Much like playoff berths, the Art Ross Trophy came down to the last minute. Actually, it was the last second, as Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn barely won it on a Saturday.
The 25-year-old generated a four-point night to hit 87, edging John Tavares’ 86 and Sidney Crosby’s 84. Benn came into the night tied with Tavares at 83, so it was a brisk final chase.
Benn’s third point on Saturday was a pretty fluky empty-net goal:
Tavares would have taken the scoring title in a tie since he had the goals tie-breaker, so Benn made sure that happened by assisting on a Cody Eakin with just nine seconds remaining against the Nashville Predators:
Benn needed a ridiculous finish to jump up the points leaderboard, and he did it. He scored a ridiculous 10 points in a three-game span, and it’s almost as impressive when you go back further (including 16 points in seven contests). Really, Benn has been on fire since the middle of January.
Barely edging Tavares in such dramatic fashion makes this photo from the 2014 Olympics that much more fun to deploy:
Tavares can one-up Benn in future conversations since his New York Islanders made the playoffs this season, but his Stars counterpart takes home the hardware.
(And he probably doesn’t care that 87 points stand as the lowest full-season Art Ross output since Gordie Howe’s 86 in 1962-63, either.)
Update: The NHL released details on the other award winners based on regular season results (rather than any form of voting). Along with confirming Benn as the Art Ross Trophy winner and Alex Ovechkin as the Maurice Richard champ – he smoked everyone else with 53 goals – it turns out that the William Jennings will be split between goalies Carey Price and Corey Crawford.
Some more details in that regard from the NHL:
The Blackhawks and Canadiens finished the regular season tied with a League-low 189 goals allowed, and Crawford and Price saw the most action for their respective teams. This marks the first time that goaltenders on two teams claimed the Jennings Trophy since 2002-03, when New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur and Philadelphia’s Roman Cechmanek and Robert Esche captured Jennings honors after the Devils and Flyers tied for the League’s lowest goals-against total.