With the midseason point reached the Rat Trick Staff submits their NHL Awards picks so far…
HART TROPHY (most valuable player):
Josh: Jonathan Toews – He is the most valuable player to his team. That is the definition of the Hart and I don’t believe Chicago would be where they are without his leadership and immense play…hands down he is my selection.
Frank: Jonathan Toews -I don’t believe that the Hart Trophy should be given to the player with the most points on a successful team. I do believe that the winner of this award needs to be a point producer, but more importantly a producer in the clutch. Jonathan Toews continues to put his Blackhawk team on his back, and lead by producing points, and also by example.
Dave: Jonathan Toews -He’s on pace for his best goal scoring career while still making others around him better. Prototypical captain with a competitive drive second to none in this league.
Scott: Claude Giroux -He has been fantastic making plays for the Flyers, and not even concussions can stop his scoring prowess.
Paige: Claude Giroux
Cameron: Jason Spezza (Ottawa Senators)
David: Evgeni Malkin
Patrick: Henrik Sedin
Gabby: Claude Giroux -48 points on the season thus far (tied for second in league), and that’s after missing a span of four games. Made a statement return from that injury with four points and has continued on his upward climb since then.
Adam: Henrik Sedin - Once again leading the league in points, a big factor in leading the Canucks to the top of the Western Conference once again.
SELKE TROPHY (best defensive forward):
Josh: Jonathan Towes -He has the best faceoff percentage in the league and he does everything, he scores, he takes away the puck and gets back to defend all well playing against other teams top lines…he may be the most complete player in the NHL.
Frank: Jonathan Toews -Again. He wins faceoffs, and is usually a league leader in that category. He always in the top five for take-aways, has a solid +/- record, and is very skilled at killing penalties. One of the best two way players in the game today
Dave: Jonathan Toews -Tied for second best in the league in takeaways while rarely giving it back. His effort in the defensive zone sets the tone for every other forward on their roster. No one better in the faceoff circle.
Scott: Jonathan Toews -He has been clutch winning faceoffs in every zone for the Blackhawks; second in plus/minus too.
Paige: Jonathan Toews
Cameron: Jonathan Towes (Chicago Blackhawks)
David: Jonathan Toews
Patrick: Jonathan Toews
Gabby: Pavel Datsyuk -Currently at a +16, Datsyuk has always been regarded as a forward who is aggressive on both ends of the ice. This year is no different
Adam: Tyler Seguin – 38 points through 38 games in only his second NHL season, but he is leading the NHL with a monstrous +33 rating
NORRIS TROPHY (best all-around defenseman):
Josh: Shea Weber - Without Weber the Nashville Predators would not be anywhere near as good as they are. He is an essential part of their team because he can bring offense against the best teams, but you can count on him in a breakaway or PK situation.
Frank: Shea Weber -Offensively talented for sure, but this award is about defense. Weber faces the top lines every night, has the added pressure of playing for a team that doesn’t score a lot of goals. His physical presence adds to the full package. Oh, and what a slap shot!
Dave: -Erik Karlsson Wanted to go with Brian Campbell but the numbers edge goes to Karlsson. One of the biggest reason the Senators have surprised everyone. His passes from the blueline are point guard-esque. If only there was an aging Swedish defenseman to compare him to?
Scott: Shea Weber -Like Giroux, Weber battled through concussions to become the best two-way defenseman in the NHL.
Paige: Erik Karlsson
Cameron: Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators)
David: Erik Karlsson
Patrick: Erik Karlsson
Gabby: Erik Karlsson -Because he’s a D-man with 41 points. Has been nothing but solid on the blue line all year for the Sens.
Adam: Zdeno Chara – Chara has both the scoring ability (7) and has played a great setup man (18 assists) , leads all defencemen with a +27 rating and has 70 hits so far on the season.
VEZINA TROPHY (best goaltender):
Josh: Tim Thomas - Hands down Thomas is a winner. He has a top save percentage at .939 he has 4 shutouts and has won 18 games in 27 starts.
Frank: Henrik Lundqvist -At a 1.89 GAA and a .939 save percentage. No doubt one of the biggest reasons for the Rangers success is King Henrik. He has always been steady, however this season he’s been exceptional.
Dave: -Henrik Lundqvist. Is putting up best numbers of his career. If he gets a 2 goal lead, game’s over
Scott: Henrik Lundqvist -An easy pick, as Lundqvist has turned into a brick wall on Broadway, giving the Rangers the best record in the NHL
Paige: Henrik Lundqvist
Cameron: Jonathan Quick (LA Kings)
David: Jimmy Howard
Patrick: Tim Thomas
Gabby: Jonathan Quick -His league-leading 6 shutouts matched with a 93.4 save percentage in 35 games should make him a top candidate.
Adam: Brian Elliot - Elliot has finally found his game in St. Louis. Managed to take the starting position away form Jaroslav Halak, and carry the Blues to the top of the Central Division. Elliot also has been lights out with an outrageous 0.940 save percentage this season
Thanks for reading. Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
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