Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Envelope Please...

I'm poking my head up finally and apologize for the lack of posting on my part. My boys are currently in the middle of a very exciting playoff race and as much as I try to not pay as much attention to them, the Senators have now officially consumed all of my time and attention. Seriously, if you haven't already checked out a game in their series against Jersey, be sure to on Saturday. It's some pretty stellar hockey.

For those who have been keeping track or haven't seen the list yet, here is your full list of NHL Award Nominees. Of course none of these awards can hold a candle to the trophy that actually matters, but I suppose this is a nice ego stroke regardless:

CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY (outstanding rookie):
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins; Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche.
Who Will Win: Malkin, no question about it. Even though he completely disappeared in the latter half of the season and even though many people were ready to put his face on milk cartons during the playoffs, this is Malkin's to lose. All of these things considered, he did have a phenomenal rookie season and did finish the season first in rookie scoring.
Who Should Win: Well...probably Malkin again but I think it's an absolute crime that Anze Kopitar didn't finish in the top 3. Not to discount what Staal did, but to be fair, he had a much better supporting cast than Kopitar. For a more impassioned plea and a well-timed Mr.T reference as to why Kopitar should have been a finalist, check out Battle of California.

FRANK J. SELKE TROPHY (outstanding defensive forward):
Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina Hurricanes; Samuel Pahlsson, Anaheim Ducks; Jay Pandolfo, New Jersey Devils.
Who Will Win: Brind'Amour. If only because he's the the more consistent player. Pahlsson plays outstanding for Anaheim but still flies under the radar. And maybe it's just the fact that I've been seeing a lot of Pandolfo lately and am frankly not convinced by his defensive prowess quite yet, I don't think Pandolfo will get as much consideration since Jersey is known to play a tight defensive game on all fronts.
Who Should Win: Put it in the middle and let them fight for it. Based on +/- alone, Brind'Amour is the only one who finished on the positive end of things during the regular season but he has one already. Spread the wealth!

HART MEMORIAL TROPHY (most valuable player to his team):
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks.
Who Will Win: Crosby. Well, probably. Not a lot of people are a fan of giving the MVP to a goalie since there's already the Vezina and since Crosby doesn't get a chance to play in the Worlds or go keep in the playoffs, maybe this'll keep the kid from feeling left out. I'll give the kid credit though, it's probably well deserved since he played injured and still managed to be one of the few Penguin players who made an impact in the playoffs.
Who Should Win: Toss-up between Crosby and Luongo for me. Considering the offensive droughts that Vancouver goes through, it's amazing Vancouver is where they are. Although that might all just be a moot point soon.

JACK ADAMS AWARD (outstanding coach):
Lindy Ruff, Buffalo Sabres; Michel Therrien, Pittsburgh Penguins; Alain Vigneault, Vancouver Canucks.
Who Will Win: I'm flipping a coin on this one. If Therrien wins, it'll be a nice epilogue to the epic fairy tale that was the Penguins' season. I have a feeling it'll be Ruff again though.
Who Should Win: Ted Nolan. Oh, never mind. Vigneault then.

JAMES NORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY (outstanding defenseman):
Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings; Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks; Chris Pronger, Anaheim Ducks.
Who Will Win: Lidstrom. For the billionth time.
Who Should Win: Lidstrom. For the billionth time.

LADY BYNG MEMORIAL TROPHY (sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct):
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings; Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche; Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning.
Who Will Win: Hard to say, they're all so gentleman-y! I'll just say Sakic.
Who Should Win: Sakic. You can't get classier than that.

LESTER B. PEARSON AWARD (most outstanding player as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA):
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks.
Who Will Win: Whoever doesn't get the Hart.
Who Should Win: Crosby. I guess.

VEZINA TROPHY (outstanding goaltender):
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils; Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames; Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks.
Who Will Win: Brodeur, probably. 48 wins can be very convincing.
Who Should Win: Luongo with 47 wins. He faces more shots than Brodeur on a regular basis [although admittedly not by much] and has a bit of a weaker squad in front of him every night.


Earl Sleek said...

Who Will Win: Brind'Amour.

I am becoming more and more convinced that Brind'Amour is the worst of these three Selke candidates.

Should I ever get my act together, I'll put it all together in a post. For now, here's three reasons:

1. Unlike the other two, Brind'Amour plays more power play minutes than penalty killing minutes. That's somewhat of a giveaway.

2. Unlike the other two, Brind'Amour does not match up regularly against the opponents' top line. There are several Canes who log tougher minutes than Rod.

3. There is evidence that the Canes do perform better when Rod plays as opposed to when he is on the bench. However, those differences are almost entirely related to goals for. Rod does not seem to make a difference in the goals-against rate.

Meg said...

Based on +/- alone, Brind'Amour is the only one who finished on the positive end of things during the regular season but he has one already.

I don't think +/- is all that fabulous an indicator of the best defensive forward. Mainly because offense counts just as much as defense in the stat, but also because it doesn't take into account the time defensive forwards spend penalty killing. And it's effected too much by linesmates, etc.

Pahlsson would be my choice if I were in a position to choose such things.

Bethany said...

You totally stole my idea...:( but good job haha

Sabrebull said...

We should come up with our own awards like, best goal of the season, best goal of the playoffs, best stickhandler, best penalty killer, of course we would want to do best looking, maybe best goalie licking icing off a mask, etc. (I still can't get over that). I could probably come up with a dozen more categories. It might be kind of fun. What do you think?

Bethany said...

I agree with you sabrebull

Heather B. said...

I'm bummed Chris Drury didn't get a nod for the Selke. He's a very good defensive forward, he's on the first penalty kill unit, and he's always on the ice against the opposition's top line.

I'm glad Lindy snuck in there. I was afraid too many people would decide he had too much talent to work with. For the record, he has a ton o' talent but I think sometimes it's tougher to coach a team that a lot is expected of than a team that no one expects much of. Plus the team was riddled with injuries this season and he helped keep the train on the track. Best coach in the NHL for my money. (Possible bias on my part.) I'm disappointed Ted Nolan didn't get a nod though.

I'm really surprised Lundqvist got in for the Vezina. He was great down the stretch but seemed to play pretty average for most of the season.

I think one of the Ducks wins the Norris. I'll also say Sid takes the Hart and Vinny takes the Pearson.

Earl Sleek said...

I could probably come up with a dozen more categories.

Worst makeover over the course of a playoffs: Teemu Selanne

Jordi said...

So like the category for "player we'd like to punch, hard" must have a lot of nominations. Or something like "most funny playoff run" for a team.

KMS2 said...

It warmed my heart to read your kind words about Kopitar.

Earl Sleek: Worst makeover over the course of a playoffs: Teemu Selanne

Couldn't agree more! Although, if the category included coaches, I think Ron Wilson might end up first. As his team goes deeper into the playoffs his facial hair keeps getting worse. I don't even want to know what it will look like if the Sharks make the Cup Finals.

Margee said...

Damn right Ted Nolan deserved a nod. Why are they trying to feed all of my conspiracy theories? Michel Therrien? Really? I feel like the Pens always win despite his coaching.

Sabrebull, I'm definitely doing the end of year Squee Awards on SportSquee, regarding best looking players, etc. But I love the idea of the Hlog Awards.

How about most Defensively Deficient Defenseman? (Marc-Andre Bergeron, Sergei Gonchar) Biggest Flop of the Year? (Joffrey Lupul, the Toronto defense) Biggest Neener-Neener of the Playoffs? (Pavel Datsyuk, Marty Turco)

Sherry said...

Sleek - Get your act together then! I think Brind'Amour will win, primarily based on merit but you bring up good points. Brind'Amour still logs a ton of minutes for the 'Canes though and I think that's what people take into account, even if a lot of it is Powerplay minutes.

Meg - I don't think +/- is the only indicator but it's still something to take into account. If I had seen Pahlsson play on a more regular basis he'd probably be my choice too but I think Brind'Amour will win again based on the fact that most people are familiar with what he does.

Bethany - Sorry!

Sabrebull - I think we should. The HLOG brain trust will converge and talk with the rest of the ladies about potential categories.

Heather B. - I was surprised that no Senators and no Sharks made the list as well. I wasn't surprised Ruff was in there myself. Everybody expected the Sabres to finish high in the standings but given the injuries they went through, they still managed to win.

Jordi - You, HG and I will talk about this, definitely :P

KMS2 - I think he was robbed!

Margee - I think people look at the fact that the Pens were the worst team last season to finishing 5th this season as a big achievement. I think with a team this talented they were bound to start winning sooner or later but like Kopitar, Nolan was robbed!