NHL Awards: My PicksShareThis
I realize it’s a little pre-mature – there are still a couple games left in the NHL regular season, after all – but I feel like doing my NHL Awards picks today.
I mean, if Daniel Sedin or Corey Perry mix in an Ovechtrick in the final couple games, I reserve the right to change my opinion. But in the meantime…..
Hart Trophy: I really, really, don’t want to give the Hart Trophy to Corey Perry. I find him obnoxious, like most people who aren’t Ducks fans. He wasn’t even a part of the discussion until, oh I dunno, three weeks ago.
I love the double-Sedin story.
I don’t think he’s had it so rough with having Getzlaf and Ryan as linemates – even when Getzlaf was hurt for like, 15-20 games, who filled in, like, sixth-overall-in-scoring Teemu Selanne? If you put every line out there and held a draft, his would go number one, not the Sedins. I realize Sedin has his brother, but just so everybody knows, Alex Burrows isn’t actually all that awesome. He’s a second-liner on most other teams, he just provides the right mix for the two of them. They create that danger between the two of them.
But still, the issue of “value” to a team – a question I hate, and wish we were debating player of the year – leaves me with no choice. I don’t think the Ducks make the playoffs without Corey Perry. Without Daniel, the Canucks probably still fight for home ice. Hence, more value.
In the end, I’ve been swayed by the Perry advocates on twitter. I’m gonna do it…. Here goes…. …..fuck.
Norris Trophy: If we swapped namebars on Keith Yandle and Nick Lidstrom, the Phoenix player would win the Norris. And that’s fine – Lidstrom has earned that respect.
Still, I’ve watched too much Keith Yandle this year to think he doesn’t deserve it. If he were on the Red Wings, he would’ve put up a lot more points. The Coyotes have scored 30 less goals than the Red Wings this year, and the only reason the Yotes have that many is thanks to him. With two games left in the season, he’s leading the Coyotes in overall points, one short of 60.
So, as much as I love the 41 year old Norris story, for me, it goes to Keith Yandle and his great decision-making.
Vezina Trophy: Obviously, the first name that comes to mind is Tim Thomas, and when it comes to these awards, I have no interest in being a contrarian. But I don’t think he’s had the best season of a goalie in the NHL. I think Henrik Lundqvist has.
Tim Thomas is playing behind one of the best defensive teams in the league – Lundqvist, not so much. He’s been rested 10 more times than Lundqvist, appearing in only 56 of 80 games thus far. Of course, he’s has been flat-out terrific as well. This is no easy call.
But without Lundqvist and his .923 save percentage and 2.27 goals against average (on an eighth place team), I think the Rangers are screwed. In my opinion, he’s done more for his team than any other goalie in the league.
Selke Trophy: The five names that come up when I think of this award: Pavel Datsyuk, Ryan Kesler, Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Toews, and dark horse Frans Neilsen. All would be deserving.
For me, this is the most basic concept for an award – just best defensive player. Forget whatever else it is they do.
And of all those names, I think that best applies to Patrice Bergeron. He’s an extremely smart player, and you can count on him not flying the zone early when you need him most. Gotta like your odds in the final minute of a close game when he’s out there shutting opponents down.
And last but not least….
Calder Trophy: I agree with those who say age should have nothing to do with this award. If you qualify as a rookie under the NHL’s qualifications, you’re just as eligible to win it (as in, Couture vs. Skinner). That said, I still think Skinner has had a better rookie year.
He plays on a Carolina, a team that doesn’t get nearly the attention of the Sharks, which works against him. It’s also been harder for him because he doesn’t have as much in the way of offensive help. He led all rookies in points, including reaching the 30 goal plateau. It’s just too much to deny the kid the award. Jeff Skinner has my vote.
UPDATE: I forgot…
Jack Adams: I’ll be short and sweet on this one – if you ask people to pick their top three nominess for this award, every single person has Dan Bylsma and two other people – the other ones change, but Bylsma’s always in there. The Pens just had too much success despite losing what everyone assumed to be the reasons that their team won to not give it to him.
Feel free to let me know what you think. Hope everyone is enjoying the first day of the Masters – lord knows I am!