Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NHL Awards!

1) With the NHL regular season now in the books, and the NHL awards show set to go off tomorrow night in LasVegas we figured we'd review who SHOULD win the various awards as well as who is the runner up. As we mentioned earlier this is the Unofficial LAST part of the 2008-2009 NHL season. After this sights will be set upon 2009-2010 with the NHL draft. Look for our first pre-draft post this Friday!

2) Hart: Alex Ovechkin. Runners up: Evgeny Malkin. The voting will undoubtedly be a lot closer this time around, but in the end the same winner as last season should prevail yet again. Evgeny Malkin closed the gap significantly with his countryman with an amazing performance of his own, but the combo of winning the Richard, most game winning goals, and the other intangibles he adds to help his team win make #8 our Hart winner again. ( Remmber voting takes place PRIOR to the playoffs. If the playoffs were taken into acccount our nod would be to Malkin!)

3) Norris: Mike Green. Runners up Nicklas Lidstrom, Zdeno Chara. Not until you place his numbers into perspective does the amazing offensive season Mike Green had become apparent. Missing 12 games he still easily led all defensemen in scoring, had a great +/- and played big minutes. Finally deposing the reigning Norris winner Lidtsrom, who had yet another solid, near great season himself.

4) Vezina: Steve Mason. Runners up: Tim Thomas, Niklas Backstrom. Another tough call to make. In the end the rookie who plays behind a much less experienced defense/forward group in Columbus, helping them to their first ever playoff berth won out. However, it wouldn't be a shocker to see Thomas given the award as his numbers were extraordinary

5) Selke:Pavel Datsyuk. Runner up: Mike Richards: One of the more difficult trophies to predict as the criteria is unclear/ambiguous. From past winners it has recently gone to the forward who COMBINES good defensive numbers (+/- and PK numbers) with good offensive numbers. With that in mind we see Datsyuk winning the award with the other two close runners up

6) Calder:Steve Mason.Runners up: Bobby Ryan Probably the easiest trophy to predict despite our proclamation 2 weeks ago that it could be a shared trophy. With us giving Mason the Vezina honors it would be impossible to not have him our Calder winner as well. Kudos to Rinne (who got snubbed in the voting in our opinion) Versteeg and Ryan, who had great rookie campaigns in their own rights!

7) Masterton Trophy: (award given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication) Brian Pothier. Runners up: Steve Sullivan, Richard Zednik. Another difficult award to handicap. Seems to lately go to the player who makes the best comeback. All 3 of our candidates fit that bill, and flip a coin who you think should win.

8) Adams: Claude Julian. Runners up: Todd McLellan. Yes Ken Hitchcock isn't on the Finalsts list, but in our opinion have to give the award to the good Captain for getting this team into the post season for the first time. Until their last month swoon, we had Brent Sutter winning, now he isn't even employed. ; ) Also good mention to Julian (another Lamarello casualty) and McClellan for guiding their talented teams to conference wins

9)Pearson: Alex Ovechkin (See Hart) Runner Up Pavel Datsyuk

9) Art Ross: Evgeny Malkin. Congrats to the second best Russian, and best player on Pittsburgh for finishing first in the NHL's scoring race to earn his first Art Ross trophy, but an astounding 13 NHL scoring titles in the past 21 seasons for the Flightless birds!

10) Lady Byng: What exactly is the purpose of this award? Traditionally to the best player who doesn't fight much, and also isn't going to win any of the other awards? Martin St Louis. Runners up: Zac Parise

11) Rocket Richard: Alex Ovechkin. The Great-8 wins his second consecutive Richard trophy for most goals. Easily out pacing his nearest rivals (again) No other player in the league eclipsed the 50 goal plateau. Completing only his 4th season the Russian already has over 220 goals!

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