love. But the team around him may not be good enough to put him in the MVP conversation.

Bishop, Stars Need to Turn it Around

The Stars are in a similar spot. They’ve allowed slightly more and scored slightly less. All of that has come amid a fine season from Bishop.

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So long as the Stars sneak their way back into a playoff spot, Bishop is a solid buy. Especially after finishing 19th in Hart voting last year.

But there’s always a looming threat of an injury with him. It adds an asterisk to any investment.

Price, Bishop Best Goalie Buys in Hart Trophy Conversation

When it comes to the Hart Trophy, Carey Price and Ben Bishop are the best buys, with the slight edge to Price.

Both have battled injury throughout their careers, and are looking up at stacked fields. Since Price won the award, the closest a goalie has come was Bobrovsky’s third-place finish in 2016/17.

There’s a reason both are longshots for the Hart. But if you want to swing for the fences, it’s worth looking between the pipes.

 

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