by PuckStopsHere on 04/15/14 at 12:55 AM ET
With the end of the regular season it is time for my annual if I had an award ballot post where I list my top three picks for the NHL awards that interest me.
Calder Trophy: 1. Nathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche 2. Torey Krug Boston Bruins 3. Ondrej Palat Tampa Bay Lightning I only recently picked MacKinnon to win this award. I think he is the runaway favorite among voters but he shouldn't be ranked too far ahead of Krug (though he will be). Palat is a more distant third candidate.
Selke Trophy: 1. Patrice Bergeron Boston Bruins 2. Anze Kopitar Los Angeles Kings 3. Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks I have been picking Bergeron as the Selke Trophy leader for most of the season. He has won this award before and had a strong season. This gives him both the reputation and the results this season to win it. Toews was his top rival for most of the season until injuries dropped him into third below Kopitar.
Adams Trophy: 1. Bruce Boudreau Anaheim Ducks 2. Ken Hitchcock St Louis Blues 3. Patrick Roy Colorado Avalanche Boudreau took my lead at the end of December. He has a repeatable ability to have his team exceed its talent level, as he did this year. Hitchcock has a long stretch of doing the same. Patrick Roy certainly made Colorado a fun place for players to play and had success this year, but I wonder how much of it is due to Semyon Varlamov's emergence in goal and if it is repeatable. As usual, I expect my coach of the year picks will not match the actual picks and that the actual picks will be fired before my selections are.
Masterton Trophy: 1. Manny Malhotra Carolina Hurricanes 2. Willie Mitchell Los Angeles Kings 3. Dominic Moore New York Rangers My pick of Malhotra is because he came back from an eye injury that has affected him since 2010. His career appeared over. Willie Mitchell also looked like his career was over due to injury, but not for as long as Malhotra. Moore makes a comeback after a year off mourning his wife's death. Kris Letang and Rich Peverley are already leaders for next season if they can play regularly. They did not establish that this season.
Lady Byng Trophy: 1. Ryan O'Reilly Colorado Avalanche 2. Tyler Seguin Dallas Stars 3. Martin St Louis New York Rangers O'Reilly is a relatively recent leader. He wins with a ridiculously low two penalty minutes all season. The other candidates are better players with low penalty minute totals, but they are an order of magnitude higher than O'Reilly.
Norris Trophy: 1. Duncan Keith Chicago Blackhawks 2. Alex Pietrangelo St Louis Blues 3. Ryan Suter Minnesota Wild There are several good candidates for this award, but this threesome is the best group of two-way defencemen this year. I have been picking Keith most of the season. I don't think people realize how good he is.
Vezina Trophy: 1. Tuukka Rask Boston Bruins 2. Carey Price Montreal Canadiens 3. Semyon Varlamov Colorado Avalanche Rask had a couple runs as Vezina leader. The last began in March. I am less convinced Varlamov is posting repeatable numbers than Price, so he falls to third. Ben Bishop was also in the race until he faltered and got hurt at season's end.
Hart Trophy: 1. Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins 2. Duncan Keith Chicago Blackhawks 3. Ryan Getzlaf Anaheim Ducks Crosby has led this race from the start of the season and should win easily. Of course, he should have won last year and voters outsmarted themsleves and figured out a way to give it to somebody less deserving in Alexander Ovechkin. Keith and Getzlaf are solid contenders but they are not in Crosby's class. I think Keith will be overlooked by voters since he isn't among the NHL scoring leaders.
First All Star Team: Taylor Hall Edmonton Oilers Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Corey Perry Anaheim Ducks Duncan Keith Chicago Blackhawks Alex Pietrangelo St Louis Blues Tuukka Rask Boston Bruins
Second All Star Team: Jamie Benn Dallas Stars Ryan Getzlaf Anaheim Ducks Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals Ryan Suter Minnesota Wild Shea Weber Nashville Predators Carey Price Montreal Canadiens
Third All Star Team: Patrick Sharp Chicago Blackhawks Claude Giroux Philadelphia Flyers Phil Kessel Toronto Maple Leafs Erik Karlsson Ottawa Senators Drew Doughty Los Angeles Kings Semyon Varlamov Colorado Avalanche
My main comment on the all star teams is that I cannot believe Taylor Hall wasn't on the Canadian Olympic Team.
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