by PuckStopsHere on 04/29/13 at 12:45 AM ET
The regular season completed today with Ottawa's victory over Boston. Now I am going to post my traditional if I had an award ballot post, where I list who I would have voted for if I had a vote in the NHL Awards that most interest me.
Calder Trophy: 1. Jonathan Huberdeau Florida Panthers 2. Nail Yakupov Edmonton Oilers 3. Jonas Brodin Minnesota Wild. Here is where I picked Huberdeau for the award. He did very well in a bad situation with few talented teammates. This forced Huberdeau into a tough role and he still scored. I think the shortened season affected this trophy race and with a full length season it would probably look very different from the way it looks right now. The top rookies would have been scouted better by opposition and some would not hold up as well to the increased pressure that comes with it. Young players may have spent the first twenty or thirty games getting comfortable in their NHL role and now are ready to shine. I am not convinced this grouping of players will be the best threesome of this season's rookies but they are the ones who showed us the most in their first NHL season.
Selke Trophy: 1. Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks 2. Pavel Datsyuk Detroit Red Wings 3. Derek Stepan New York Rangers. Here is where I picked Toews for the award. Patrice Bergeron was also a strong candidate but he missed the end of the season due to injury and wound up being passed by this group of nominees.
Adams Trophy: 1. Bruce Boudreau Anaheim Ducks 2. Ken Hitchcock St Louis Blues 3. Dave Tippett Phoenix Coyotes. Here is where I picked Boudreau for the award. A shortened season is tough to evaluate coaching. This award is often given to the coach of the most improved team and in a shortened season there is a lot of luck that goes into any finish. Boudreau did a good coaching job. He made it fun in Anaheim and the Ducks got off to a fast start and finished higher than anyone seriously expected. Hitchcock and Tippett are other very strong coaches who did not manage the same success on the team level as Boudreau saw this year but that doesn't diminish the value of their coaching.
Masterton Trophy: 1. Andrei Markov Montreal Canadiens 2. Josh Harding Minnesota Wild 3. Mark Streit New York Islanders. These are three players who have overcome a lot to continue their NHL careers. Harding might have the edge because he has a well-publicized fight with a disease in multiple sclerosis but the others lost seasons to injury. I picked Markov here because he came back from career-threatening injury to make a big impact this season and that is something Harding didn't do. It isn't obvious that actually playing hockey well matters to voters. Ian Laperriere recently won this award without playing a single game that season.
Lady Byng Trophy: 1. Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks 2. Martin St Louis Tampa Bay Lightning 3. Matt Moulson New York Islanders. Here is where I picked Kane. If we limit Kane's consideration to this season alone I think he deserves to win. It will be interesting how much cab rides from a few summers ago weigh into voter's consideration. If that disqualifies Kane in some minds we have St Louis who was the better player and Moulson who was limited to four penalty minutes but was further back in scoring and his high scoring rate is likely more a result of his being John Tavares's linemate.
Norris Trophy: 1. Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins 2. Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins 3. Ryan Suter Minnesota Wild. Here is where I picked Letang. Probably no defenceman truly deserves this award. Letang was the best defenceman this year despite missing significant time to injury. Chara will likely be overlooked because he was not a top scorer. Ryan Suter had a strong season in the tougher West Conference. PK Subban was a close forth.
Vezina Trophy: 1. Sergei Bobrovsky Columbus Blue Jackets 2. Craig Anderson Ottawa Senators 3. Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers. Here is where I picked Bobrovsky for the award. Bobrovsky is a surprising winner given how Philadelphia cast him off last summer but he deserves it given his remarkable season. He may be downgraded because Columbus failed to make the playoffs. Craig Anderson has a strong year and was limited in terms of games played due to injury but still played in half of the games this year which is enough for consideration. Perhaps both of these goalies benefitted from a shortened season and cannot keep up their level of play over a full 82 game season and Henrik Lundqvist might have won if the season was full length.
Hart Trophy: 1. Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins 2. Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks 3. Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks. Here is where I picked Crosby for the award, he missed some time but was the most valuable player in the NHL this season. I think people underestimate how much tougher the West Conference was than the East Conference and voters may support eastern players like Alexander Ovechkin and Martin St Louis instead. Toews and Kane were the MVPs of the West Conference. They may be downgraded because they were teammates but I think they were the second and third most valuable players in the league this season.
First All Star Team: Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals, Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins, Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks, Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins, Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins, Sergei Bobrovsky Columbus Blue Jackets
Second All Star Team: Taylor Hall Edmonton Oilers, Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks, Martin St Louis Tampa Bay Lightning, Ryan Suter Minnesota Wild, PK Subban Montreal Canadiens, Craig Anderson Ottawa Senators
Third All Star Team: Chris Kunitz Pittsburgh Penguins, Steve Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning, Phil Kessel Toronto Maple Leafs, Shea Weber Nashville Predators, Francois Beauchemin Anaheim Ducks, Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers
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