The calendar has flipped to 2020, which implies we have now much more readability in regards to the NHL Awards image. Or a minimum of just a little greater than we had final month.
This is the NHL Awards Look ahead to January. Once more, this can be a prediction of how I anticipate the voters would take into account the present candidates, in addition to a have a look at their deserves. Remember the fact that the Professional Hockey Writers Affiliation (PHWA) votes for the Hart, Norris, Calder, Selke and Woman Byng; broadcasters vote for the Jack Adams; and basic managers deal with the Vezina. Additionally consider the “You Gotta Be In It To Win It” protocol for the Hart and the Jack Adams.
All stats from Hockey Reference, Pure Stat Trick and Evolving Hockey.
Ross | Richard | Hart
Norris | Selke | Vezina
Calder | Byng | Adams
Artwork Ross Trophy (factors chief)
Present chief: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (64 factors)
Be careful for: Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins (59 factors)
Darkish horse: Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers (55 factors)
Rocket Richard Trophy (main objective scorer)
Present chief: David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (29 targets)
Be careful for: Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (27 targets)
Darkish horse: Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes (23 targets)
Hart Trophy (MVP)
If Nathan MacKinnon’s play had been to drop off someway, there is a Hart case to be made for David Pastrnak or Brad Marchand. Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire
Chief: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Finalists: Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins; Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Let’s begin with the standard caveat in relation to the Hart Trophy and the postseason race: “You gotta be in it to win it.” As of this writing, the Buffalo Sabres are exterior the playoff image. Ought to they creep again right into a playoff spot, or bump up shut sufficient to the playoff bubble, then Jack Eichel (26 targets, 28 assists in 41 video games) would completely be one of many high three gamers, supplanting Marchand. He is having a career-redefining season, with 19 extra factors than the subsequent highest scorer on the Sabres.
However you gotta be in it to win it. As of this writing, the Avalanche, Bruins and Oilers are all in a playoff place. The Sabres, sadly, usually are not.
MacKinnon is every little thing one needs in an MVP candidate. His 58 factors via 40 video games is 31 (!) greater than the subsequent main scorer on the Avs. He carried the group when Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar had been injured at numerous occasions. He was second for the Hart in 2019, so he is clearly on the radar for the award. Not like the opposite two candidates, there is not one other participant on his group who may lay declare to it.
McDavid was our chief final month, and will simply win his second MVP award if the Oilers make the playoff lower. His 1.49 factors per recreation leads the NHL, Edmonton appears to be like like a very totally different group when he is off the ice, and McDavid has crammed a number of spotlight reels within the first three months of the season. Plus, voters who’ve previously utilized the “in it to win it” normal to the Hart Trophy — raises hand — would gladly forged so much to honor Connor. The one wrinkle: Parsing out McDavid’s affect on the Oilers and that of teammate Leon Draisaitl, who may swipe the Artwork Ross from McDavid by season’s finish.
Marchand has the identical challenge with teammate and linemate David Pastrnak, who leads him in targets (30 to 20) and factors (60 to 59) and therefore factors per recreation as properly (1.43 to 1.41). However Marchand leads the NHL in targets (15.9) and wins (2.eight) above common.
One title to observe: Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers, who’re surprisingly near the playoff bubble. He is averaging 1.41 factors per recreation, has 18 extra factors than the subsequent highest scoring Ranger and is second to Marchand in targets (14.three) and wins (Four.9) above common.
Norris Trophy (high defenseman)
Is it Roman Josi’s “flip” to win the Norris? John Russell/NHLI by way of Getty Photos
Chief: John Carlson, Washington Capitals
Finalists: Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes; Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
With 50 factors in 41 video games — that is 1.22 factors per recreation as a defenseman, for these of you scoring alongside at dwelling — it is nonetheless Carlson’s trophy to lose. It is not only a power-play feast for him, both: Carlson leads all defensemen with 35 even-strength factors. There’s an analytic case to be made in opposition to him. Opponents have a slight shot benefit when he is on the ice, and the Capitals get barely extra scoring probabilities (50.87%). He is 47th amongst defensemen in targets above common (Four.9) and would not break the highest 30 in wins above substitute (zero.9). However he would not embarrass himself defensively, which is just about all you want while you’re scoring at a charge greater than some other defenseman previously 25 seasons.
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Whereas attending the Winter Traditional and asking round, it is clear that Josi is getting his “flip” as a Norris contender after beforehand ending no greater than fifth within the voting. He had 41 factors in 39 video games, second to Carlson, with a plus-17 on a Nashville group that is 25th in goals-against common. He is additionally second to Carlson with 26 even-strength factors, and third amongst defensemen in common ice time (25:36). He is second to teammate Ryan Ellis in targets above common (14.zero) and wins above substitute (2.Four). In a proper and simply world, that may imply Ellis would get the awards love. However solely one in all them is an All-Star this season. Guess which one?
(That Ellis stays wholesome would appear paramount to Josi’s marketing campaign, given they’ve performed 607 minutes collectively at 5-on-5 this season. Ellis is “the man behind the man.”)
Hamilton goes to need to beat back Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues, who is actually making a case with 31 factors in 41 video games and ranks third in each targets and wins above common; Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens, who has some stellar underlying numbers in possession and scoring probabilities to go together with his 31 factors in 40 video games; and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who is healthier than some extent per recreation offensively (1.03), proper there with Hamilton in targets and wins above common, and can also be Victor Hedman, a.okay.a. a Norris finalist three years operating and final season’s winner.
However we’re casting our vote for Hamilton right here, for his 37 factors in 40 video games and plus-31, coupled with being fifth in targets and wins above common. The Hurricanes get practically 60% of the scoring probabilities when he is on the ice. Like Josi with Ellis, a proper and simply world would have Hamilton’s companion Jaccob Slavin within the Norris combine, however 20 factors aren’t going to get him there. So the nod goes to Hamilton. Now, if we may solely work out what his Winter Traditional pig race title could be …
Calder Trophy (high rookie)
Current outcomes have muddled the waters a bit, however Cale Makar remains to be forward as the highest rookie for his work all season. Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports activities
Chief: Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
Finalists: Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks; Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres
December shook up this race just a little bit.
Makar was injured for all however six video games of it, and his scoring tempo cooled a bit. Olofsson, in the meantime, went bonkers with six targets and 14 factors to win the league’s rookie of the month award and declare the lead in targets (16) and factors (34) amongst all rookies. However Makar constructed up a lot of a lead within the first two months of the season that he is nonetheless the default choose, a minimum of for the voters we pestered not too long ago. With 29 factors in 31 video games (zero.91 factors per recreation) and fourth in targets and wins above common for all defensemen, he is definitely constructed a formidable case already. However he is additionally been protected: 16:39 even-strength time on ice per recreation, which is sixth amongst rookies, and 64.eight% of his shifts beginning within the offensive zone. Hughes begins 56.7% of his shifts there and performs 17:14 at even energy on common. His 28 factors in 39 video games rank him third amongst all rookies.
Regulate middle Martin Necas of the Hurricanes (22 factors in 36 video games), middle Nick Suzuki of Montreal (23 factors in 40 video games) and defenseman John Marino of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who deserves far more consideration than he is getting as a glue man for a damaged group.
Vezina Trophy (high goaltender)
Darcy Kuemper has been an enormous a part of the Coyotes’ success this season. Norm Corridor/NHLI by way of Getty Photos
Chief: Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes
Finalists: Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues; Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
Observe: The NHL’s basic managers vote for this award
No modifications right here from final month’s Watch. Kuemper leads the pack in each conventional (.934 even-strength save proportion) and fancy stats (zero.538 targets saved above common per 60 minutes, by far the most effective within the NHL). He is working again from an damage that is saved him out since Dec. 19.
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Hellebuyck hasn’t been nice recently, however his .933 even-strength save proportion and zero.475 targets saved above common per 60 coming into Thursday evening’s video games had been second to Kuemper. Binnington is fifth in targets saved above common (zero.418) however 10th in even-strength save proportion. Remember the fact that it is the final managers voting on this award, and Binnngton’s document (19-6-Four coming into Thursday evening) and accomplishments final postseason may affect these simply swayed ballots.
Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins, Ben Bishop of the Dallas Stars and Frederik Andersen of the Toronto Maple Leafs are all within the combine. All eyes are on Tristan Jarry of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who has appeared in simply 18 video games however has a .949 even-strength save proportion. If he performs his method right into a “season savior” position given their accidents, he may get a nod.
Selke Trophy (finest defensive ahead)
Have the celebrities aligned for Sean Couturier to lastly win the Selke? AP Picture/Matt Slocum
Chief: Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
Finalists: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights
Couturier’s Selke second is upon us. He is having the most effective defensive season for any ahead, and particularly compared to the opposite contenders. Bergeron is by far the closest competitors, as proven by this head-to-head comparability from Pure Stat Trick. Couturier runs simply forward of him in most possession metrics, together with targets in opposition to per 60 and on-ice save proportion. Bergeron takes him in different metrics, like in takeaways. Others are a wash. It is shut, however Couturier total has had the higher season.
If we’re being sincere with ourselves, middle Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers is only a tick behind Stone, the most effective defensive winger within the NHL. The Pure Stat Trick comparability between the 2 reveals important benefits for Stone in possession and goals-against classes. Then there’s that unimaginable three.71 takeaways per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Barkov is a type of candidates the place the voters may simply imagine it is his flip, however the numbers have him operating behind these three. Be mindful each Stone and Barkov had been a plus-Four coming into play Thursday evening; as superficial and inadequate as that stat is, a minus-rating might be a vote repellent.
Woman Byng Trophy (gentlemanly play)
Connor McDavid for Woman Byng? Certain, why not. Bruce Bennett/Getty Photos
As traditional, this award for “sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct” has no enterprise being within the dirty grasp of professional hockey writers, and will as an alternative be voted on by the gamers themselves or the NHL’s on-ice officers.
As at present constituted, the Woman Byng sometimes goes to the participant with probably the most factors who has the least penalty minutes. Nathan MacKinnon has 58 factors and simply eight penalty minutes. Teuvo Teravainen has 40 factors and eight penalty minutes. Auston Matthews has 48 factors, simply six penalty minutes and just about no likelihood of successful an award devoted to gentlemanly conduct.
Actually, they need to simply give it to Connor McDavid for not happening expletive-laden tirades each different evening. The stress that man’s underneath? Give him one thing for the trouble.
Jack Adams Award (finest coach)
It’s unimaginable to ponder what Craig Berube has completed since being named interim coach of the Blues final season. AP Picture/Jeff Roberson
Chief: Craig Berube, St. Louis Blues
Finalists: Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs; Barry Trotz, New York Islanders
Observe: The Skilled Hockey Broadcasters Affiliation votes on this award.
Berube strikes to the lead right here because the clear-cut candidate from the Western Convention. The Blues have not proven one iota of Stanley Cup championship hangover in pushing for the convention title and the President’s Trophy. That speaks on to the mindset and confidence Berube has preached since taking on on an interim foundation halfway via final season. That they have been this good with out Vladimir Tarasenko can also be astonishing. One may simply see the broadcasters honoring Berube not only for this season, however for every little thing he is delivered to the franchise since taking on the bench.
The Islanders proceed to punch above their weight, and therefore Trotz will proceed to get the lion’s share of the credit score for his or her system. The Isles are fifth in goals-against common, rating sufficient to win and have a .697 factors proportion. The largest hurdle for Trotz is having received it final season: Within the historical past of the Jack Adams Award, just one coach — Jacques Demers in 1986-87 and 1987-88) — has received the award in consecutive seasons.
Not less than one of many coaches who took over throughout the season was going to get some Jack Adams love, and Keefe is that man. The Leafs are successful, and there is a discernible distinction in the best way they play underneath Keefe vs. how they regarded underneath Mike Babcock. It additionally would not damage to be a Jack Adams candidate with the absolutely armed and operational Toronto hockey media behind you. Or a minimum of those that are not Babcock loyalists.
Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who has led this group via a plague of accidents, is within the dialog. So are Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins and Rick Tocchet of the Arizona Coyotes.