What I love about being right is that it leaves little room for editing. I am only changing two of my mid-season choices.
Hart – Evgeni Malkin
Is there any doubt? Steven Stamkos had another incredible season, but on a team not playing this week. Jonathan Quick did all he could to keep his team in the playoff race, and succeeded. But, Malkin carried his team all season, leading a charge in the final months that has them as the odds on favorite to lift a Cup when all is said and done.
Vezina – Jonathan Quick
Though I had Quick in my midseason report, I was set to give the hardware to Henrik Lundqvist after he went on a tear in February that saw him lose only two games. In those games he gave up a total of three goals, while not getting a single goal in support. But too fresh in my memory are games that could have led the Rangers to the Presidents’ Trophy late in the season, and King Henrik looked very ordinary. Then Quick?s yak-like work ethic single-handedly carried the Kings into the playoffs. Combine that with their very similar numbers and I am sticking with my original choice.
Norris – Erik Karlsson
I honestly was pulling for Shea Weber if only because I view him as the total package, but Karlsson’s numbers get a lot of attention from voters…likely too much to not give him the award.
Calder – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Gabriel Landeskog and Adam Henrique are the popular choices right now, but Nugent-Hopkins played 20 fewer games than Landeskog and 12 fewer games than Henrique, yet his numbers were as good or better. That impact makes the difference in my book.
Selke – Patrice Bergeron
By the end of the season, he climbed to the top of the plus-minus leaderboard, while dominating the faceoff circle and playing a physical game and blocking shots. This is well deserved for Bergeron.
Jack Adams – Ken Hitchcock
Sure, I had John Tortorella at the break, and I insist his coaching put the Rangers in the top spot in the east, and elevated Henrik Lundqvist’s season. With that said, what Hitchcock did with the Blues is alarming and will be recognized in Las Vegas. Have you really looked at the Blues’ roster? Hitchcock had a team of anti-stars competing for the best record up until the last week of the season. I honestly expected a dramatic decline in the Blues’ play. It never came and that is a testament to the coach. Bravo.
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