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Trophy Tracker

After rough start, Suter's Norris candidacy evident

Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com 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.

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Calder leader Huberdeau has made strong impact

Wednesday, 04.10.2013 / 9:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com 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.

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Therrien earns Adams nod for leading Canadiens

Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 9:35 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com 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 NHL.com's nod for the Jack Adams Trophy.

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Bobrovsky's surge makes him Vezina frontrunner

Monday, 04.08.2013 / 9:38 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dave Lozo - NHL.com 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 NHL.com's nod for the Vezina Trophy.

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Crosby's sizzling scoring pace makes him Hart leader

Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 1:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dave Lozo - NHL.com 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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Chara leads Norris field with complete all-round game

Monday, 03.11.2013 / 1:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Even though he is one of only three active winners of the Norris Trophy, it is possible Zdeno Chara's value to the Boston Bruins is still understated.

He's captained the team to a Stanley Cup, and he's always in the mix for the award given to the top defenseman, but it would be hard to argue against him as the most valuable defenseman in the League (though fans in Ottawa would certainly try).

Chara's size, and ability to skate well for that size, is an advantage no other player can replicate. He is a security blanket for coach Claude Julien, and his ability to log 30 minutes if necessary makes it nearly impossible for an opposing coach to win matchup battles.

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Huberdeau emerges as midway Calder favorite

Sunday, 03.10.2013 / 1:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

As the NHL rookie pool continues to impress throughout the season, it's easy to see why naming a winner for the Calder Trophy won't be easy.

The player appearing to be the favorite three weeks ago may very well be knocked from his perch at a moment's notice, as different first-year players begin familiarizing themselves with game plans and linemates.

At the halfway point in the season, NHL.com believes Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau is the frontrunner to win the award. At the quarter pole, St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, who has since been placed on injured reserve after suffering a concussion Feb. 20, was considered the favorite.

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Quenneville is Adams favorite at season's midpoint

Saturday, 03.09.2013 / 11:37 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Chicago Blackhawks made it halfway through the 2012-13 season without feeling the disappointment of defeat after 60 minutes.

That's right; 50 percent of the season had already passed, yet Joel Quenneville's club had a grand total of zero regulation losses.

That all changed Friday night in game No. 25 when the Blackhawks dropped a decision to the Colorado Avalanche, but that should not take away from the team's accomplishments.

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Senators' Anderson still ahead in Vezina race

Friday, 03.08.2013 / 1:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

When Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins won the Vezina Trophy in 2011, it was a bit of a rarity because he appeared in 57 games that season. It had been 21 years since a goaltender played in fewer games and won the Vezina, dating to when Patrick Roy played 54 games in 1989-90 and captured the trophy.

Thomas made 55 starts in 2011, which constitutes 67.1 percent of his team’s games that season. There’s an above-average chance the Vezina winner in 2013 will play an even lower percentage of games on his way to the award.

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Blackhawks put Quenneville at front of Adams field

Friday, 02.15.2013 / 1:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Things haven't gone exactly as planned for the Chicago Blackhawks since they hoisted the Stanley Cup in June 2010. In fact, they haven't won a Stanley Cup Playoff series.

But if Joel Quenneville's team continues to perform the way it has through the first quarter of this regular season, there's a good chance the Blackhawks could possess home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

Quenneville has done a tremendous job in the early going. Through the Blackhawks' first 13 games -- 10 played on the road -- they are the only team in the NHL that has yet to suffer a regulation loss (10-0-3). That alone is good enough reason to choose Quenneville as our Jack Adams Award winner for the first quarter of the 2012-13 season.

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Quote of the Day

Unless he really collapses, I don't see him going anywhere. I've been very impressed with his composure and maturity. Once the regular season started, he was a different guy; it was like game on and almost as if he's been around for a long time.

— Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon on rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad
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