Fans of the NHL are gearing up for the second round playoff match-up between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Hart Trophy, in particular, is going to be a hotly contested race this year with Sidney Crosby leading many experts as favorite. Who will win?
The “nhl awards” is a yearly event that takes place in the NHL. This year, the Hart Trophy, Norris Trophy, Vezina Trophy, and Selke Trophy will be awarded to the best players of the season.
For the 2021-22 NHL Awards, here’s a bold prediction: an Edmonton Oilers player will be nominated for the Hart Trophy.
Beyond that, who will be the eventual finalists for these honors remains a mystery.
This is the NHL Awards Watch for the month of December. This is educated guesswork based on interviews with hockey fans and voters about the current candidates for each award. For this month’s edition, we asked a dozen of them from across the conferences to share their current favorites.
Keep in mind that the PHWA selects the Hart, Norris, Calder, Selke, and Lady Byng Awards; broadcasters choose the Jack Adams Award; and general managers select the Vezina Award. Keep in mind that the Hart and the Jack Adams have an unofficial “you have to be in it to win it” policy.
Hockey-Reference.com, Natural Stat Trick, and Evolving Hockey provided all stats.
Take a look ahead: Norris | Selke | Vezina Calder | Byng | Adams Ross | Richard | Hart Norris | Selke | Vezina Calder | Byng | Adams
The Art Ross Trophy is an award given to a person who (points leader)
Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl is the current leader (41 points) Keep an eye out for: Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (40 points) Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is a sleeper (37 points)
The Rocket Richard Trophy is an award given to a person who (leading goal scorer)
Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl is the current leader (20 goals) Keep an eye out for: Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin (19 goals) Andrew Mangiapane of the Calgary Flames is a sleeper (15 goals)
The Hart Trophy is a prestigious award given to (MVP)
C Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers is the team’s leader. Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) and Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) are the two finalists.
The Oilers’ studs will almost certainly play a season-long game of hot potato to see who will be the MVP front-runner. In our inaugural NHL Awards Watch, back in November, McDavid came out on top, but now Draisaitl has been designated the Hart Trophy favorite on 40% of the votes we polled.
Between Draisaitl and McDavid, there is no incorrect answer, albeit one may be somewhat more right than the other. Draisaitl holds the advantage in goals (15), points, and wins above replacement per 60 minutes over McDavid. For whatever it’s worth, he has six game-winners, and the Oilers have been a stronger defensive club when he’s on the ice than when McDavid is.
There have been evenings when Draisaitl has been the hero, as shown by his four-point performance against the Seattle Kraken, and others when McDavid has carried the Oilers, as seen by his four-point performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.
There have also been many nights when both of them are on fire, connecting as a combination on the Oilers’ amazing power play, which is successful 35.9% of the time. As a result, it’s difficult to separate their candidacies. Remember, we haven’t had two teammates as Hart finalists since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr split the Penguins’ vote in 2000-01, allowing Colorado Avalanche great Joe Sakic to win MVP.
Alex Ovechkin, who finished second behind Draisaitl in our polls with 30%, is the “Sakic” in this scenario. Ovechkin is on pace for 68 goals this season as of Thursday night. When Ovi scores, the Capitals are more likely to win: he has 14 goals in 14 wins and one goal in four regulation losses. (He has five goals in their OT or shootout defeats.) While his goal scoring has gained him a lot of attention, it’s his playmaking that truly sets him apart: Ovechkin’s average of 2.2 assists per 60 minutes of play is his best since the 2009-10 season.
Goaltender Jacob Markstrom of the Calgary Flames and winger Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild were both included on our voters’ ballots for league MVP. Kaprizov’s 14 points in seven games to wrap out the first quarter of the season catapulted the Wild to the top of a contested Central Division.
Our Kaprizov voter stated: “I really believe in the award’s’most useful to his team’ component. When I look at the Wild, who are a terrific squad, I believe there is a significant drop-off following Kaprizov “said the person. “I wouldn’t suggest Kaprizov for the Lindsay Award, which is given to the’most outstanding player,’ as you know.”
Other possibilities to consider include Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers, Nazem Kadri of the Colorado Avalanche, Troy Terry of the Anaheim Ducks, and Johnny Gaudreau of the Flames.
The Norris Trophy is awarded to the best athlete in the world (top defenseman)
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With a 55.2 percent faceoff winning rate and 23 points in 21 games, Kopitar received the second most votes. He’s a minus-6, and his underlying stats don’t bode well for his chances of beating Bergeron in the race. However, he is enjoying a great season and has already won the honor twice.
There were a few players who got sporadic help. Tkachuk is one of them, and he’d be the first winger to win the honor in 18 years. When Tkachuk is on the ice at even strength, the Flames have an expected goals against per 60 minutes of 1.75.
Do we believe Elias Lindholm, his linemate, would be a stronger Selke candidate? Yes. In comparison to Tkachuk, he steals more pucks and blocks more shots. Tkachuk is also a vital penalty killer for the Flames, averaging two seconds on the penalty kill per game. We never try to hold use against a player, but Tkachuk has never played on the PK in Calgary under a variety of coaches.
However, Tkachuk, not Lindholm, has piqued the interest of certain voters.
“Among forwards, he has the best Corsi-against per 60 and the best Corsi-for per 60,” one Tkachuk voter stated.
Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs was one of the more intriguing names listed on a vote. One of our voters essentially made the “Mike Green for Norris” argument.
“At 5-on-5, he’s averaging 65 percent anticipated goals, and Evolving Hockey grades his defensive numbers quite favorably. It’s a defensive honor, but part of defense, at least for me, is keeping the puck away from the enemy and far away from your own goal, which he excels at “”said the voter.” “I realize the humor is sorting by faceoff %, but he’s also doing a fantastic job with it. Obviously, he doesn’t kill penalties, and I wouldn’t go to war for him, but I believe he’s an intriguing possibility to consider early on.”
Sean Kuraly of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks were also selected by our voters. Center Ryan O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues, left wing Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins, Jean-Gabriel Pageau of the New York Islanders, Jason Robertson of the Dallas Stars, and, we suppose, Aleksander Barkov are among the other possibilities for the Selke.
The Lady Byng Trophy is the most prestigious award in hockey (gentlemanly play)
Could Nate Schmidt make it two defenseman in a row to win the Lady Byng? Getty Images/Darcy Finley/NHLI
This is where I suggest that the league’s on-ice officials or the National Hockey League Players’ Association vote on the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play. Last season, Jaccob Slavin finally earned the award for best defender, just the second time a blueliner has won the Byng since 1954.
Let’s keep the train running with Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Schmidt, who has 0 penalty minutes in 22 games despite averaging 21:36 minutes a game.
The Jack Adams Award is given to a person who has made (best coach)
When a flame is red-hot, you can’t touch it, and Darryl Sutter’s Calgary Flames are at that degree right now. Getty Images/Minas Panagiotakis
This award is decided by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.
Darryl Sutter, Calgary Flames, is the team’s leader. Finalists: Minnesota Wild’s Dean Evason and Washington Capitals’ Peter Laviolette
Don Granato, whose Buffalo Sabres did what the Buffalo Sabres usually do after a great start, dropped out of the top three from last month.
So far, 60 percent of the votes we examined have chosen Sutter the coach of the year. He’s made the Flames the league’s greatest defensive squad while simultaneously making them a top 10 goal-scoring team. Calgary has been battling Edmonton for the top spot in the division, and Sutter’s contribution has been largely appreciated.
Both Evason and Laviolette received the same level of support. The Wild are fourth in attack and would be a little higher in team defense than their 18th ranking if their goaltender was a little more reliable. The Capitals are seventh in both goals per game and goals against per game under Laviolette, indicating that fears of their death as a Stanley Cup contender were largely overblown.
Dallas Eakins of the surprise Anaheim Ducks and Andrew Brunette, who kept the Florida Panthers on track when coach Joel Quenneville quit in the midst of the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault probe, both received first-place votes.
Rod Brind’Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes, Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dave Tippett of the Edmonton Oilers, and Gerard Gallant of the New York Rangers are among the coaches who were not on the ballots but will undoubtedly get support for the Jack Adams.
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