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Trophy Tracker

Malhotra making a play for the Selke Award

Saturday, 01.08.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker


While the common perception would be that the job of an NHL forward is to put the puck in the opponent's net, it's also important the guys up front be defensively sound as well. While it might not lead to as many endorsement deals or big-money contracts as scoring 40-plus goals a season, a solid two-way forward is worth his weight in gold as far as his coach is concerned.

The Frank J. Selke Trophy is awarded annually "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game." Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings has laid claim to it each of the last three seasons, and he's once again looking like a solid candidate. However, he has his challengers who also understood that keeping the red light behind their own goaltender off can be just as important as turning on the one at the other end.

Lidstrom is on pace to add Lady Byng to mantle

Saturday, 01.08.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Lady Byng Trophy is given for "skillful and gentlemanly play" and has historically been the property of skilled (and often small) forwards. No defenseman has won it since Detroit's Red Kelly in 1954. Another Red Wing, Nicklas Lidstrom, was on track to be the second at the quarter pole -- and as the season reaches the halfway point, he's still there.

At age 40, Lidstrom is at the top of his game – no mean feat when your resume includes six Norris Trophies and four Stanley Cups. Through the Wings' first 40 games, Lidstrom has 11 goals and 39 points -- he's third in goals and second in points among defensemen. He's also taken just five minor penalties in those 40 games. Lidstrom is averaging more than 23-1/2 minutes a game -- a hefty total for anyone, let alone someone who turns 41 this spring.


A quarter to remember has Sid as top dog in Hart race

Friday, 01.07.2011 / 2:41 PM / Trophy Tracker

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Hart Trophy goes to the player in the National Hockey League that is considered to be the most valuable to his team.

By that definition if you find a player that provides the most offense to his team you'd put him up for the Hart Trophy right away. But, that player would also have to do plenty of other things to warrant such a prestigious honor.

He'd have to be the leader of the team in ways that go beyond just the motivational dressing room speeches. He'd have to be the guy that always shows up in clutch situations. He'd have to be remarkably consistent. He'd have to be one of the top defensive players on the team, an important contributor on special teams.

If he also won faceoffs at an alarming clip, well, that would only strengthen his case for the Hart Trophy.


Calder Trophy tracker: Couture a scoring star

Friday, 01.07.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Buffalo's Tyler Myers became only the second defenseman in 12 seasons to win the Calder Trophy, but could one of this year's rookie crop make it two in a row for rearguards? Three rookie defensemen -- Anaheim's Cam Fowler, Colorado's Kevin Shattenkirk and Washington's John Carlson -- are among a deep pool of candidates for top honors at the midway point of the season.

Could a goalie make it two in three years for the netminders? Philadelphia's Sergei Bobrovsky and Washington's Michal Neuvirth started strong but have slowed a bit while Chicago's Corey Crawford and Nashville's Anders Lindback have both come on in the past six weeks.

The top forwards are a mix of youth and (relative) experience. Carolina's Jeff Skinner and Edmonton's Taylor Hall are leading members of the 2010 draft class who were both 18 years old on opening night while New York's Derek Stepan and San Jose's Logan Couture have had a little extra seasoning since being drafted.

Vezina Trophy tracker: Thomas has upper hand

Tuesday, 11.23.2010 / 4:33 PM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Hunter - NHL.com Staff Writer

After his brilliant showing at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and his tremendous season-long play in leading the Buffalo Sabres to the Northeast Division title, there was little doubt when last season's NHL Awards rolled around that Ryan Miller would capture the Vezina Trophy as the League's best goaltender.

This season hasn't gone quite so smooth for Miller, both in terms of his health and the Sabres' play, and while he does his best to round back into form a number of candidates are emerging to try to wrest the Vezina away -- one has already won the award before, another is answering his doubters in a hockey hotbed and a third is looking to prove last season's heroics were no fluke.

The first quarter of the season has been marked by many great goaltending performances -- here is NHL.com writer Brian Hunter's take on who looks to be the most Vezina-worthy to this point.
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Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense