Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tracking the trophies

Globesports.com has been taking a weekly poll of its hockey writers for much of the season on who the leading candidates for the NHL's major awards are. Here's a look at this week's selections as we head into the final stretch of the season:

Jack Adams (top coach)
  1. Barry Trotz, Nashville
  2. Lindy Ruff, Buffalo
  3. Mike Babcock, Detroit
  4. Claude Julien, New Jersey
  5. Randy Carlyle, Anaheim
    Alain Vigneault, Vancouver
Frank J. Selke (defensive forward)
  1. Chris Drury, Buffalo,
  2. Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina
    Jere Lehtinen, Dallas
  3. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit
  4. David Legwand, Nashville
  5. Kris Draper, Detroit
    John Madden, New Jersey
  6. Chris Kelly, Ottawa
    Brian Rolston, Minnesota
    Brad Richards, Tampa Bay
    Sam Pahlsson, Anaheim
James Norris (top defenceman)
  1. Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit
  2. Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim
  3. Chris Pronger, Anaheim
  4. Dan Boyle, Tampa Bay
Vezina (top goaltender)
  1. Martin Brodeur, New Jersey
  2. Roberto Luongo, Vancouver
  3. Dominik Hasek, Detroit
  4. J-S Giguere, Anaheim
    Marty Turco, Dallas
Calder (top rookie)
  1. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh
  2. Paul Stastny, Colorado
  3. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles
  4. Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh
Hart Memorial (MVP)
  1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
  2. Martin Brodeur, New Jersey
  3. Roberto Luongo, Vancouver
  4. Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay
    Daniel Briere, Buffalo
  5. Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit
Many of those voting will have a vote on the actual trophies at season's end, so I think this is a reasonable representation of how things will play out. The Hart voting, in particular, looks bang on, at least in terms of how it will likely mete out come June.

The Calder and maybe the Vezina are still up for grabs, while I think Barry Trotz will win his first Jack Adams. The Norris all but has Lidstrom's name on it, and the Selke is probably going Drury's way.


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At 3:35 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger peterboroughpete said...

How's Hossa not in the top 10 defensive forwards in the league? Wow?

At 3:51 PM, March 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMO, Sergei Gonchar has to atleast be somewhere in the debate.

Before one typecasts him as being soft in his own zone, he's spent most of the season playing with Josef Melichar and going against the opposition's top players every single night.

Gonchar's more physical than you'd think, and has broken up many a breakaway with a late charge and pokecheck.

And of course he's basically making the powerplay click. With a little help from that Crosby guy.

At 4:58 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...


a) the discrepancy in scoring rates between the east and west this year (way more goals scored in the east),

b) the fact that there is so little interaction between the conferences any more,

and c) the fact that trophy voters for the most part only watch eastern hockey before their bedtimes,

Why doesn't the NHL just do the obvious thing and make these awards conference-specific, kind of like in baseball? Let Brodeur win the western Vezina and Luongo win the eastern one, etc.

At 5:57 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger Hawerchuk said...

Mike Johnson and Radek Bonk for Selke...

At 5:59 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Which trophies do you think should instead go to Western players, Earl?

I'm in the East and I honestly see more West Coast games than ones in this time zone. I don't have much of a problem with where things are headed, although I'd like to see Stastny win the Calder.

At 6:41 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Which trophies do you think should instead go to Western players, Earl?

It's not "instead", but I'd like to see someone be noted for leading the western conference in scoring or in goals--the Ross and Richard look pretty set to get repeatedly awarded in the east.

It's these 'counting' awards (and I'll throw Vezina, Norris, and even Selke into this mix) that are a problem: scoring is more prevalent out east, and thus it skews the pools for each of these awards.

Granted, the Norris trio might all be western, but that's probably an actual talent thing rather than a conference-strength thing.

At 6:47 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger Sean said...

How did the Penguins coach not get into the Adams trophy list. I'm a Pens fan and didn't expect them to make the playoff and look where they are now. Not to mention how well all the young talent has gelled!

At 6:59 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I think that's a fair comment regarding Therrien, but like Vigneault in Vancouver, his coaching abilities are sort of written off because of the cast he has to work with.

At 7:17 PM, March 20, 2007, Anonymous Al Larsen said...

Vigneault in Vancouver, his coaching abilities are sort of written off because of the cast he has to work with.

OK, so if Vigneault should not win the Adams, then shouldn't Luongo win the Hart or Vezina?

At 7:35 PM, March 20, 2007, Anonymous ak said...

What about Carlyle, Murray, or Nolan for the Jack Adams. Those three have done well beyond many have expected they would with so little.

At 8:46 PM, March 20, 2007, Anonymous deaconblue said...

Looking at this season-long, I absolutely believe that Stastny deserves to be Rookie of the Year; he has picked up his game in the clutch at just the right time for the Avs. He is the most complete player in the group and should have the most successful and consistent career.

At 11:55 PM, March 20, 2007, Blogger Stevens8204 said...

Pandolfo is more of a defensive stalwart than Drury. Pandolfo at least has to be nominated.

As for Brodeur...try winning with the defense decimated and your first line reduced to rubble. He is still the MVP if the Devils win this division.

At 1:51 AM, March 21, 2007, Anonymous Jason Mandell said...

gotta have Marc-Eduard Vlasic in the top 3 or 4 in rookie voting. he has been a rock all season long, plays all situations, and has probably put together the best defensive season for a rookie in 10 years, maybe more.

At 8:12 AM, March 21, 2007, Anonymous Rachael said...

Earl..didn't both the Ross and Richard go to the West last year? As did the Norris. That's pretty much split right down the middle. While I do agree that the East and West don't really play enough anymore, I don't think the solution is trophies for each conference, I think a new schedule or a revamp of the conferences is in order.

At 8:53 AM, March 21, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Sure, last year was a good split, but it's a bit illusory:

So far this year 9 of the top 12 Ross scorers play in the east.

12 of the top 13 goal scorers plays in the east (to be fair, one is Ryan Smyth).

Norris seems to be a better mix (5 of the top 10 scoring defensemen are from the west).

Last year, only 2 of the top 12 scorers came from the west (counting Joey Thornton, who started in the east).

And only 2 of the top 13 goal scorers played in the west.

I'm not sure what it means, but isn't it somewhat telling that Teemu Selanne (for example) leads the WC in goals by a greater margin than Vincent Lecavalier leads the EC in goals?

At 10:20 AM, March 23, 2007, Blogger teebs said...

"I think that's a fair comment regarding Therrien, but like Vigneault in Vancouver, his coaching abilities are sort of written off because of the cast he has to work with."

A bit late to the topic here but how exactly are you coming to this conclusion James?

Vigneault came to this team which by and large was the same cast of caracters or worse than the team we had in Vancouver last season. Are you pinning this season on Luongo? The team was pegged by everyone to struggle for a spot in the playoffs and are now in striking distance of the top spot in the west.

The fact that the team started out fairly mediocre and since December 26th has been one of the hottest teams in the league. Largely because every player has bought into their role on the team and by and large this can be accredited to the fact that Vigneault has worked everyone into his vision. He hasn't been afraid to ride the players who are hot, or sit a 6m dollar captain when he struggles.

I think that it is less surprising that Nashville or Buffalo are where they are based on the talent that they have had and the fact that for the most part have been playing at this level for a few seasons.

At 12:36 PM, March 23, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Teebs, what I'm saying is that Vigneault won't get the Jack Adams votes from voters because widespread opinion is that Vancouver's success is entirely due to Roberto Luongo.

Now, you know that's not true, and I know it's not true, but I'd be shocked if Vigneault is in the top three in voting.

Personally, I think Barry Trotz should win.

At 12:10 PM, March 24, 2007, Blogger teebs said...


I wouldn't be all that surprised by him being in the top three but I know that there is a large contingent of east coast journalists who probably don't see 1/3 of the west coast games with votes.

That likely means that you're correct in the assessment, but I still largely disagree with the sentiment that the Canucks successes are due to Luongo for the most part.


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