Bookmark me!

2013 NHL Award Finalists 

The finalists for the 2013 NHL awards have been released. Let’s take a look at who is going to win and why.

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman)

3. PK Subban

After holding out to start the year Subban went on a tear. In his 42 games played he tallied 11 goals and 27 assists to tie Letang for the most points among defensemen with 38. His average ice time however may make his stats look better don’t fare well for his chances to win this award. He was only on the ice for 23:14 a game which is 35th amongst defensemen. He did play a major part in the Habs grabbing the two seed for the playoffs and allowing the 5th fewest goals in the conference. But as far as winning this award there are two clear cut better options.

2. Kris Letang

Amongst defensemen Letang ranked first in assists with 33 and tied with Subban for most points with 38. He averaged 25:38 of ice time per game including 2:12 on the penalty kill and 4:37 on the power play. He led a defense that allowed the 4th fewest goals in the Eastern Conference. It is safe to say he played a major role in the Penguins getting the top seed in the East.

1. Ryan Suter

Tough choice between Letang and Suter they are obviously the top two defensmen this season. Suter edges Letang however for a few reasons. His 32 points (4G 28A) was good for third just behind Letang and Subban while his assist total was 2nd behind just Letang. While Letang may have a slight edge in his stats, Suter did not have the luxury of playing with Crosby and that LOADED offense. Instead Suter was relied on far more heavily to anchor a defense minded club (27:16 of ice time per game most in the NHL). The supporting cast on the Wild was far weaker this year yet they still made the playoffs on the heels of their defense thanks to Ryan Suter. He was the best individual defensemen this season.

Vezina Trophy (Best Goalie)

Honorable Mention Craig Anderson

Nobody should write or even mention this year's Vezina Trophy without mentioning Craig Anderson despite not being a finalist. His injury obviously derailed his chances at winning but let’s put that aside right now and just marvel at his stats... .941 save percentage, 1.69 gaa, and in just 24 games played he registered 3 shutouts two fewer than the leaders whom played roughly 20 more games than he did. He was incredible when he was on the ice and deserves to be mentioned because had he stayed healthy he would have won this thing. And you can’t tell me he wouldn’t have kept up that torrent pace since he just had his hand in on destroying the Habs in the first round.

3. Henrik Lundqvist

Lundqvist came into the season as the heavy favorite to repeat as the Vezina Trophy winner but he did not get going until late in the season. This year he has been a shell of what he was last year. That is not a knock on him more of a compliment to how incredible he was a year ago. There was no way he could keep that pace up. This season he played 43 of 48 games registering a .926 save percentage, a 2.05 gaa, with two shutouts. In the final month of the season he posted a 10-4 record while only allowing more than two goals in four of the 14 games while they were fighting for their playoff life. In those four games the Rangers actually went 2-2 his other two losses came in a shootout to the Penguins in which he only allowed one goal and his other loss he allowed two goals @ Florida. If the Rangers had any semblance of offense Lundqvist would probably be on track to capture his second consecutive Vezina Trophy instead he will have to settle for 3rd.

2. Antti Niemi

What a welcome surprise Niemi was this year for Sharks fans. Believe it or not he was actually the highest scoring fantasy hockey goalie this season. Not that that counts in the Vezina voting but it’s an interesting little stat. Nobody thinks of Niemi as an upper echelon goalie but this year he was just that. His .924 save percentage, 2.16 gaa, and four shutouts in 43 games played. That led not only to the Sharks having the fourth fewest goals against in the West but it perhaps saved the team. Even with Niemi standing on his head the Sharks were very nearly sellers at the trade deadline. Because of him they still stand together as a team, just swept the Canucks in the first round, and look to capture a Stanley Cup.

1. Sergei Bobrovsky

Hard to believe the Vezina winner is going to come from a non playoff team but wow was this guy good down the stretch. Thanks to him the Blue Jackets were out of the cellar and in the playoff hunt down to the final game of the season. His .932 save percentage was good for second in the NHL, his 2.00 gaa was 5th, and his four shutouts had him tied for second. From March 31st through the end of the season Bobrovsky went 10-3 trying to get his team into the playoffs. Of those ten wins six of them came against playoff teams. Also over that stretch he allowed two goals or less in ten of those games. Now if you take a look at the final two months of the season he had a .946 save percentage and a 1.57 gaa, that is flat out stellar. This guy deserves the Vezina this year despite missing the playoffs. And as an added bonus to anyone who likes to laugh at the Flyers, they have been searching for consistent goalie play for years now and they gave up on Bobrovsky and traded him this past offseason. After finishing 10th in the final East standings with 141 goals allowed I think they may regret that.

Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP)

3. John Tavares

You could really argue for any of these three guys to win this award but only one guy can. Tavares is no joke. I have been on his bandwagon since his rookie year. This kid is goooooood. Perhaps the most underrated player in the entire NHL. His 28 goals was just four off the pace set by Ovi but his assist totals were not quite good enough to gain any steam as a real contender for this thing. But when you are going up against Crosby there isn’t much you can do. He did do enough to make the Islanders relevant for the first time in what feels like forever though. They made the playoffs mostly thanks to him and are now giving the Penguins all they can handle. This should be the first of many times he is voted as a finalist for the Hart Trophy and he should even win one before his time in this league is up. Without Tavares the Isles would most likely be a lottery team.

2. Alexander Ovechkin

Ovi already has two Hart Trophies under his belt and this could end up being his third. He had three more goals than anyone in the NHL this year and his points total was only behind a pair of Lightning, St Louis and Stamkos. Tangent but, am I the only one amazed at the fact that the Lightning had the two highest scorers in the NHL yet finished with the third fewest points in the entire league? Anyway Ovi is the reason the Caps won their division and grabbed the #3 seed. But the reality is they played in the worst division in hockey and finished tied with the Maple Leafs for the 4th most points in the East. In the month of April he tallied 14 goals in 13 games which led the Caps to an 11-2 record en route to division title. If you want to go back even further starting March 17th he scored at least one goal in 16 of 21 games. He notched a point in 18 of the final 21 games and in total he had 22 goals and 12 assists. That is a staggering 34 points in 21 games for an average of 1.62 points per game. If he wins there will be no complaints from me nor anyone else but he didn’t do what Sidney Crosby did.

1. Sidney Crosby

Despite missing the entire month of April Crosby finished just four points back of St Louis for the league lead. At the pace he had set before his injury he would have posted about 75 points which would have lead the NHL. He led the Penguins to the best record in the East and elevated his linemates to the best two plus/minus tallies of the year, Pascal Dupuis +31 and Chris Kunitz +30, with his own being 4th at +26. The main reason he deserves this award is his 41 assists in 36 games played. While you could look at a pure goal scorer as more important to a team there is no questioning a guy like Crosby’s value knowing he can score with the best of them but instead elevates his teammates to a level they had never reached before. He made everyone around him better and that is the definition of valuable. To anyone who wants to argue that the Penguins did not really miss him too much after he went down with a broken jaw I would say that’s because of the incredible talent they acquired at the trade deadline. If he were in the lineup the Penguins might not have lost. He is the MVP this year and deserves the Hart Trophy far more than anyone else this season.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

You may also enjoy...

Capitals vs Rangers Preview 

Please help us out click the ads tell a friend and/or click through our Amazon banner before you buy something. Mission Statement

Bookmark and Share