Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Handicapping the NHL awards race

This year's Hart favourite
and/or last year's winner.
With the season winding down, it's a good time to look ahead to award season. Which players will be collecting hardware when the league hands out its traditional trophies for regular season excellence?

Here's a look at the current favourites for the major awards.


Hart Trophy
Awarded to the same player who wins the Art Ross trophy for leading the league in scoring, but that won't stop us all from arguing about it for two months.

Daniel Sedin - Would win the award for the second straight year, insists the old guy who takes the photos of the winners standing next to the trophy.

Steven Stamkos - Scores most of his goals on identical one-timers from the exact same spot, which is what happens when kids who grew up playing the EA Sports NHL video game series start entering league.

Corey Perry - This underrated player would be one of the league's biggest stars if he played in a market like New York or Toronto according to the west coast hockey media, we think, although to be honest we pretty much tuned them out as soon as they started talking.


Vezina Trophy
Awarded for excellence in goaltending, as voted on by the same general mangers who give multimillion dollar contracts to guys like Michael Leighton and Nikolai Khabibulin.

Carey Price - Is going to have been totally robbed if he doesn't win, according to thousands of Montreal 911 callers.

Pekka Rinne - When you see the sort of numbers he's putting up, you can't help but make a mental note to yourself to look up which team it is that he plays for.

Tim Thomas - Has a fantastic goals against average thanks to not actually facing a shot on net ever since Zdeno Chara started standing at the blue line during pregame warm ups, pointing to the stanchion and cracking his knuckles.


Jack Adams Award
Awarded to the coach of the team that most outperformed the preseason media consensus, since how else could media predictions ever turn out wrong?

Dan Bylsma - The popular wacky neighbour character from HBO's 24/7 series has now been spun off into his very own show.

Guy Boucher - Rookie head coach quickly figured out which skills would be most important behind the Lightning bench; namely, making annoyed eye contact with the backup goalie.

Jacques Lemaire - Would be an unlikely choice, given that the team barely listened to a word he said until December.


Calder Trophy
Awarded to that really good rookie who your team totally would have drafted if they had only listened to you.

Jeff Skinner - It would be fun to see him sprint to the stage in Vegas to accept the award while a group of security guards chased after him yelling about how preteens aren't allowed on casino grounds.

Corey Crawford - Managed to win the starter's job away from Marty Turco, which is something most rookies wouldn't be able to do in the sense that most rookies aren't goalies.

Logan Couture - Will probably win, given that he was drafted by the Sharks thanks to the Vesa Toskala trade and the hockey gods haven't given Maple Leaf fans a good solid kick in the solar plexus in almost a whole month.


Norris Trophy
Awarded annually to the defenceman adjudged to be Nicklas Lidstrom.

Kris Letang - Stepped up to fill an important void in Pittsburgh by being willing to not be injured for half the season.

Keith Yandle - Has the disadvantage of playing for the Phoenix Coyotes, meaning the only way most hockey fans will ever hear his name is if Paul Bissonnette tweets about him.

Nicklas Lidstrom - Is actually on pace to be a minus player for the first time in his career, although he'd be +35 if you don't count that one game where the Red Wings let Chris Osgood play.


Selke Trophy
Awarded to the best offensive forward who has ever been within 30 feet of his own goaltender.

Jonathan Toews - Should probably win, since if he doesn't he'll just stare at the trophy until it spontaneously combusts.

Pavel Datsyuk - Has won the award three years straight, thanks largely to the unfair advantage of being the only player nominated who never has to try to shut down Pavel Datsyuk.

Ryan Kesler - He may not win the award, but you can bet he'll be lurking somewhere on the stage when it's handed out.


  1. Funny as usual, but also painfully true. Most of the time.

  2. Good stuff. Lol'd at Montrealers reaction to Price getting robbed and the Biz Nasty tweet comment. Would seriously crack up if Kesler lurks on stage at the award show.

  3. haha, I legit laughed at this a number of times, especially the line about Toews! Well done.

  4. fabulous stuff..

    the letang line was real funny.. and i literally lol'd on the tim thomas one..

  5. Osgood should officially change his name to Swiss Osbad

  6. Stamkos - Hey I've never thought about that. Good ol' one-timers...they look awesome until you attempt one to where you think a teammate should be, and they're gone on a line change.

  7. Funny stuff, as always. But what about the Byng? That should be good for a couple more jokes...

  8. Omigawd -- I gave five stars as soon as I read the Vezina category. The rest was a bonus.

  9. Awesome stuff - but Logan Couture was obtained from a pick from St Louis. The Leaf's trade their 13th overall pick which became Lars Eller.

  10. Lidstrom should win the Norris simply for being the first defenceman to come out of the All-Star Game with his dignity intact in 30 years.

  11. @Gary...

    Yes and no. The Leafs pick became Eller, but the Sharks traded that pick to the Blues to move up and get Couture. So while it wasn't the Leafs' pick, they did get him "thanks to" the Toskala trade.

    (Believe me, that sentence was a pain in the ass to write in a way that was techincally true and still worked for the joke.)

  12. In other news, Matt Cooke gets the Lady Byng for selflessly allowing so many of his competitors to vie for the Bill Masterton trophy.

  13. ^^^^^^

    That comment had me in stitches!

  14. The description of the Norris Trophy cracked me up.

  15. 5 stars and one of your best, DGB. I laughed so many times that I lost count. Of course, I enjoyed the weekly Zdeno Chara joke the most! :P

  16. Excellent post. Yeah, I was looking for the Byng jokes, too.

    The line about Toews was brilliant.

    As for Rinne, every time he asks, we tell him Nashville is a suburb of NYC. He uaually just nods, puts his helmet back on and skates back out to the net. Then we all exhale in relief for another couple of days.

  17. Ya know, DGB, maybe the hockey gods are unhappy with you precisely because of comments like you just made in the bit about Couture. If there's one thing we do know about the hockey gods, it's that they hate whiners.

    Try thanking the hockey gods for each and every kick they deliver, under the Nietschean assumption that whatever doesn't destroy the Leafs may eventually make them stronger, and maybe you'll earn their sympathy.

  18. Most people don't know that the full Nietzsche quote runs: That which does not kill me makes me stronger, and then I will get traded to a legitimate contender for a low first-round pick, a second, and a prospect.

  19. "This year's Hart favourite and/or last year's winner"


  20. If/when he wins the Hart Trophy, Daniel should give the exact same speech Henrik gave 12 months prior. You know, just to really mess with us all...

  21. brilliant.... especially the crack about jeff skinner being a "preteen"...
    laughed from beginning to end.....

    ~ cheers....

    ps.. not a ducks fan, but perry is the most under-rated fwd in the nhl.. just sayin..

  22. "Hello???? 911? I believe I just pissed my pants laughing so hard at DGB joke about Jeff Skinner. No I do not think there should be a criminal investigation in regards to my situation. It was a clean joke. You know, part of the game. No I do not believe that because he is not a French Canadian that he should be dragged down the street and beaten. By the way....do you guys deliver pizzas, or what ever the hell you eat up there in fairy tale land?"

  23. how is kopitar not a finalist for the selke?

  24. Regarding the Calder, you have Crawford in instead of Grabner?

    Here's my campaign video for Logan Couture: