Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Early awards picks

ESPN's George Johnson has his early season picks for the various NHL awards, something I've been meaning to put together all week.

My selections

Hart: Nicklas Lidstrom
It's high time he gets his due as the best player in the game. When Lidstrom's on the ice at even strength, the Red Wings score 3.94 goals per 60 minutes and allow just 1.51. When he's on the bench, those totals are 2.01 and 1.91.
HM: Vincent Lecavalier, Henrik Lundqvist

Norris: Nicklas Lidstrom
Lidstrom's an amazing specimen. He rates at the top of the league in almost every offensive and defensive metric there is, and is going to go down as one of the all-time greats.
HM: Zdeno Chara, Derek Morris

Calder: Jon Toews
It's really a neck-and-neck race between Toews and teammate Patrick Kane, but I think Atlanta's Toby Enstrom, as Johnson notes, deserves some mention as well. (I'll have more on Enstrom in the near future, as he deserves his own post.)

Vezina: Henrik Lundqvist
On a team that has struggled to score all season, King Henrik has been their saving grace. He's been a runner-up for this award twice already and is a great bet to win it this time around, even if it's absurd that Roberto Luongo still doesn't have one.
HM: Pascal Leclaire, Roberto Luongo

Lady Byng: Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Defencemen, for some reason, never ever get consideration for this award, and there are more than a few guys who are deserving.
HM: Nicklas Lidstrom, Ron Hainsey, Tom Poti, Marc Staal

Selke: Sami Pahlsson
Johnson unfortunately picks Rod Brind'Amour, who at this point isn't even the top defensive forward on his own team — despite what pundits continue to suggest. Pahlsson should have won this last season, so the award's his this time around, but my honourable mentions are having terrific seasons as well.
HM: John Madden, Patrick Sharp

Jack Adams: Andy Murray
All I'll say is that Manny Legace is a legitimate Vezina Trophy candidate. It's been an incredible turnabout in St. Louis.
HM: Wayne Gretzky, Claude Julien, Ken Hitchcock


At 4:16 p.m., November 28, 2007, Anonymous said...

I hope that it just slipped George Johnson's mind to not put Ken Hitchcock down at least as one of the runner ups for the Jack Adams Trophy.

At 4:56 p.m., November 28, 2007, Blogger Matt said...

I hope that it just slipped George Johnson's mind that Calgary has been more "disappointing" than Buffalo.

Oh? He writes for the Calgary Herald? My bad.

At 7:54 p.m., November 28, 2007, Anonymous cjl said...

Derek Morris?

At 8:29 p.m., November 28, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

I always support Pahlsson-love.

Still, Sammy will be cheaper to re-sign in two years if he wins less Selkes (or Smythes) than he deserves. Keep it up, east coast voters!

At 9:33 p.m., November 28, 2007, Blogger The Puck Stops Here said...

What must Tim Thomas do to be a Vezina candidate in your books?

At 9:36 p.m., November 28, 2007, Blogger Pseudonym said...

No Bryan McCabe?

At 9:37 p.m., November 28, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

What must Tim Thomas do to be a Vezina candidate in your books?

Be higher than 17th in wins.

At 10:43 p.m., November 28, 2007, Blogger Nick said...

I think we should just give nick lidstrom all the trophys. For some reason, defensemen are never considered for the Vezina....

At 11:15 p.m., November 28, 2007, Blogger The Puck Stops Here said...

What must Tim Thomas do to be a Vezina candidate in your books?

Be higher than 17th in wins.

So Thomas must play on a team that is better than Boston?

At 11:19 p.m., November 28, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Boston's got about the same record as the teams those other fellows play for.

At 11:50 p.m., November 28, 2007, Blogger The Puck Stops Here said...

Boston is doing it with a worse team. One that allows far more shots and goals than the others you pick goalies from. When the season is done they should finish well below Vancouver (Luongo) and the Rangers (Lundqvist).

The problem with using wins as a metric for good goaltending - as I am sure you know - its a team stat. A goalie cannot win by himself without scoring and defence in front of him. When it comes to stopping pucks (all a goalie can do), Thomas is doing that at a better rate than anybody and he is doing it with some rather high quality and quantity shots.

At 1:22 a.m., November 29, 2007, Anonymous baroque said...

Too bad there wasn't one of each award for each conference. Even if they do manage to balance out the schedule, the majority of the games will still be within one's own conference, so it would be nice to have a Hart, Vezina, etc. for each conference.

Then Luongo and Lundqvist could both win. Ditto Lidstrom and Lecavalier for the Hart. Baseball has separate awards for each league, and they have interleague play now and so aren't completely split.

It makes more sense than the arguement that it's good to have so many divisions because it means more teams can raise Division Champion banners, and that can be a draw for fans in smaller markets.

At 1:28 a.m., November 29, 2007, Blogger young d said...

Marc Staal for the Lady Byng.
Imagine the celebration party he'd have.

At 10:54 a.m., November 29, 2007, Blogger Chemmy said...

Kyle Wellwood for Lady Byng. Guy hasn't taken a penalty since the 05-06 season.

At 1:00 p.m., November 29, 2007, Blogger Nick said...

Too bad there wasn't one of each award for each conference.

That's funny, I'd say "it's too bad the east and west are so split"

I'd rather see Detroit playing Toronto more than once a year... But that's probably a discussion for another thread.

At 5:33 p.m., November 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken Hitchcock runner up for jack Adams? are you kidding me?

Hitchcock is getting the most out of his players now and two years from now, players on that team will hate his guts and he will be fired. it happened in Dallas and Philly and it will happen in Columbus.

it's interesting that NO ONE mention John Stevens. maybe it's because he hasnt bought into "New NHL"

At 6:11 p.m., November 29, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Check out the Blue Jackets roster; it's really not all that pretty. Mike Peca is playing first-line centre.

At 1:33 p.m., November 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's because it seems like John Stevens is instructing his players to injure the opposition.


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