by PuckStopsHere on 04/10/11 at 11:27 PM ET
The NHL regular season has just ended. As I have done for the last several years, it is time to make my picks for the NHL awards if i had a ballot to vote.
Calder Trophy - 1. John Carlson Washington Capitals 2. Jeff Skinner Carolina Hurricanes 3. Logan Couture San Jose Sharks Here is why I select Carlson. He is not likely the popular pick because he doesn’t have big offensive numbers. He has been the top shutdown defenceman on the first place team in the East Conference and that is more impressive than the offensive rookie’s accomplishments.
Selke Trophy - 1. Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks 2. David Backes St Louis Blues 3. Manny Malhotra Vancouver Canucks Here is why I select Toews. He has been a tremendous defensive talent who plays successfully against the best players that Chicago’s opposition has. His offensive prowess does not affect this pick at all, but it is impressive that Toews is the 11th highest scorer in the NHL while playing that defensive role.
Adams Trophy - 1. Mike Babcock Detroit Red Wings 2. Barry Trotz Nashville Predators 3. Peter Laviolette Philadelphia Flyers Here is why I pick Babcock. I reject the common NHL method of picking the coach of the most improved coach as coach of the year. Team improvement happens for many reasons and coaching is not often the main one. The best coaches have often been in place for several years and any improvement from their coaching is unlikely, since they coached the same team last year as well. It is time that the best coaches got more credit in the coach of the year voting.
Masterton Trophy - 1. Kurtis Foster Edmonton Oilers 2. Fernando Pisani Chicago Blackhawks 3. Ray Emery Anaheim Ducks Every one of these players is somebody who looked like his career might be over because of injury or illness, but they have been back and made an impact with their team this year. Here is why I support Foster. He overcame a serious leg injury and the loss of his infant daughter.
Lady Byng Trophy - 1. Martin St Louis Tampa Bay Lightning 2. Loui Eriksson Dallas Stars 3. Patrick Marleau San Jose Sharks Here is why I select St Louis. He was second highest scorer in the league with only 12 penalty minutes and that should allow him to defend his Lady Byng from last year.
Norris Trophy - 1. Lubomir Visnovsky Anaheim Ducks 2. Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins 3. Nicklas Lidstrom Detroit Red Wings Here is why I select Visnovsky. He isn’t the biggest name defenceman, but he had the biggest impact. He led defencemen in scoring and was tremendously important to the Anaheim Ducks success this year.
Vezina Trophy - 1. Tim Thomas Boston Bruins 2. Pekka Rinne Nashville Predators 3. Roberto Luongo Vancouver Canucks I picked Thomas very early in the season. He dominated all the NHL goalies this year with a year that is statistically unmatched in history. The question is how much of his statistics are due to the defence in front of him? It is impressive that this would be his second Vezina in three years.
Hart Trophy - 1. Tim Thomas Boston Bruins 2. Daniel Sedin Vancouver Canucks 3. Corey Perry Anaheim Ducks Here is why I select Tim Thomas. The question is that he only appeared in 57 games this season and is that enough? I argue that he earned more wins for his team than any other player in the league this season and it isn’t even close. There was no huge offensive performance in the league this year.
First All Star Team - Daniel Sedin Vancouver Canucks Steve Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning Corey Perry Anaheim Ducks Lubomir Visnovsky Anaheim Ducks Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins Tim Thomas Boston Bruins
Second Team All Star - Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals Henrik Sedin Vancouver Canucks Martin St Louis Tampa Bay Lightning Nicklas Lidstrom Detroit Red Wings Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins Pekka Rinne Nashville Predators
Third Team All Star - Henrik Zetterberg Detroit Red Wings Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks Jarome Iginla Calgary Flames Shea Weber Nashville Predators Keith Yandle Phoenix Coyotes Roberto Luongo Vancouver Canucks
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