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The Canadiens’ Carey Price is the best goalie in the NHL, according to players around the league, and the voting wasn’t even close.
Results of the annual NHLPA Player Poll for the 2019-20 season were released Tuesday, in which 588 players from the 31 teams were polled anonymously on 20 hockey-related questions.
When asked “who is the best goalie?” 41.55 per cent voted for Price, who easily beat out Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning (17.09 per cent), Marc-André Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights (8.93 per cent) and Sergei Bobrovsky of the Florida Panthers (5.63 per cent).
“Poise, consistency, excellence, focus — Carey Price continues to demonstrate these key qualities that have helped earn him the nod for best goalie in the eyes of the players for two years in a row,” the NHLPA wrote on its website.
The Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid was named the best forward with 68.35 per cent of the votes, beating out the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby at 14.93. The Lightning’s Victor Hedman was named the top defenceman with 37.88 per cent of the votes, ahead of the Washington Capitals’ John Carlson (21.35 per cent).
Crosby was named the most complete player with 45.56 per cent of the votes, beating out the Boston Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron at 25.44. Crosby was also named the one player (any position) you would want on your team if you need to win one game with 44.03 per cent of the votes, beating out McDavid with 30.53 per cent.
The Bruins’ Brad Marchand was voted both the best (25.87 per cent) and worst (10.59 per cent) trash-talker in the league.
The only other Canadiens player apart from Price to be voted No. 1 in a category was Tomas Tatar, who was deemed to have the best nickname: “Tuna”. Tatar received 8.08 per cent of the votes to beat out the Bruins’ David “Pasta” Pastrnak with 7.31 per cent and the New York Rangers’ Artemi “Breadman” Panarin with 5.77 per cent.
“With so many great nicknames throughout hockey history, Tomas “Tuna” Tatar should be extremely proud of taking home this title in back-to-back years!” the NHLPA wrote on its website.
The Bell Centre was voted to have the best ice in the NHL with 31.75 per cent of the votes, easily beating out Edmonton’s Rogers Place with 16.75 per cent.
“Not only has Bell Centre earned its third consecutive nod from the players for best ice, it continues to receive a greater percentage of the vote each year,” the NHLPA wrote on its website.
The Canadiens’ Max Domi tied for third in voting as the best follow on social media with 4.37 per cent of the votes. Domi was behind the New Jersey Devils’ P.K. Subban (13.59 per cent) and the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin (6.31 per cent).
“He generates excitement on the ice with his play, but it’s clear P.K. Subban also keeps the entertainment alive on his social media channels as well,” the NHLPA wrote on its website. “If you’re not yet following him yet on social media, the players think you should start.”
The Canadiens’ Youppi! finished fifth in voting for the best mascot with 2.29 per cent of the votes. The Philadelphia Flyers’ Gritty was the runaway winner with 69.72 per cent, followed by the Nashville Predators’ Gnash (2.80 per cent), the Arizona Coyotes’ Howler (2.80) and the Los Angeles Kings’ Bailey (2.54).
“Again. Gritty, the seven-foot furry orange creature who needs no introduction, has only grown in popularity since emerging from his secret hideout and into the hearts of hockey fans,” the NHLPA wrote on its website. “He’s now earned the players’ vote in back-to-back years with yet another landslide victory.”
The Canadiens’ did not rank among the top four teams in voting for the best jersey with the Chicago Blackhawks finishing first with 28.25 per cent of the votes. Tied for second were the Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers, all with 6.83 per cent.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020