Friday March 12 by The Hockey Daily
Last season there wasn’t much of a contest for the Rocket Richard trophy. Steven Stamkos scored 60 goals, ten more than the next closest shooter. After about halfway through last season Stamkos ran away with the lead and never looked back. It looked like he was doing the same thing this season but Stammer is experiencing a cold streak. Thanks to his slower than usual goal production lately, three other players are challenging him for the lead.
This used to be Alexander Ovechkin’s bread and butter. Before Stamkos started winning Rocket’s Ovechkin won two straight. Over the last three seasons OV’s numbers have dropped enough to prevent him from recapturing the title that at one time seemed like his to win for the next decade. Ovechkin’s been really hot lately though, and once again finds himself leading the league in goals. He shares that lead with Stamkos at 26. But they aren’t the only ones in this great race for league goal scoring supremacy.
Jonathan Tavares is getting no respect. JT has 24 goals, just two behind NHL attention getters Ovechkin and Stamkos, but you won’t hear him talked about as much. Attention or not, no one can deny how good Tavares is. He’s a pure goal scorer with arguably more weapons than the two guys ahead of him. Sure, Stamkos and Ovechkin can wire the puck probably better than anyone else, but Tavares has a whole arsenal of weapons he can burn you with. Johnny T’s got one of the best set of hands in the show and an incredible knack for knowing where to be around the net. He has a good shot too. It may not be the powerful blast that Stammer and The Great 8 can whip at the net but Tavares has a really good release. The puck comes off his stick quickly and without much tell for the goalie to pick up on.
Jeff Carter continues to score for the Los Angeles Kings. Unlike the three guys ahead of him, Carter is not a 1st overall draft pick. Very much like the first two guys on this list Jeff Carter is a right handed shot who can really fire the puck with authority. Carter’s been great ever since joining the Kings late last season. Being streaky like most goal scorers are he has as good a shot as any to go on a scoring streak now to close out the season and win his first Rocket Richard award.