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(Page 9 of 10)
Trophy Tracker

Rookie Couture has assumed major role in San Jose

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

There has been some clarity in the race for the Calder Trophy as a few forwards have moved ahead of a once-crowded group of contenders.

Last season Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers captured the award, but it doesn't look like any of this year's blue-line freshmen will approach Myers' production (11 goals, 48 points, 23:44 of ice time).

Detroit's Jimmy Howard was a finalist last season, but at this point in the season it looks the top rookie goaltenders -- Philadelphia's Sergei Bobrovsky, Chicago's Corey Crawford and Washington's Michal Neuvirth -- probably won't end up with enough starts to be in the mix. Crawford has the accompanying numbers (save percentage and goals-against average) to squeeze into the top three if he were to help the Blackhawks into the playoffs with a great stretch run, but for now there are four forwards who have broken clear of the pack. and Florida).
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Norris Trophy Tracker: Lidstrom's still the best

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Dustin Byfuglien started the season as if he were ready to run away with the James Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman.

But an NHL season is an 82-game grind, and after a superb first half that saw him lead all defenseman in goals and points, Byfuglien has come back to earth -- as has his team, the Atlanta Thrashers.

As the season hits the three-quarter mark, a man who’s already won the Norris six times in a career that will end with an induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame is on target for No. 7.
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Stamkos has the look of an MVP

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Last season Vancouver's Henrik Sedin edged out Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby for the scoring title and followed that up by earning the Hart Trophy for the first time in his career. He was the second Swedish player in League history to win after Peter Forsberg, and both he and his brother could be in contention to make it three for Tre Kronor.

This award was Crosby's to lose a month ago, but the more time he's missed with a concussion, the more it has allowed other candidates back into the race. Boston goalie Tim Thomas is not on this list because of two reasons: 1) it is tough for a goalie to win the award; and 2) the six times a goalie has won it in the past 60 years, said goalie has played at least 67 games that season. Thomas is on pace to play 58. Besides, there is another guy who probably won't play enough games to earn the votes necessary to win in front of him.
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Thomas continues to be the clear Vezina choice

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

NHL.com

One of the hallmarks of winning any sort of individual hardware in the NHL is usually performing consistently throughout the season.

When it comes to awarding the Vezina Trophy, the choice seems fairly obvious. There are plenty of goaltenders who have put together strong runs of several weeks or even a month or two at a time. Only one of them, however, has been at or near the top in all the important statistical categories since the opening month of the season.
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Holmgren leads the pack for GMs

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"We're happy where we are, but it's a long year and a tough League. Our goal is to get into the playoffs. Last year, we snuck in (and showed) anything can happen." -- Flyers GM Paul Holmgren

This is the time of season when a top-line general manager figures out how to turn a team that is almost there into a true championship contender.

Whether it's adding a missing piece via a trade, calling up a young player who is ready to contribute at the NHL level or simply motivating his team by letting it know he believes everything needed to compete for the Stanley Cup is already there, the cream of the crop in terms of executives are often determined this time of year.
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Lady Byng Trophy tracker: St. Louis once again

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

After finishing as the runner-up for three consecutive seasons, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis finally won the Lady Byng Trophy -- awarded for "skillful and gentlemanly play" -- last June.

Don't be surprised if he goes home with the same hardware again this spring.

"When you get in your 30s, you have to prove you can still play," the 35-year-old former undrafted free agent said.

Here's how the Lady Byng race is shaping up with about 20 games left in the regular season: 
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Selke: Malhotra's numbers prove true worth

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

"The Frank J. Selke Trophy is an annual award given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game."

Pretty straightforward wording to determine who wins the award, right?

The only problem for those who have to pick the player who deserves the trophy is deciding what constitutes good defense. Is it takeaways? Is it plus-minus? Can't we just add the two numbers and give the award to that guy?

There might not be a more subjective award that's handed out by the NHL.

For me, there are three very important components to how good a player is defensively:
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Devils' turnaround makes Lemaire the Adams pick

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"Guys, they don't panic. Last year compared to this year, it's pretty much the same group, but I know at certain times last year we panicked, and I don't see this now. It's the players that take charge, just the way they're talking on the bench. I feel they know what to do."
-- Devils coach Jacques Lemaire

At the midpoint of this season, Tampa Bay's Guy Boucher seemed a safe bet to take home the award for the League's best coach in the 2010-11 season. Despite numerous changes on Florida's gulf coast in personnel, ownership and the front office, Boucher had guided the young Lightning to an impressive first-half charge in a division typically ruled by the Washington Capitals.

A lot can change in 20 games, however.

While the Lightning are still bulling their way towards a division title, a midseason replacement has turned the race for this season's Jack Adams Trophy on its head by engineering what could end up one of the great comebacks ever, and it's in the Garden State, scene of that astonishing turn of events, that we find NHL.com's pick for the Adams at the season's three-quarter pole.
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Despite position change, Byfuglien is a star

Sunday, 01.09.2011 / 6:44 PM / Trophy Tracker

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

ATLANTA Kris Versteeg was recalling a game about four years ago when he and Dustin Byfuglien were toiling for the Norfolk Admirals, the Chicago Blackhawks' affiliate in the American Hockey League at the time.

Byfuglien was bouncing up and down between Blackhawks and the Admirals and with the way the schedule worked out, Byfuglien ended up playing his fifth game in five days back with Norfolk.

"Still he had three breakaways shorthanded as a (defenseman)," said Versteeg, now in Toronto. "It was a display that I don't know if I will ever see again in pro hockey.

"But you know he has it. He has what it takes to do it."
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Masterton Trophy tracker: Burns back in form

Sunday, 01.09.2011 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

NHL.com

If there's one thing hockey players are known for, it's perseverance and dedication to their sport. Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith embodied that grit and toughness during last season's run to the Stanley Cup when he infamously took a puck to the mouth, knocking out numerous teeth, but returned to play later in the game.

One of the NHL's more special postseason awards, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, doesn't go to the player who scored the most goals, recorded the most points or was judged to be the most indispensable to his team. Instead, it honors the player who has overcome adversity -- on and/or off the ice -- and in doing so displays that perseverance and dedication to the game.
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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis