Evgeni Malkin runs away with All-Star players’ poll

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Evgeni Malkin is atop many first-half Hart Trophy lists – and that dominance hasn’t been lost on his peers.

NHL.com polled 38 NHL All-Stars on a variety of subjects and found that Geno was the resounding choice for the first-half MVP, as 23 different players gave the Russian star the nod. (Perhaps you could call him the first-half Ted Lindsay Award winner by extension, then.)

Malkin’s results towered over second-place guy Claude Giroux, who received seven votes. The other categories were far more divided, especially most underrated player, which Kimmo Timonen took with just four votes.

One cannot help but wonder if the “most surprising team” category was swayed a bit by the event taking place in Ottawa; the Senators (13 votes) narrowly edged the St. Louis Blues (12 votes) in that regard. (Then again, plenty of people – myself included – expected the Blues to be in the playoff hunt while few thought much of the Senators’ chances when preseason predictions poured out.)

Click here to view the extended results.