50MC Votes for the NHL Regular Season Awards.
The Professional Hockey Writers Association had to submit their picks for the NHL’s regular season awards this past weekend. In direct opposition to the PHWA, the Amateur Hockey Writers Association, strictly consisting of myself and any other bloggers that wish to join have until the end of the season to officially submit their votes for the NHL awards.
Since I am not doing anything tonight, but watch Miguel Cabrera singlehandedly beat the Blue Jays, I will provide for you, my loyal readers, my picks for the 2009 major NHL awards. Because we are not yet finished the season, these votes are not my official submissions, but should be pretty close.
As usual, my picks will not conform to popular belief. Some will be obvious choices, but others will be darkhorses. Also as usual, I will use my wit and my unstable perspective to justify my choices.
Jack Adams (Coach of the Year) – Nominees: Claude Julien, Boston Bruins; Paul Maurice, Carolina Hurricanes; Todd McClellan, San Jose Sharks.
WINNER: Paul Maurice, Carolina Hurricanes. Why not? Last season Bruce Boudreau won it by coaching half a season, and this year, Paul Maurice has done pretty much the same thing. Since Maurice has taken over as head coach, the Hurricanes are 33-17-5, including going 13-1-2 since March. When Maurice took over the head coaching duties after PEter Laviolette was let go, the ‘Canes were very much out of the playoffs. Not only have they clinched a playoff spot, but are contending for home ice. An unbelievable turn around by Maurice, who has relied on his veterans and his goaltender to get his team back thinking it’s 2006.
James Norris Memorial Trophy (Defenseman of the Year) – Nominees: Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins; Mike Green, Washington Capitals; Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens.
WINNER: Mike Green, Washington Capitals. No Lidstrom, wtf? He just did not have a great season this year. It is time to award more deserving guys, rather than nominating him, just to nominate him.
What kind of defenseman in this day and age averages over a point per game? As of today, he has accumulated 70 points in 65 games, including 30 goals, which is more of a benchmark for forwards. A defenseman has not scored 30 goals since 1988-89 when Paul Coffey did it. That was 20 years ago… TWENTY YEARS!! This feat cannot go unnoticed; therefore, Green deserves to win the Norris this year.
Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year) – Nominees: Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets; Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks; Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators.
WINNER: Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets. The trophy does not signify the rookie that was more important to his team, but just the best overall rookie – Mason was both. Without the emergence of Steve Mason, the Blue Jackets are golfing in a week. He leads the NHL in shutouts with 10 and is second in the league in GAA with 2.22. Just an unbelievable year for the Jackets. Along with Filatov, Voracek and Brassard, the Jackets won’t be golfing early for a long time.
Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender) – Nominees: Nicklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild; Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes; Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins.
WINNER: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins. After a mediocre human interest story by CBC that documents Thomas’ unlikely story to the NHL from America to Europe, back to America, Thomas gracefully accepts the award then heads to the casino to see if his unlikely goaltender style works at the poker table.
He is not a stand up goalie, nor a butterfly goalie. Tim Thomas is unlike any other goaltender in the league. He doesn’t have a style, yet he has been the best goalie the past year and a half. This is a much deserved award after Chara and Julien wee snubbed.
Hart Memoiral Trophy (Most Valuable Player) – Nominees: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings; Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals.
WINNER: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals. After the nominees are revealed, Don Cherry has a coronary. No Canadians?!?! Not even an American?!? All Russians?!? Blah blah blah mistake.. blah blah disrespectful… blah blah no heart… blah blah.. shut up Cherry.
Malkin and Ovechkin have been the best players all season. Ovechkin scored much more goals and is only trailing Malkin by a few points for the lead league. Ovechkin’s team has been much better and much consistent; therefore, he is the MVP. Accept it Cherry. The fans don’t want to see or hear the cliche North American actions or interviews. The league is moving towards a dynamic type of game and more dynamic personalities. If the NHL wants to compete with the other major sports, dynamic personalities are essential; whether one critic likes it or not.