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Trophy Tracker

Canadiens' Price preseason pick to win Vezina

Tuesday, 10.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is coming off a Hart Trophy season and has been described as a living how-to DVD for the position, so not putting him at the top of preseason predictions for another Vezina Trophy would be overthinking things.

Not only did Price lead the NHL in save percentage (.933), goals-against average (1.96) and wins (44) last season, but according to, he was at or near the top in even-strength save percentage (.943) and adjusted save percentage (.939), which weighs the quality of shots based on distance from the net.

The fact all were career bests suggests a correction is possible, and Price could take a step back this season, but watching how subtle tweaks under goaltending coach Stephane Waite have allowed him to improve the past two seasons, it seems just as possible Price could become the first goalie since Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils in 2007 and 2008 to win consecutive Vezina Trophies.

Sabres' Eichel preseason pick for Calder Trophy

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, the first two players picked at the 2015 NHL Draft, are considered by many to be the frontrunners for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.

McDavid, chosen No. 1 by the Edmonton Oilers, said having an impact each shift, regardless of whether it results in a goal or not, is most important to him.

"Numbers are one thing, but some of the best games I ever played have been games in which I didn't get a point or maybe had one point," he said. "You don't necessarily have to put up a lot of points to be impactful. There are lots of ways you can impact a game, and that's something I take a lot of pride in, trying to impact the game in any way possible."

Eichel, selected No. 2 by the Buffalo Sabres, believes team success will lead to individual success.

Stars' Jamie Benn poised to pick up first Hart Trophy

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Jamie Benn did everything he could last season to will the Dallas Stars to stay in the Stanley Cup Playoff race. Eventually, their defensive deficiencies and average goaltending got the best of them and they fell short. It didn't stop Benn from leading and from scoring.

Benn closed last season with 10 points in his last three games, including a hat trick in his final game. It was enough to nudge him past New York Islanders captain John Tavares for the Art Ross Trophy with 87 points. Tavares had 86.

It was just a prelude to what's in store for Dallas' captain this season.

Bruins' Bergeron preseason pick for Selke Trophy

Saturday, 10.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

David Satriano - Staff Writer

Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy each of the past two seasons and three of the past four. A win this season would tie him with Hockey Hall of Fame member Bob Gainey for the most all-time. And with the way Bergeron has excelled in the defensive aspects of the game the past five seasons, it's no surprise he is the preseason favorite for the Selke Trophy for the 2015-16 season.

Enhanced statistics have become the norm in the NHL, and Bergeron has been at the top of most of the important categories. His shot-attempts percentage (SAT%) last season at 5-on-5 was 58.09, which was sixth among forwards to play at least 50 games. Bergeron's SAT Relative, a ratio of his on-ice SAT% vs. his off-ice SAT%, was second at 8.9 percent.

Bergeron led the League in faceoff winning percentage at .602 while taking (1,951) and winning (1,175) the most faceoffs in the League.

Sabres' Bylsma primed to win Jack Adams Award

Friday, 10.02.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Jon Lane - Staff Writer

It's become a habit to dismiss the Buffalo Sabres and any iota of a chance they have of reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They've averaged a shade over 21 wins the past three seasons, and in each of the previous two finished at or near the bottom of the NHL in most offensive and special-team categories.

But there are precedents of teams making quantum leaps in the NHL standings. The Montreal Canadiens ascended from the Eastern Conference basement to a first-place finish in the Northeast Division in 2013. A season later, the Colorado Avalanche rose from 29th in the League (39 points in 48 games) to 112 points and the Central Division title. An extreme example is the 1992-93 San Jose Sharks, whose 58-point jump from the season before remains the biggest turnaround in League history.

A 58-point jump is asking too much, but there's no denying the excitement in Buffalo, where there are expectations for the Sabres to make noise in the East. The additions of Evander Kane, Jack Eichel and Ryan O'Reilly fortified a group of forwards that already included Tyler Ennis, Matt Moulson, Zemgus Girgensons and Sam Reinhart, putting them in position to significantly increase their NHL-worst 153 goals from last season. Defenseman Cody Franson, who signed a two-year contract Sept. 10, should spark a power play that finished 30th at 13.4 percent.

Lightning's Hedman preseason pick for Norris Trophy

Thursday, 10.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

Injuries sidelined Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman for 23 games last season, ultimately ruining any chance he had to win the 2015 Norris Trophy.

But Hedman showed while leading the Lightning to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final that he is unquestionably one of the best defensemen in the world. Hedman averaged 23:57 of ice time per game and had a plus-11 rating in 26 playoff games.

Perhaps Hedman hasn't garnered enough, but his talent and poise were on full display during the playoffs. He's big, he's intelligent and is remarkably skilled.

Panthers rookie Ekblad deserving of Calder Trophy

Monday, 04.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

With the 2014-15 season complete, looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

What appeared to be a one-horse race early in the season turned into anything but down the stretch in the battle for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.

In the end, it was hard to ignore the accomplishments of Aaron Ekblad, the youngest defenseman in the League. The native of Windsor, Ontario, had a one of the best rookie season by an 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history, beginning his career four months after being chosen No. 1 in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers.

Nashville Predators center Filip Forsberg was the early favorite. The 20-year-old looked to be the perfect fit for new coach Peter Laviolette, who stressed offense and puck possession. He was ultimately overtaken in the rookie scoring race by Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau, 21, who defied the odds at 5-foot-9, 150 pounds.

Canadiens goalie Price top choice for Vezina Trophy

Monday, 04.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

With the 2014-15 season complete, looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

The Montreal Canadiens won their final three games of the regular season and finished in first place in the Atlantic Division. Without the play of their goaltender over the past six months, there's little chance they would have finished anywhere near the top.

Carey Price completed an outstanding season with a 4-3 shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. After allowing four goals in back-to-back losses on March 30 and April 2, Price responded by winning his last three starts of the season.

Price finished with the most wins (44), the best goals-against average (1.96) and best save percentage (.933). He finished tied for second in the League with nine shutouts. 

That is why Price is's pick to win the Vezina Trophy as the League's top goaltender. If selected, it would be the first time Price has won the award.

Price's value to Canadiens makes him choice for Hart

Monday, 04.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

With the 2014-15 season complete, looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

There isn't a team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs that relied on its goaltending more than the Montreal Canadiens did in the regular season. There wasn't a goalie better in the regular season than Montreal's Carey Price.

Do the math and it should be easy to determine who the Hart Trophy winner will be for the 2014-15 season. Price should be the first goaltender to be named the League's most valuable player since Jose Theodore did it in 2001-02 with the Canadiens.

"When he came back from the Olympics, winning that gold medal gave him the confidence to be a winner," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said last week. "Certainly he's a true leader for us, and as far as we're concerned he's the best player in the world. He's got an impact on every game with his leadership and he's calm. Our team plays with a lot of confidence when he's out there."

Bruins' Bergeron remains favorite for Selke Trophy

Monday, 04.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

With the 2014-15 season complete, looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

The phrase "hard to play against" takes on many different meanings in hockey, depending on who is defining it.

Some think it means playing a physical, bruising style of hockey. Others think it means playing at a higher tempo, one that is difficult to keep up with.

Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron is hard to play against because he executes every phase of the game so well. He is the best defensive forward in the NHL, makes life difficult for the top offensive forwards in the League on a nightly basis and is the favorite for the Selke Trophy.

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Well, for me this one's concerning, the way we performed. Because three games in, playing a desperate team on the road, I was expecting something else than this. Right now, I'm just disappointed. The other games, I thought we did some things that you can build off your game. There wasn't a lot accomplished in tonight's game.

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