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Trophy Tracker

Blackhawks' Kane leads Hart Trophy race at midpoint

Friday, 01.15.2016 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Right wing Patrick Kane has scored or assisted on 48.5 percent of the Chicago Blackhawks' 130 goals this season. Other players have meant a lot to their teams this season, but no one has come close to what Kane has meant to the Blackhawks.

Kane, with his NHL-best 63 points, is leading the race for the Hart Trophy as the League's most valuable player.

By comparison, Kane was tied for the League lead with 64 points when he broke his clavicle last season. That was through 61 games, or three quarters of the season. This season, Kane is on pace for 45 goals and 112 points. He's never had more than 30 and 88 in a season.

Capitals' Holtby on way to winning first Vezina Trophy

Thursday, 01.14.2016 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

If there's one thing Braden Holtby doesn't have to worry about hurting his chances of winning the Vezina Trophy as the best goaltender in the NHL, it's a lack of playing time.

The Washington Capitals realize their No.1 goalie thrives with a heavy workload. They actually are concerned about not keeping their athletic goalie busy enough.

"He doesn't like days off," Washington goaltending coach Mitch Korn said. "He likes rhythm and flow. So when we have too many days off he's not as comfortable as he'd like to be."

Holtby, who started 72 games last season, certainly has looked comfortable the past two months. He's 19-0-2 since a 1-0 loss against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 10. With a League-leading 27 wins in the Capitals' first 42 games, Holtby is on pace to become the first NHL goaltender with 50 wins in a season (Martin Brodeur had an NHL-record 48 wins in 2006-07).

Bruins' Bergeron on pace to win third straight Selke

Wednesday, 01.13.2016 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Boston Bruins did not get off to a good start this season. They went 0-3-0 allowing 16 goals (including three while shorthanded) and more than 30 shots per game. Since an 8-8-1 start, they've rebounded to go 13-7-4 and some of that has to do with the improved defensive game, of which forward Patrice Bergeron has been a key component.

There's a reason Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy each of the past two seasons and in three of the past four, and why, at the halfway point of the season, he's a favorite to win it again. Not only has he won 575 faceoffs (second in the League) for a 56.7 percent rate, he's excelled in defensive-zone faceoffs, winning 60.1 percent (205 of 341).

Last season, he finished sixth in SAT% (shot attempts percentage at 5-on-5) among forwards who played at least 50 games (58.09 percent). That number has slipped to 53.05 percent this season, but Bergeron has had a huge impact on the Bruins defensively.

Blackhawks' Panarin maintains lead in Calder race

Tuesday, 01.12.2016 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Chicago Blackhawks rookie left wing Artemi Panarin might be a few years older than other first-year players in the NHL this season. But the fact that he's been able to process, adjust and excel on the smaller ice in his first season in North America is a pretty remarkable feat nonetheless.

Panarin, 24, also has been the perfect complement for right wing Patrick Kane on Chicago's second line, centered by Artem Anisimov. When Kane and Panarin are on the ice together at even strength they control more than 50 percent of shot attempts.

"The chemistry between Panarin, Kane and Anisimov is off the charts," Blackhawks senior director of amateur scouting Mark Kelley told NHL.com. "That line was put together in training camp and here it is still. [Blackhawks coach] Joel Quenneville is known for fixing lines but the chemistry on this line has been dynamite."

Panthers' Gallant leads Adams race at halfway point

Tuesday, 01.12.2016 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Florida Panthers were in a precarious position on Thanksgiving.

At 8-9-4, they were 16 points behind the Montreal Canadiens in the Atlantic Division. Instead of building on last season when the Panthers won 38 games and finished seven points out of the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, they lost nine of 12 and were five points out of the playoff race.

At the turn of the New Year, the Panthers were enjoying the longest winning streak in their 23-year history that lifted them to the top of the division. Their 11 wins and 22 points (11-3-0) in December were the highest win and point totals in their history. They became the first team in the NHL this season to win 10 consecutive games, passing nine-game runs by the Canadiens, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals. Including coach Gerard Gallant, they're sending four representatives (Jaromir Jagr, Aaron Ekblad and Roberto Luongo) to the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

The rise of the Panthers has Gallant leading the Jack Adams Award race as the League's top coach halfway through the season.

"I knew we had a good team," Gallant told the Miami Herald, "but I didn't think we'd be in first place right now. I'm sure there aren't many other people who thought we would, either."

Senators' Karlsson leads Norris race at halfway point

Monday, 01.11.2016 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

There's very little defenseman Erik Karlsson doesn't do for the Ottawa Senators.

He scores. He quarterbacks the power play. He helps kill penalties. In his past 10 games, Karlsson has eclipsed 30 minutes of ice time on six occasions. He leads the NHL by averaging 28:35 per game.

And with 45 points in 43 games this season, Karlsson, 25, remains on pace to have at least 70 points for the third time in his NHL career.

That's why halfway through the 2015-16 season, Karlsson remains the front-runner to win the Norris Trophy as the League's top defenseman.

Rangers' Lundqvist early favorite for Hart Trophy

Friday, 11.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault put the pressure on goalie Henrik Lundqvist in their exit meeting after last season by telling him to be prepared to be better at the start of the season. It was a message based on Lundqvist's recent history of starting poorly.

Lundqvist has done better than just respond to Vigneault; he's put himself on pace to win the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player. He is off to arguably the best start of his 11-season career with 12 wins, a 1.94 goals-against average and .939 save percentage through 18 games.

Fast start has Rangers' Lundqvist leading Vezina race

Thursday, 11.26.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault challenged his No. 1 goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, to get off to a better start this season after struggling early the past few years, and "The King" has responded by restaking his claim as the NHL's best.

After adjusting his preseason approach to focus more on technique and position-specific drills with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire, Lundqvist has emerged as the early favorite to win his second Vezina Trophy as the League's top goaltender by backstopping the Rangers to the top spot in the Eastern Conference after a 31-save shutout of the Nashville Predators on Monday.

Following a 5-1 loss against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, Lundqvist sits atop the NHL in goals-against average (1.94) and save percentage (.939); his 12 wins are second to the Washington Capitals' Braden Holtby, who has 13.

For those wondering if Lundqvist is sheltered behind a good team playing well defensively, he also leads NHL starters with an adjusted 5-on-5 save percentage of .954, according to war-on-ice.com, a measurement that weighs shot quality based on the distance of the shots a goalie faces.

"He's our best player, there's no doubt," Vigneault recently told The New York Times.

Wild's Koivu making early case for Selke Trophy

Wednesday, 11.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

David Satriano - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

A quarter of the way through the season there have been many surprises, whether it has been players or teams. One of those surprises is center Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild, who is the pick to win the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward.

When analyzing advanced stats, which play a big factor in determining the Selke Trophy finalists and winner, Koivu has excelled. He ranks eighth in shot attempts percentage at 5-on-5 (SAT%), and is tied for first in SAT Relative, a ratio of on-ice SAT% vs. off-ice SAT% (13.6). Koivu has won 54.6 percent of his faceoffs (253 of 463) and has been equally as impressive in defensive-zone faceoffs. He's taken 154 defensive-zone faceoffs and has won 50.7 percent.

His SAT percentage in close games (tied or one-goal difference) is 63.05 (third among forwards) and in tie games he ranks first (65.17).

Blackhawks' Panarin early leader for Calder Trophy

Tuesday, 11.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Top rookies aren't seen as secondary players in the NHL today. Coaches and general managers expect their best young players to have an immediate impact in a salary-cap world and help propel their teams through the grind of an 82-game regular season.

The 2015-16 season is turning out to be a banner one for first-year players. The loss of Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid to a broken left clavicle Nov. 3 has put on hold his chances of winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year, but there are many other gifted young players who have filled the void.

Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin is one who has excelled. He's spent the season in a top-six role, mostly alongside center Artem Anisimov and right wing Patrick Kane.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Russian, who agreed to a two-year contract May 1, leads rookies in assists (14), points (21), primary assists (eight), power-play points (five) and shot attempts percentage (56.94) among those to play at least 10 games. He's also first among rookie forwards in average ice time per game at 19:11.

That level of play makes him the front-runner for the Calder Trophy.

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