Sunday, January 9, 2011

Awards Watch: January

I guess shifting to the middle of each month means that this post will be due just as the season wraps up. I'll adopt this timing from now on.

Hart Trophy:
  1. Sidney Crosby--leads the league in points and goals, plays tough minutes and out-Corsis them, etc etc. You've heard the story. Sid has a point on 66 of Pittsburgh's 136 goals thus far, almost half.
  2. Tim Thomas--I made a mistake in removing Thomas before. Boston once again is leading the NHL in GA, and is one of three teams that has yet to allow its 100th goal on the season (Boston 91, Nashville 97, Vancouver 99 right now). His save percentage at .946 beats 2nd-place Ondrej Pavelec by .012. Wow.
  3. Ondrej Pavelec--Atlanta is 24th by adjusted Fenwick. They're 10th overall. Why? Pavelec has been almost as good as Thomas.
  4. Kris Letang--this dude has been a monster this season (yes Pierre, I am a fan. At least when you're on TSN). He's fourth in points among defenseman, 3rd in plus-minus, and 1st in assists. Like Crosby, Letang is killing those tough minutes. Well, killing the tough minutes, but not before they kill Brooks Orpik...yikes, man. I'll dock him a bit because if he weren't there, Paul Martin can pick up the slack pretty well.
  5. Jonas Hiller--I think this is the year of the goalie. Hiller flies under the radar a bit, but consider GVT and save percentage--then the defense in front of him--and he should be considered. Seriously, it looks like only Tony Lydman and Lubomir Visnovsky even deserve ice time. Anaheim is only in 6th in the West right now because of Hiller (and extra games played).

Just missed: Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis (they hurt each other, and this Hart list is very strong), Dustin Byfuglien, Daniel Sedin, Cam Ward

Norris Trophy:
  1. Kris Letang--This is tough to argue with. Tough competition, outscores competition, out-Corsies competition by quite a bit, plays well on the PP, second in points, etc etc.
  2. Nicklas Lidstrom--He has good point totals, but at this point that's in large part because of luck. He's not the Lidstrom of years past, as he's actually losing the Corsi battle. Then again, playing with Brad Stuart instead of Brian Rafalski can't help much.
  3. Dustin Byfuglien--lots of points, six game winners...I'd be a hypocrite for leaving off a flashy offensive defenseman with high point totals and good luck who doesn't play tough minutes.
  4. Lubomir Visnovsky--check out that link from the Hiller bullet again. Visnovsky kills the tough assignments. I suspect he gets helped a lot from Lydman and Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry, but still...dude.
  5. Tobias Enstrom--I'd say Enstrom is the catalyst on the Atlanta blueline, not Byfuglien. Enstrom is the more polished, finer puck-moving D.

Just missed: John-Michael Liles, Jordan Leopold, Brian Rafalski, Dustin Byfuglien, Tony Lydman

Vezina Trophy:
  1. Tim Thomas--Now he has enough GP for me.
  2. Ondrej Pavelec--Neck-and-neck with Thomas.
  3. Jonas Hiller--see above.
  4. Carey Price--while his numbers have come down, Price continues to be solid.
  5. Cam Ward--in front of a not-great team, Ward has been stellar. Similar to Hiller here, not as drastic.
Just missed: Henrik Lundqvist, Niklas Backstrom, Kari Lehtonen, Johnathan Quick, Marc-Andre Fleury

Selke Trophy:
  1. Ryan Callahan--toughest minutes in the league, and beating them.
  2. Henrik Zetterberg--beats very tough minutes, still. Destroys them.
  3. Sidney Crosby--not forced to do all the heavy lifting anymore, but still kills any competition he gets.
  4. Brian Gionta--tough competition, no help, and comes out on top.
  5. Pavel Datsyuk--see Zetterberg, but Datsyuk gets lesser competition and beats them more.
Just missed out: Artem Anisimov, Martin Hanzal, Jay McClement, Vladimir Sobotka, Niklas Hagman

Calder Trophy:
  1. Logan Couture--Read. He's right behind Skinner for the rookie scoring lead.
  2. John Carlson--Decent competition and beats them up. Plays shutdown on Sidney Crosby and plays it well.
  3. Jeff Skinner--still leads rookies in points. From what I read he's creating chances.
  4. Jordan Eberle--tough minutes and plenty of points. Edmonton is using him as a two-way forward, and he's validated their confidence. I mean, this is crazy (also crazy is having a 15 Corsi Rel and -2 raw Corsi...hello, Larsson!).
  5. Kevin Shattenkirk--Took the league by storm when he stepped in and went point-per-game over his first fifteen games or so. Since cooled off, but hey, points are points.
Just missed out: Derek Stepan, Taylor Hall, Cam Fowler, Sergei Bobrovsky, Michal Neuvirth

Jack Adams Award:
  1. Guy Boucher (TBL)--if you clicked on that link to adjusted team Fenwick above, you see that Tampa Bay is #1. Give them an average goalie and they're the best team in the league.
  2. Alain Vigneault (VAN)--fighting for the top spot in the league with Detroit and Philadelphia
  3. Barry Trotz (NSH)--injury to Pekka Rinne, down year from Patric Hornqvist, departure of Dan problem.
  4. Pete DeBoer (FLA)--SE teams in adjusted Fenwick rank 10, 13, 24, 26, and 1. Guess which is which.*
  5. Jacques Martin (MTL)--I'm still amazed that this team went from 49% Fenwick--bottom half--to top-10, even with losing Andrei Markov again.
Just missed out: Dan Bylsma (PIT), Joel Quenneville, Peter Laviolette (PHI), Davis Payne (STL), Mike Babcock (DET)

*Look below for correct order of teams

Richard Trophy:
  1. Sidney Crosby
  2. Steven Stamkos
  3. Daniel Sedin
  4. Patrick Sharp
  5. Ryan Kesler
Art Ross Trophy:
  1. Sidney Crosby
  2. Steven Stamkos
  3. Daniel Sedin
  4. Henrik Sedin
  5. Martin St. Louis
Jennings Trophy (starting goalie for team with fewest goals against)
  1. Tim Thomas
  2. Marc-Andre Fleury
  3. Pekka Rinne
  4. Roberto Luongo
  5. Carey Price

Here are my leaders by version of Awards Watch:

Looks like Crosby-Stamkos (Hart), Letang-Lidstrom-Byfuglien (Norris), Thomas-Pavelec-Price (Vezina), Couture-Skinner-Carlson-Bobrovsky (Calder), and Boucher-Vigneault (Adams) are pretty set.

*Correct order: 1-TB, 10-FLA, 13-WSH, 24-ATL, 26-CAR. The Central, with three teams in the top-8 and all five in the top-16, is the strongest division in the league, by far.

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