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Trophy Tracker

Teams, players to watch at season's quarter mark

Wednesday, 11.20.2013 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

With the first quarter of the 2013-14 season complete, looks at some of its biggest storylines and award contenders.

The start of the 2013-14 season has provided plenty of surprises and disappointments to supplement the teams and players that have met preseason expectations.

Whether it is through traditional statistics or the breakthrough of advanced metrics into the mainstream conversation, there are several teams worth watching as the 2013-14 season heads for the halfway point.

Here's a look at some of the surprising statistics from the season's first quarter, with an eye toward how teams and players might perform in the next quarter. NOTE: Most of the advanced statistics in this story are from, an easy choice for the Calder Trophy among hockey websites in 2013-14:

Bruins' Krug has early edge in Calder race

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Jon Lane - Staff Writer

With the first quarter of the 2013-14 season complete, looks at some of the biggest storylines -- and award contenders -- that have developed through the first part of the season.

Torey Krug burst upon the NHL like a flaming arrow when, as an emergency call-up, helped power the Boston Bruins past the New York Rangers in five games of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He became the first rookie defenseman in League history to score four goals in his first five postseason games and the 10th player in Bruins history to score a playoff goal before scoring in the regular season.

There's been no letdown in Krug's first full season. In fact, he's near the top of the rookie leaderboard and in front of the race for the Calder Trophy, according to Krug has points in five of his past seven games (two goals, three assists); his six goals are tied for second among defensemen behind Ottawa Senators defenseman and former 2013 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson's seven, and his 12 points are tied for third in rookie standings.

Penguins' Crosby leads Hart Trophy race

Monday, 11.18.2013 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

With the first quarter of the 2013-14 season complete, looks at some of its biggest storylines and award contenders.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby started the season with a bang and hasn't really slowed down. His outstanding play has helped keep the Penguins at or near the top of the Metropolitan Division standings through the first quarter of the season, putting him in the lead to win his second Hart Trophy.

Crosby had his scoring stroke in place right from the first drop of the puck. He scored a goal opening night and had at least a point in eight straight games, the best season-opening run of his outstanding career; he had seven goals and 17 points in his scoring streak.

Three-goal lead for Ovechkin in Rocket race

Friday, 04.26.2013 / 11:32 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

The Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy has been around for 13 years, and it has been a period of sniper parity compared to most eras of NHL history.

No player has claimed the Richard Trophy more than twice in its 13-year existence. The last 13-year period in NHL history when one player didn't lead the League goals at least three times was between 1937 and 1949.

Richard led the League for a third time in 1949-50, and from that point until this recent era, the NHL's goal-scoring title was dominated by Richard, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Brett Hull and Teemu Selanne, who was the last player to do it three times (1992-93, 1997-98 and 1998-99).

This is relevant because the two players atop the NHL leaderboard in goals each have a pair of Richard trophies on their resumes. The Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin claimed the trophy in 2008 and 2009, and the Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos won it last season and claimed a share of the award in 2010.

Here is a look at Stamkos, Ovechkin and the two other top contenders for the Richard Trophy this season, John Tavares of the New York Islanders and Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter, as the season reaches the stretch run:

Crosby still deserves MVP despite broken jaw

Friday, 04.12.2013 / 9:40 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Sidney Crosby has been so dominant this season that missing five games with a broken jaw isn't enough to prevent him from winning the Hart Trophy at the three-quarter mark of the season.

Even if Crosby doesn't return during the regular season, what he's done in 36 games will probably earn him his second career Hart Trophy; the first was in 2007.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain still leads the League in points with 56, five more than Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and is tied for first in assists with 41 along with Stamkos' teammate Martin St. Louis. Although Pittsburgh defensemen Kris Letang and Paul Martin also have been injured, the Penguins are 3-2-0 since Crosby went down.

Before scoring six times against the Lightning on Thursday, the Penguins were averaging two goals per game without Crosby after averaging 3.36 goals per game with him in the lineup.

There's still time for others to make a push over the final quarter of the season, but right now, it's Crosby's Hart Trophy to lose.

After rough start, Suter's Norris candidacy evident

Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

When Ryan Suter left the comfort of the Nashville Predators, the only organization he'd ever known, and a spot along the blue line next to Shea Weber, the question of whether or not he could lead a defense corps on his own was a prevalent one.

In the first 10 games with his new franchise, Suter scuffled a little, and a team full of new faces and high expectations did as well. The Minnesota Wild, preseason darlings for many pundits, were 4-5-1, and Suter had four points and an ugly plus/minus rating.

Then Suter faced a huge test when his old team came to town, and that night started the turnaround for him and the Wild. Suter played more than 30 minutes and assisted on both goals in a 2-1 overtime victory. From that point, Suter has been the best defenseman in the NHL, racking up points, logging more minutes than anyone and helping the new-look Wild move toward the top of the Northwest Division.

Because of that, Suter edges a couple of other worthy candidates as the leader in the Norris Trophy race at the three-quarter mark of the 2012-13 NHL season.

Calder leader Huberdeau has made strong impact

Wednesday, 04.10.2013 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Florida Panthers coach Kevin Dineen recalls the difficulty in fighting the urge to have center Jonathan Huberdeau join the team right out of training camp prior to the 2011-12 season.

It wasn't so much his physical makeup as it was his maturity at the NHL level. After all, in five preseason games in the fall of 2011, Huberdeau had three goals and four points. Not bad for an 18-year-old who was taken with the third pick at the NHL Draft a few months earlier.

"There was serious consideration watching him in training camp," Dineen said. "He made it an extremely hard decision based on his play and the composure he showed playing at the NHL level. I think we made the decision more on his physical makeup than we did his maturity or his ability to play at this level.

Therrien earns Adams nod for leading Canadiens

Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 9:35 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

Many believed the Montreal Canadiens would be a "bubble team" at this point in the season -- a squad that missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2011-12 but possibly could contend for a spot this season.

Instead, heading into their game Tuesday against the Washington Capitals, the Canadiens found themselves sitting atop the Northeast Division and three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the lead in the Eastern Conference.

Certainly, it's helped that standout defenseman Andrei Markov has been able to stay on the ice. Markov, 34, has 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) in 38 games. Combine that with the Norris Trophy-type season P.K. Subban is enjoying (he's tied for the team lead with 32 points in 32 games) and the goaltending Carey Price has provided, and the Canadiens (25-8-5) have had a chance to win on a nightly basis.

At the end of the day, though, the bulk of credit has to go to coach Michel Therrien. That's why, at the three-quarter mark of the schedule, Therrien has earned's nod for the Jack Adams Trophy.

Bobrovsky's surge makes him Vezina frontrunner

Monday, 04.08.2013 / 9:38 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

The New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets have become intertwined over the past 10 months, having made two blockbuster trades that have resulted in eight NHL players changing sides.

With the 2012-13 season winding down, the Rangers and Blue Jackets have something else in common -- they are the homes to the League's two best goaltenders, New York's Henrik Lundqvist and Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky.

But as we hit the three-quarter mark of the schedule, it's Bobrovsky who has earned's nod for the Vezina Trophy.

Crosby's sizzling scoring pace makes him Hart leader

Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 1:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Sidney Crosby
Center - PIT
GOALS: 12 | ASST: 33 | PTS: 45
SOG: 91 | +/-: 16

Sidney Crosby -- and it's not even close right now -- is the Hart Trophy leader for the first half of the NHL season.

There's a tendency to look beyond the obvious answer to a question sometimes in an effort to be edgy, or different, or drum up debate among fans. But when it comes to deciding which player has been the most valuable to his team up until this moment, it's unquestionably been the Pittsburgh Penguins star.

Let's start with the obvious: His statistics haven't been seen in the NHL in 20 years.

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Quote of the Day

It's a big milestone for me and I'm happy to help my team with lots of good teammates. It's fun.

— Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, who on Wednesday became the ninth Russian-born player, and ninth Red Wings player, to score 300 NHL goals
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