Tuesday, February 7, 2012

And The Winner Is...

The NHL Awards
With approx. 30 games to go, I wanted to take a look at the front runners for the NHL's hardware.

The Art Ross Trophy

E. Malkin (61) is the leader right now but with, C. Giroux (60), S. Stamkos (57), P. Kessel (57) and 9 more players within 10 points, Malkin is not a "shoe in" by any stretch.

The Rocket Richard Trophy

S. Stamkos is once again proving he is one of the NHL's best snipers, leading the way with 34 goals. E. Malkin and P. Kessel are close with 29 each and you can't discount J. Toews with 27. I believe Stamkos will hold on for the win barring injury.

The Hart Memorial Trophy

My top 3 candidates for MVP are E. Malkin 61pts, P. Kessel 57pts and H. Lundqvist 24W 6SO and a .939 save %. Its my belief that Malkin will win this year, he has carried the Penguins all season with Sid on the shelf, though its hard to discount Lundqvist's importance for the Rangers.

The Vezina Trophy

Here are the 4 goalies I think will be in the running.

H. Lundqvist (24w,6so,.939s%), J. Quick(22w,6so,.934s%), P. Rinne(30w,4so,.925s%), J. Howard(32w,5so,.924s%). I'll give an honorable mention to T. Rask and B. Elliot, I don't feel they have or will play enough games when compared to the other candidates. In the end I give the nod to H.Lundqvist, this guy is responsible for the NYR perch atop the NHL standings.

The James Norris Memorial Trophy

This has been a bit of a transitional year on the NHL's backend. There are more young defencemen stepping up into the spotlight which makes for a cluster of candidates. Here's who I feel are the best D-men in the league.

Z. Chara (30pts,+27), M. DelZotto (26pts,+26), S. Weber (35pts,+19), E. Karlsson (48pts,+7), N. Lidstrom (28pts,+25), I. White (25pts,+30).

It really is a crap shoot when picking a winner out of this group but I'll give the edge to Chara based on track record, team role/importance and both his point totals and plus/minus are both among the league leaders. Is Ian White this good or is it a product of playing beside Nik Lidstrom??????

The Frank J. Selke Trophy

As defensively reliable forwards go these are the best in my opinion.

T. Seguin +33, P. Bergeron +27, M. Hossa +21, T. Bertuzzi +22, J. Franzen +21. The Bruins could have this locked up as there are a few more on the +/- leaderboard. Going solely on the numbers this is Seguins to lose I'm just not sure of the calibre of players he goes up against on a nightly basis. I'm going with M. Hossa for this one. He plays on a team that is among the leaders in goals aloud and is still +21.

The Lady Byng Trophy

Again there are a half dozen players I see as having a serious shot at winning this award. They are as follows....

J. Eberle(54pts,8pim), P. Datsyuk(54pts,14pim), P. Kessel(57pts,12pim), J. Tavares(53pts,14pim), M. Hossa(53pts,16pim), P. Elias(51pts,16pim). Another mix of young and old and I say Eberle should be able to hold on for the win. Datsyuk can't win every year....can he?

The Calder Memorial Trophy

I think there are only 2 players in the running and even then I still see a clear cut winner based on age, pro experience, and team importance. R. Nugent-Hopkins (35pts-40gms) wins over A. Henrique (34pts-44gms) and the rest of the sophomores.

The Jack Adams Trophy

I give this one to K. Hitchcock. The job he has done with the Blues is amazing. They're challenging for the Central Division and Western Conference lead after looking like a non-playoff team before he took the reins.

The Bill Masterson Trophy

J. Lupul wins hands down! Coming back from back injury and a blood infection to be among the league leaders in points while putting up career best numbers. Best come back story of the year.

The Mark Messier Trophy

I put a bunch of Captains names in a hat......shuffle, shuffle, shake, shake....and the winner is.....N.Lidstrom. Couldn't have picked a better candidate if I tried.

So there you have it, my 2/3 point of the season award winners.

-WRITTEN BY PAQ TWINN-

follow me on twitter www.twitter.com/paqtwinn

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