NHL Awards Preview

Posted: April 22, 2013 by dannyamodeo in Uncategorized

NHL Awards

In the article below, we are going to look at who we feel should be the NHL award winners for the 2012-13 NHL hockey season.

Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP)

This category will most likely be the most debated award this season, because of whom could potentially win it. My vote would be for Pittsburgh Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby, which right away will create controversy due to the number of games that Crosby has played this season. Crosby has only played 36 games this season due to a broken jaw injury that he suffered on March 30th in a game against the New York Islanders. Despite the few amount of games played, the way Crosby was playing prior to his injury put him once again as the best player in the NHL. Crosby had put up an impressive stat line of 15 goals and 41 assists for 56 points, to go along with a +26 rating.

Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender)

There is little doubt as to who should win this award this year, as Sergei Bobrovsky has brought the Columbus Blue Jackets from the basement to a playoff contender in only one season. The former Flyer goaltender has been impressive in goal for the Blue Jackets, as he has almost got the Blue Jackets in a playoff spot by his stellar play alone. After last night’s game against the San Jose Sharks, Bobrovsky sports an incredible Goals Against Average of only 2.06 with a .930 save percentage and four shutouts. What has been key for the Blue Jackets and their attempt to get into the NHL postseason is that Bobrovsky has won numerous amounts of 1 goal games for the Blue Jackets, as they have relied on his goaltending due to their inability to score.   Not only has Bobrovsky been so impressive in goal, but he forced the Blue Jackets management to make trades at the deadline in order to boost their roster for a playoff push. For a goaltender that had been given up on by his previous team Bobrovsky has turned heads this season.

James Norris Memorial Trophy (Best Defenceman) 

The NHL’s award for Best Defenceman should go to Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban. Subban has been a rock on the blue line for the Habs since returning to the lineup after starting the season in a contract dispute with Canadiens management. This caused him to miss the first 6 games of the season for the Habs. Since his return, Subban has racked up 11 goals and 25 assists for 36 points in 39 games for the Canadiens.  What has been even more impressive with Subban’s game this season is how responsible he has been in his own end.  In previous seasons he was a high risk, high reward type of defenceman who had some problems defending in his own end. He has worked hard to correct his defensive shortcomings, which is shown in his +9 rating this season.

Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year)

This is going to be the hardest award to give out this season, as there are three high end forward that could win this award being Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers, Cory Conacher of Ottawa and Brendan Gallagher. All three have had excellent rookie seasons this year, however I feel that Gallagher should be awarded the Calder this year. What Gallagher has done in Montreal this season is simply amazing, as he has been a large part in the Canadiens resurgence this season. Gallagher has scored 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points this season. What has been more impressive is that he is +7 for the season. While there are a few rookie forwards with both better scoring and plus/minus stats, Gallagher has been playing with not as skilled players on the Canadiens, and has still be production. Gallagher also plays with an edge, and has been a force physically for the Canadiens despite being only 5’9, 178lbs. Gallagher has also been clutch for the Habs this season, as he has potted 3 game winning goals for the Canadiens as well.  What makes the extremely impressive is that when the Canadiens drafted Gallagher back in 2010, there was not much expectations for Gallagher to one day even make the NHL, as he was a 5th round pick (147th overall). Gallagher has exceeded all expectations and now everyone should expect Gallagher to have a long and successful NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens, who are lucky to have him.

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (Sportsmanship)

This award is very hard to define, but it seemly is given out to the player with the fewest penalty minutes during a season from a player that fans have actually heard of. With this being the definition of the Lady Byng award, New York Islanders forward Matt Moulson seems to be the front runner for the award. Moulson has played 44 games so far this season, and has only committed two minor penalties this season. The fact that Moulson is a top 6 forward for the Islanders and plays an average of 19:08 minutes per game and has only two penalties (4PIMs) this season is simply remarkable. Combine this stat with the fact that Moulson has been an offensive threat for the Islanders, scoring 15 goals and 27 assists for 42 points for the Islanders is simply amazing and award worthy.

Frank J. Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward)

If this award was to be given out today, it would have to go to Chicago Blackhawks forward and captain Jonathan Toews. What Toews does for the Blackhawks is simply amazing. He plays on the power play and yes puts up impressive offensive totals (21 goals, 25 assists for 46 points) but his defensive game is what defines him as the league’s best defensive forward. Toews had a + 27 rating so far this season, which is simply amazing considering he is a number one center who not only plays against the opposition’s top defensive pair each night but also lines up against the opposition’s top forward line as well.

Jack Adams Award (Best Coach)

This is another award this season where there should be no doubt as to who wins this award. Ottawa Senators Head Coach Paul MacLean. The Senators have been fighting for a playoff spot without 2011-12 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, first line center Jason Spezza, and starting goaltender Craig Anderson for most of the season. Although Karlsson has recently returned to practice with the Senators he has not played since tearing his Achilles tendon and in turn missing 29 games for the Senators. Spezza has missed 38 games for the Senators as he has not played since January 27th after having to have surgery in order to repair a herniated disc in his back. Anderson missed parts of the season with a high ankle sprain after starting the season on fire with a 1.48 GAA and a .950 save %. MacLean has also been without steady defenceman Jared Cowan the entire season as well. What MacLean has been able to do is simply remarkable, as he has used AHL players to fill out his roster and has found a way to continue to battle for a playoff spot.

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (Perseverance, Sportsmanship, Dedication to Hockey)

The Masterton is primarily given to a player who shows dedication and perseverance in the game of hockey. Nazim Kadri is worthy of this award based on how much he has went through before finally cracking the Maple Leafs roster this season and having the remarkable year that he is experiencing right now. Kadri has scored 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 points for the Leafs this season, and has also been a physical force for the Leafs. Two things that Kadri has done extremely well this season beside score is draw penalties and play defense. It seems every game this season Kadri is drawing a penalty for his team and his rating of +15 has shown that under new Head Coach Randy Carlyle Kadri has shown dedication to the defensive aspect of the game.  With every team allowed to nominate a player for this award it is obviously very difficult to predict but Kadri is certainly deserving.

Bridgestone Messier Leadership Award (Exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice)

This award should be given to Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews. He always says the right things in the media making sure never to call out his teammates and always stand up for them. On the ice he sets the tone for the Blackhawks as he is the driving force to all of the success that the Blackhawks have had this season. He plays on the powerplay, penalty kill, and is consistently the clutch guy for the Blackhawks. Toews is one of the best captains in the NHL and has had a simply remarkable season this year.

General Manager of the Year

Even though he won this award last season, I am still giving the General Manager of the Year award to Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues. The Blues currently sit in 6th place in the Western Conference and Armstrong deserves a lot of credit. Armstrong has made the most out of the small budget that has been placed on him in terms of contract spending.  The Blues have the second lowest total cap value in the NHL. Armstrong has been able to build a team with a mixture of young players (T.J. Oshie, Alex Pietrangelo, and David Perron) with a cast of veterans as well.  Even though there is a tight budget for Armstrong to work with, he was able to address his team’s defensive needs at the NHL deadline acquiring Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold to help improve a struggling blue line. What was impressive was how little Armstrong had to give up to acquire these veteran defenceman as Armstrong only gave up 1 pick and 2 prospects for Bouwmeester and a second round draft pick for Leopold. The fact that Armstrong has been able to maneuver around and improve his roster while continuing to have the second lowest payroll in the NHL makes him the 2012-13 General Manager of the Year.

 

By: Danny Amodeo- Hockey Writer

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s