SI.com’s Michael Farber handed out his NHL awards this week and his pick for the league’s MVP was far from easy. “There were three candidates I really couldn't separate - and even now I'm not sure that I nailed this,” says Farber. “Henrik Sedin was exceptional, especially in his brother Daniel's early-season absence.
"And Sidney Crosby, who scored 51 goals, continues to amaze and delight. I never thought I'd see him have more goals but fewer assists than Alex Ovechkin, but there you go. The strict constructionists have a strong case that Crosby and both goalies were more valuable to their team than Ovechkin - this is the definition of the award - but then a goaltender might win every year. Although Ovechkin had a stronger supporting cast than Crosby, his role as the fulcrum on the NHL's best team and his superior play against teams outside the Little Sisters of the Poor - a.k.a. the Southeast Division - swung me to the left winger.” The NHL playoffs begin Wednesday so today’s highlights (all times Eastern) feature some important regular-season games in basketball and soccer.
-Angels at Yankees (YES Network, 1PM)
If you hate the Yankees, turn away. The defending champions hand out World Series rings (white gold rings, with the interlocking “NY” ) today as they make their home debut against Anaheim. Andy Pettitte (0-0) starts for New York while Ervin Santana pitches for Anaheim (0-1).
-Bolton at Chelsea (ESPN2, 2:50PM)
With five games remaining in the Premier League season, Chelsea leads Manchester United by a point in the table, and have lost only once at Stanford Bridge this season. Bolton (15th place) looks for the major upset.
-Celtics at Bulls (8PM, TNT)
The Bulls lead the Raptors by a half game for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Expect a playoff atmosphere tonight at the United Center.
BY THE NUMBERS
Points per game scored by Syracuse junior Wesley Johnson, who announced Monday that he was declaring for the NBA draft. The 6-foot-7 small forward, is considered a potential lottery pick.
Runs scored by the Padres yesterday in the fourth inning of San Diego’s 17-2 win over Atlanta.
Active players including Prince Fielder, Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols, to have a .275 batting average, .375 on-base percentage and .550 slugging percentage with 2,500 plate appearances by the year they turned 25.