newjerseydevils.com - The votes are in, and while Martin Brodeur
hopes to hit a Vezina Trophy trifecta, Jay Pandolfo has a shot at his first career Frank J. Selke Trophy.
Besides ending the suspense of Brodeur's quest for his third honor as the league's top goaltender, and Pandolfo's pursuit of his first award as the league's best defensive forward, Devils fans will find out tonight if Brodeur can capture his first Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player when the NHL descends on Toronto's Elgin Theatre (7:30 p.m. ET, Versus
) for its annual awards ceremony.
|Jay Pandolfo tied a career high in points with 27 during the 2006-07 campaign, while recording just eight minutes in penalties. |
Brodeur is coming off a record-setting regular season in which he won 48 games to eclipse Bernie Parent's 33-year-old single-season mark of 47. Brodeur posted a league-leading 12 shutouts, and was third in both goals-against average (2.18) and save percentage (.922), while also making the most total saves (2,011).
Pandolfo, meanwhile, looks to follow linemate John Madden, who secured the Selke in 2001. Pandolfo is a familiar foe for any opposing team's top line, and even in his defensive role, the Winchester, Mass. native matched a career high in points (27) with 13 goals and 14 assists in 2006-07, while recording just eight penalty minutes.
Carolina's Rod Brind'Amour, the 2006 Selke winner, and Anaheim's Sami Pahlsson round out the other finalists for this year's award.
In his seventh trip to the awards as a Vezina finalist, Brodeur will square off against three other finalists because of a tie for third place in the balloting. Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff is in the mix a year after winning his first Vezina, as are Vancouver's Roberto Luongo and the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist.
To win the Hart, which is awarded based on a poll by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, Brodeur will have to overcome some tough competition from Luongo and scoring phenom Sidney Crosby.
Crosby clinched the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer in the 2006-07 campaign with 36 goals and 84 assists for 120 points, while Luongo backstopped his way to 47 victories between the pipes for the Canucks.
Brodeur has been in this position before. In 2003, he took the first of what would become back-to-back Vezinas, topping Ed Belfour and Marty Turco in NHL general manager voting as the league's top goaltender.
The Montreal native was a Hart finalist that season as well, but Colorado's Peter Forsberg edged out runner-up Markus Naslund to spoil Marty's party.
This past March, Brodeur was voted Most Valuable Devil by his teammates, while Pandolfo received both the Devils' Unsung Hero and Players' Player awards for the second consecutive season.