As the NHL season begins to enter its final stretch, there's never been a more appropriate time to consider candidates for the League's annual awards ceremony in Las Vegas.
At first glance, the Blues have four obvious choices to receive nominations at the end of the season.
Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock
is considered an early favorite for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's Coach of the Year, according to a recent article on NHL.com
Since taking over in November, Hitchcock has an impressive 31-10-7 record in games through Feb. 28. The Blues currently have a League-best 1.92 goals-against average while allowing the fewest shots per game (26.1). The Blues started the season 6-7-0 before hiring Hitchcock on Nov. 6, 2011.
NHL.com predicts Hitchcock's stiffest competition to be from New York Rangers Coach John Tortorella and Ottawa Senators Coach Paul MacLean.Jaroslav Halak
and Brian Elliott
will be solid candidates for the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded each year to the goalie tandem with the fewest goals against. Through 63 games, the Blues have given up 126 goals, just two more than the Rangers, who lead the League with 124.
In addition, NHL.com has listed Doug Armstrong
as a finalist for General Manager of the Year.
The actual nominees will be announced at the conclusion of the regular season.
The 2012 NHL Awards will be held Wednesday, June 20 at the Encore Theater at the Wynn Las Vegas luxury hotel and casino resort.