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NHL Awards Watch: Ducks hunt Jack Adams, Vezina; Patrick Kane has Hart?

Greg Wyshynski
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(Ed. Note: This is a weekly feature on Puck Daddy in which we vote on the major NHL Awards. “We” being Wyshynski, Leahy, Mooney, Yahoo! NHL editor Sam McCaig and Yahoo! NHL scribe Nick Cotsonika. Voting is completed Monday night. The results will run every Tuesday on this very blog. Enjoy.)

How does one judge Viktor Fasth?

[Y! Sports Radio: Nick Cotsonika assesses the first month of the NHL season]

The Anaheim Ducks’ not-technically-a-rookie goalie has won his first eight starts this season, posting an astounding 1.78 GAA and a .933 save percentage. Yet it’s only been eight games, while other Vezina Trophy contenders have played upwards of 14 games (in the case of Pekka Rinne). Ah, but in a lockout-shortened season, eight games make up a larger percentage of the season than usual.

Here’s the Puck Daddy Awards Watch for Feb. 5.

In Fasth’s case, we might be looking at a Jim Carey redux: Back in 1995’s lockout-shortened campaign, Jim Carey of the Washington Capitals was up for the Vezina Trophy for winning 18 of 28 games and leading the Caps to the postseason.

He lost to Dominic Hasek. But then again, who didn’t?

Coming up, love for the Ducks; Patrick Kane vs. Sidney Crosby for the Hart; and some major movement in the Norris Trophy race.

A note on the voting: All four panelists ranked the top five for each award, and point values were assigned to each player. Ties were broken by how high a player was ranked on the majority of ballots.


Hart Trophy

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (17)
2. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (15)
3. Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres (13)
4. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators (12)
5. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators (8)

Is it that outlandish to think that the leading scorer from the NHL’s best team might win MVP?

Kane has 21 points on the season, trailing Vanek (25) and Crosby (24). Vanek’s problem is that his team might not make the playoffs; Crosby’s is a guy named Evgeni Malkin, who remains just six points back.

Rinne’s backstopping the worst offensive team in hockey at the moment. If Anderson can help drag the Erik Karlsson-less Senators to the postseason, it’ll be quite the feat.

Norris Trophy
1. Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues (21)
2. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins (17)
3. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues (11)
4. Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens (7)
5. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Phoenix Coyotes (5)

OEL actually tied Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins for No. 5 on this list, but the Coyotes defenseman was listed as the No. 3 choice on one ballot.

Pietrangelo averages 25:56 TOI and has 12 points. His partner in crime Kevin Shattenkirk leads the NHL with 14 points for a defenseman. Letang has eight points at even strength, while Markov has 10 points on the power play.

Vezina Trophy
1. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators (21)
2. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators (17)
3. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks (12)
4. Viktor Fasth, Anaheim Ducks (10)
5. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens (5)

Just like for the Hart, it’s Anderson vs. Rinne for the Vezina at the moment. Anderson’s 7-4-2 with a 1.61 GAA. Rinne is 6-3-4 with a 1.58 GAA.

But Fasth is the wild card here with his 8-0 start.

Crawford was third in the last ranking too. Roberto Luongo gets squeezed out of the top five, while Antti Niemi sinks along with the San Jose Sharks.

Calder Trophy
1. Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues (23)
2. Cory Conacher, Tampa Bay Lightning (22)
3. Justin Schultz, Edmonton Oilers (11)
4. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers (8)
5. Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens (4)

Same old story, same old song and dance. The top three remain from the last NHL Awards Watch, although the margin between Tarasenko and Conacher has closed. Nail Yakupov was just edged by Galchenyuk, while Huberdeau enters the fray with nine points in 15 games.

Jack Adams Award
1. Joel Quenneville, Chicago Blackhawks (21)
2. Bruce Boudreau, Anaheim Ducks (20)
3. Michel Therrien, Montreal Canadiens (15)
4. Peter DeBoer, New Jersey Devils (7)
5. Barry Trotz, Nashville Predators (4)

Hey, didja hear the Sharks lost seven in a row? Hence, Todd McLellan falls from the top five. Hence, Todd McLellan didn’t receive a vote this week.

Boudreau rockets from five to two on the list, right behind the architect of the Blackhawks’ juggernaut. Trotz had the slight edge over Claude Julien, Kirk Muller and Randy Carlyle.

Superlatives

Biggest Shootout Beasts

1. Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
2. Craig Smith, Nashville Predators
3. Viktor Fasth, Anaheim Ducks

Perry has four goals on five chances, with three game-deciding goals. Viktor Fasth is 4-0 in the shootout. And while Smith’s sophomore season has been rough, he’s 3-for-5 with a game-deciding goal for the Preds.

Best Power Players

1. John Tavares, New York Islanders
2. Mike Ribeiro, Washington Capitals
3. James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins

While the Isles power play has cooled off a little, Tavares has 10 points on the man advantage. Ribeiro has been the Capitals’ best offensive forward. Neal has more power-play goals (7) than goals at even strength (4).

Rookies We Had No Idea Were Rookies

1. Marcus Foglino, Buffalo Sabres
2. Richard Bachman, Dallas Stars
3. Tomas Tatar, Detroit Red Wings

C’mon, admit it: You had no idea either.

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