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Trophy Tracker

Trophy Tracker: 'King' Henrik should get Vezina crown

Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 10:53 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

Henrik Lundqvist has been a rock and the No. 1 reason the New York Rangers are atop the Eastern Conference. (Photo: Getty Images)
The NHL reached the three-quarter mark of its season this past weekend. Now, with the NHL Trade Deadline in the rear-view mirror, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines -- and award winners -- that have developed across the first 900-plus games of the 1,230-game regular season.

In the first two installments of this four-times-a-year endeavor, the race for the Vezina Trophy was extremely tight and filled with worthy candidates. Now that we're at the three-quarter mark of the season, the picture is beginning to come more into focus.

It's not strictly a three-man race -- Jimmy Howard, Miikka Kiprusoff and Mike Smith won't make the cut here, but all still can make a push over the final 20-plus games -- but these are one man's opinions on the winner of and finalists for this year's Vezina Trophy.

Trophy Tracker: Maloney top candidate for GM of Year

Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 10:43 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The NHL reached the three-quarter mark of its season this past weekend. Now, with the NHL Trade Deadline in the rear-view mirror, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines -- and award winners -- that have developed across the first 900-plus games of the 1,230-game regular season.

Don Maloney has dealt with plenty of adversity during his tenure as general manager of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Whether it has been the uncertainty of his franchise's future or early ousters in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Maloney and his organization have experienced plenty of obstacles in recent seasons.

But despite all of those hurdles, Maloney's group is once again chasing a Pacific Division crown. Under the guidance of coach Dave Tippett -- one of the best in the business -- the Coyotes have been sensational in the month of February and are neck and neck with the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific.

Trophy Tracker: Tortorella has history on his side

Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 10:26 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The NHL reached the three-quarter mark of its season this past weekend. Now, with the NHL Trade Deadline in the rear-view mirror, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines -- and award winners -- that have developed across the first 900-plus games of the 1,230-game regular season.

The last time John Tortorella won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's best coach, he had just led the Tampa Bay Lightning to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history after finishing the regular season as the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
 
It was his fourth season behind the bench in Tampa.
 
Now in his fourth season as coach of the New York Rangers, Tortorella finds himself in familiar territory -- atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Trophy Tracker: Moulson favorite for Lady Byng

Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 10:05 AM / Trophy Tracker

David Kalan - NHL.com Staff Writer

The NHL reached the three-quarter mark of its season this past weekend. Now, with the NHL Trade Deadline in the rear-view mirror, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines -- and award winners -- that have developed across the first 900-plus games of the 1,230-game regular season.

At the quarter-mark of the 2011-12 NHL season, we noted that Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis, winner of the last two Lady Byng trophies, still was a candidate to complete the hat trick this June with a third. The Byng, which rewards the player who best displays "skillful and gentlemanly play," has a tendency to see repeat winners -- prior to St. Louis, Pavel Datsyuk took home the award four straight times and Rangers center Frank Boucher once won the award seven times in a span of eight seasons -- which means predicting St. Louis to do it again would be far from unreasonable.

In fact, St. Louis' numbers to this point -- 22 goals, 36 assists, a plus-2 rating and 16 penalty minutes in 57 games -- would merit his inclusion as a Lady Byng finalist. But much like both of our earlier predictions, we still don't think St. Louis will be taking home the hardware.

However, after tabbing Stars left wing Loui Eriksson to ride last year's nomination for the Byng and another solid season to his first trophy in our previous predictions, we're shifting gears slightly. Eriksson remains in the mix, but with several glittering resumes to compare at this point in the season, Islanders left wing Matt Moulson's all-round offensive game and another impressive season have him in line to take the Lady Byng in 2012.

Trophy Tracker: Bergeron still Selke favorite

Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 9:56 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Patrice Bergeron
Center - BOS
GOALS: 19 | ASST: 33 | PTS: 52
SOG: 152 | +/-: 28
The NHL reached the three-quarter mark of its season this past weekend. Now, with the NHL Trade Deadline in the rear-view mirror, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines -- and award winners -- that have developed across the first 900-plus games of the 1,230-game regular season.

Bob Gainey won the Frank J. Selke Trophy the first four times it was awarded, and nobody has won it four times since.

Guy Carbonneau became the second three-time winner, and then Jere Lehtinen became the third. Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk became the fourth member of the three-time Selke winner club in 2010, but can he become only the second person to win it four times?

Trophy Tracker: Henrique ascends to Calder favorite

Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 9:47 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Adam Henrique
Center - NJD
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 26 | PTS: 41
SOG: 104 | +/-: 9
The NHL reached the three-quarter mark of its season this past weekend. Now, with the NHL Trade Deadline in the rear-view mirror, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines -- and award winners -- that have developed across the first 900-plus games of the 1,230-game regular season.

Adam Henrique has been one of the more pleasant surprises in the National Hockey League this season.

A 2008 third-round pick (No. 82) with just one season of professional hockey under his belt, Henrique entered the season unsure if he'd even be a member of the New Jersey Devils or spend a second season with the club's American Hockey League affiliate in Albany, N.Y.

Trophy Tracker: Could Lidstrom win Norris No. 8?

Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 9:34 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Nicklas Lidstrom
Defense - DET
GOALS: 10 | ASST: 21 | PTS: 31
SOG: 127 | +/-: 25
The NHL reached the three-quarter mark of its season this past weekend. Now, with the NHL Trade Deadline in the rear-view mirror, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines -- and award winners -- that have developed across the first 900-plus games of the 1,230-game regular season.

The Norris Trophy races in 2008-09 and 2009-10 were a referendum -- first on offensive play vs. all-round play, and second on reputation.

Washington's Mike Green had a historic offensive campaign in 2008-09 and followed it with an even better all-round season in 2009-10. He also ended up as the Norris bridesmaid each time.

Top 2011 Draft picks highlight All-Rookie selections

Monday, 01.09.2012 / 5:59 PM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com has added a new wrinkle this season adding our very own All-Rookie Team to honor the best first-year player at each position at the midway point of the 2011-12 campaign as part of our Trophy Tracker package, which appears four times a season.

Much like in seasons past, the NHL has once again been blessed with a tremendous rookie class, led by Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The No. 1 selection at the 2011 NHL Draft is currently out with a shoulder injury, but he still leads all rookies in scoring.

Stars' Eriksson still best bet to win first Lady Byng

Monday, 01.09.2012 / 4:36 PM / Trophy Tracker

David Kalan - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2011-12 season reaches its mid-point upon the completion of Monday night's game between the Washington Capitals and the Los Angeles Kings. But NHL.com is going to take all week to look at the significant stories as the League makes the turn and heads toward the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We'll look at the races for the League's individual awards, while profiling some of the most surprising players and teams as we look ahead to the final three months of the season.

As the NHL hits its midway point, many players have established themselves as scoring threats who consistently find their way onto the stat sheet without finding their way to the penalty box. It's often one of these men who takes home the Lady Byng Trophy at the end of the season, the NHL's annual award for "skillful and gentlemanly play."

Martin St. Louis has taken Byng home two years in a row, and he's done little this year to rule himself out of a hat trick, tallying 10 goals and 21 assists in 33 games while picking up just 8 penalty minutes. But at the season's quarter mark in November our nod went to Dallas' Loui Eriksson, a first-time nominee for the award in 2011, and halfway through the season that hasn't changed.

Eriksson, 26, has continued to impress, but he's joined by a host of young players impressing on the ice while incurring minimal infractions. Look no further than the Atlantic Division, where New Jersey's Adam Henrique (28 points, plus-7, 2 PIMs) and Philadelphia's Matt Read (22 points, plus-6, 2 PIMs) have had solid rookie campaigns. Brian Campbell, in his first season in Florida is taking a run at being the first blueliner to win the Lady Byng in nearly six decades, tallying 31 points and a plus-4 with just 4 PIMs for the surprising first-place Panthers.

Bergeron's play earns him Selke consideration

Monday, 01.09.2012 / 3:00 PM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Before last week, there were only two active NHL players who had won the Selke Trophy -- Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk (three times) and Vancouver's Ryan Kesler (once). When Florida signed John Madden on Jan. 4, that raised the total to three. The point is, the players who once were considered the standard among defensive-minded forwards -- Rod Brind’Amour, Jere Lehtinen, Michael Peca -- all are gone.
 
Datsyuk basically is the bridge between those players and a younger generation of talented, responsible forwards. Kesler was the first to break through last season, but others could derail Datsyuk's march to what would be a record-tying fourth Selke. Besides the two players not named Datsyuk listed below, there are other skaters, like Los Angeles' Mike Richards and Chicago's Jonathan Toews, who have earned recognition as elite defensive forwards who one day could lay claim to this award.
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