Sunday, October 31, 2010

Awards Watch: November

At the beginning of each month, I plan to give a quick rundown of the awards races to date. Here's my take one month into the season.

Hart Trophy:

Steven Stamkos--his unsustainably high PDO notwithstanding, production is production, and Stamkos thus far has been lapping the field. He'll come down to Earth pretty soon, though.

Tim Thomas--like giving the finger to Tuukka Rask, Thomas has allowed 3 goals in 6 games. Three goals in six games.

Joe Thornton--15 points in 9 games. That counts for a lot, even if the Sharks aren't exactly rolling yet.

Chris Stewart--second in league scoring. He'll probably slip a bit (PDO north of 103%), but not as much as Stamkos. Could Stewart win the Art Ross Trophy?

Brent Johnson--with Marc-Andre Fleury struggling, Johnson has stepped in and been stellar for the Penguins, keeping them afloat.

Just missed: Patrick Sharp

Norris Trophy:

Nicklas Lidstrom--points? Check. Reputation? Check. Play in all situations? Check.

Kris Letang--see Lidstrom, but with much less of a reputation, and a higher PDO (probably without the talent to sustain that 104%).

Stephane Robidas--see Letang. Robidas though has a 110% PDO at the moment, so he's likely slipping off soon enough.

James Wisniewski--a pleasant surprise for the Islanders, Wisniewski has stepped in in Mark Streit's absence and taken the reins quite well, even flipping off Sean Avery for bonus points. Oh, and his PDO is only 94.1%. He's going to look even better as the season wears on.

Duncan Keith--the reigning winner has 10 points in 13 games, and, as usual, solid all-around play. His PDO is 98.6%, so he should get slightly better too.

Vezina Trophy:

Tim Thomas--stellar numbers. I read somewhere his ~0.50 GAA through 6 games played is the lowest GAA through six games of any goalie post-Original Six. Ridiculous.

Brent Johnson--stellar numbers as well.

Jonathan Quick--Bernier who? Quick has top-5 numbers all around and leads the league in wins, tied with the next guy.

Michal Neuvirth--really good numbers, and the starter for the Washington Capitals. He hasn't had a bad game yet and is tied for the league lead in wins.

Jaroslav Halak--with a save percentage north of .930, Halak's playoff play thus far has more-or-less carried into this season, and as a result the Blues are sittin' pretty.

Selke Trophy:

Wayne Simmonds--hey, it's only a month into the season, and Simmonds has the highest Corsi Rel QoC among guys who've played at least five games, and with a negative Corsi Rel QoT still has a positive plus-minus per sixty of 5-on-5.

Todd Marchant--one of the toughest zonestarts in the league (we're talking in the 25% range) and plays a ton of PK minutes, and comes out decent. He's not going to win the Selke, considering the voters like offense as well, but he's a very good defensive forward.

Blair Betts--lots of PK time and only 3.62 +/-ON/60 4-on-5. Betts is one of the best fourth line centers in the game.

Olli Jokinen--Huh? Well, it's early. Jokinen shows up with a high Corsi Rel QoC and an abysmal Corsi Rel QoT (we're talking -5 here), with a +/-ON60 almost, almost zero. Good enough for me.

Milan Lucic--Boston has been really good in the early going, and in large part because Claude Julien is going power versus power, using his Krejci-Horton-Lucic line as his shutdown line. It's worked well.

Calder Trophy:

Michal Neuvirth--Vezina-worthy numbers thus far. He should be the Calder frontrunner.

Jordan Eberle--all the hype thus far has been worth it, as Eberle is nearly a point-per-game player who makes sure each goal is a highlight-reel worthy one.

Mark Letestu--SIDNEY CROSBY HAS A WINGER!!! Letestu is probably boosted by the Pens' noted lack of depth on the wing (which isn't a big issue to begin with). Regardless, he has decent numbers.

John Carlson--Carlson benefits from the media's tendency to look at raw numbers here, as his Corsi numbers are underwhelming. A hot streak to start the season gets him this high. Your move, Subban.

Sergei Brobovsky--Do the Flyers finally have a goalie? 5-2, 2.45, .917 is a decent stat line.

Jack Adams Award:

Guy Boucher--Tampa is leading the SE division and the Eastern Conference right now. We'll see how their offense and defense hold up--the former is hot, the latter cold. And the Caps have likely just finished one of their worst 10 game stretches of the season.

Jacques Martin--The Habs are #2 in the East right now.

Terry Murray--the Kings are arguably the best team in the NHL right now.

Claude Julien--the Bruins have roared out of the game with a 1.5 pts/gm average. They're clicking on all cylinders right now.

Davis Payne--who??? Apparently he's the coach of the St. Louis Blues, who have 14 points in 9 games and are riding hot goaltending from Jaroslav Halak.

Richard Trophy:
1. Patrick Sharp, 10
2. Steven Stamkos, 9
Chris Stewart, 9
4. Alex Ovechkin, 7
Daniel Sedin, 7

Art Ross Trophy:
1. Steven Stamkos, 19
2. Chris Stewart, 16
3. Patrick Sharp, 15
Sidney Crosby, 15
Joe Thornton, 15

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