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Top 50 NHLers for 2013-14

By Ted Wyman, Winnipeg Sun

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When a wayward shot shattered his jaw and sent teeth flying in every direction March 30, Sidney Crosby was putting together an epic NHL season.

Through 36 games he was averaging 1.56 points per game, which over an 82-game season works out to 128 points.

Nobody has scored that many points in a single season since Mario Lemieux had 161 in 1995-96.

Crosby wound up losing the scoring title to Martin St. Louis, who scored four more points in 12 more games, and the Hart Trophy to Alex Ovechkin, who carried the Capitals on his back for the last month of the season.

But there's no doubt who the NHL's best player is. Though frequently injured, Crosby has led the league in points-per-game the last three seasons and has taken his superstar status to a new level.

After a couple of mediocre seasons, Ovechkin was back to giving Crosby a run for his money in 2013. The Great 8 led the league in goals and was an absolute dynamo late in the shortened season when his Washington Capitals charged into the playoffs.

Ovechkin moves up from No. 7 on our list back to No. 2, a position he has held in the past.

Moving up to No. 3 is Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who plays an elite two-way game and just led his team to a second Stanley Cup in four years.

The league's most consistent goal-scorer, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, comes in at No. 4, while the top five is rounded out by Crosby's superstar teammate Evgeni Malkin, who gives the Penguins an embarrassment of riches.

For the second year in a row, John Tavares of the New York Islanders was a big riser, going up from No. 15 to No. 6 after going from 47th to 15th last year. And L.A. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, not even in the Top-50 two years ago, now sits at No. 8.

Among those joining the list after being left off last year are Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, Chris Kunitz of the Penguins, Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers, Kris Letang of the Penguins and Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets.

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