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NHL Awards Watch: Patrick Marleau has Hart; Anderson, Crawford for Vezina

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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

Until he proves otherwise, Patrick Marleau is always going to have the “gutless” thing following him.

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That’s thanks to Jeremy Roenick, who called out the San Jose Sharks forward on national television in 2011 for his lack of production in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

So how does Roenick feel about Marleau’s nine goal start to the 2013 season?

From USA Today:

"I think Patrick is doing the things he needs to do to score goals," Roenick said.

"He's going to scoring holes. He's going to the high-traffic areas. If you look at his goals, he's had probably more prime scoring chances than anyone else in the National Hockey League. And Joe's putting the puck on his stick. If it leads to a Hart (trophy), or a Rocket Richard (trophy) or a Stanley Cup, it's great for him and even better for the Sharks."

So … not gutless then.

Where does Marleau rank in the Puck Daddy Hart Trophy voting? Coming up, the latest ballots for the Hart, Norris, Vezina, Calder and Adams in our weekly NHL Awards voting ... plus some other stuff.

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 Marleau, San Jose Sharks (20)
2. Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres (9)
3. Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning (6)
4. Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks (5)
5. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks (4)

To the surprise of no one, Marleau gets the unanimous nod as the best player on an undefeated (as of Monday night) San Jose Sharks team. He scored a goal in each of the Sharks’ first five games. It took Marleau 18 games to reach nine goals last season, and he only achieved that through a hat trick on Nov. 20.

Vanek’s nine points in four games was good enough for a distant second, even if the Sabres are struggling. St. Louis gets the credit for the Lightning’s positives with 11 points. Hossa and Crawford barely edged out Patrick Kane for the MVPs of the NHL’s other undefeated team.

Norris

1. Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues (19)
2. Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens (16)
3. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators (15)
4. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins (5)

5. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues (3)

Pietrangelo (7 points) was second to Shattenkirk (8 points) in scoring for defensemen entering Tuesday, but is in the top five in blocked shots. Markov is healthy and has four goals on the season in four games, averaging a team high 25:18 TOI. Karlsson is playing at a point per game pace, and is a plus-5.

Chara is averaging 25:30 TOI and has five points, and is clearing keeping this spot warm until the love child of Jesus Christ and Bobby Orr (a.k.a. Dougie Hamilton) rightly takes it. More on him in a bit.

Vezina Trophy

1. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators (15)
2. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks (15)
3. Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils (9)

4. Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis Blues (7)
5. Antti Niemi, San Jose Sharks (5)

Anderson is rocking a 0.73 GAA and a .975 save percentage in four games, which by our metrics seems pretty good. Crawford has a 1.78 GAA and five victories, having faced just under 27 shots per game. Brodeur has a 1.69 GAA and yet another shutout. Halak is 3-0 and has a 1.69 GAA, outplaying Brian Elliott thus far. Niemi may be the beneficiary of the Sharks playing outstanding hockey, but a 2.01 GAA and a .933 save percentage isn’t too shabby.

Calder Trophy

1. Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues (20)
2. Cory Conacher, Tampa Bay Lightning (16)
3. Justin Schultz, Edmonton Oilers (12)
4. Dougie Hamilton, Boston Bruins (6)

5. Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens (3)

The Blues’ Russian rookie sweeps the top spot on all four ballots, with eight points in six games and for being the most exciting thing to hit St. Louis since the International Bowling Museum.

Conacher, Schultz and Hamilton were Nos. 2-4 on every ballot as well, as the Calder race someone solidified in the first week of the season. Galchenyuk earned the No. 5 spot on three ballots; Nail Yakupov was given the nod on another.

Bottom line: It’s Conacher trying to outscore Tarasenko and Hamilton trying to keep pace with Schultz at the moment.

Jack Adams Award

1. Joel Quenneville, Chicago Blackhawks (17)
2. Todd McLellan, San Jose Sharks (15)

3. Peter DeBoer, New Jersey Devils (7)
4. Ken Hitchcock, St. Louis Blues (7)
5. Claude Julien, Boston Bruins (4)

So the Blackhawks are undefeated because of coaching and the Sharks are undefeated because of Patrick Marleau? Poor McLellan. Dude can’t catch a break. Best advice we can share: Grow a mustache. A mighty, mighty mustache.

DeBoer has the Devils earning points in a post-Parise world. Hitchcock’s Blues remain the class of the West. Ditto Julien’s Bruins in the East.

Superlatives

Biggest Potential Playoff Absence

1. Philadelphia Flyers
2. Washington Capitals
3. Phoenix Coyotes

The Flyers have to make up ground while playing in one of the toughest divisions in the NHL, while the Capitals are still trying to find their identity two weeks into the season. The Coyotes could play themselves off this list in the next week.

Coach Most Likely To Be Canned First

1. Joe Sacco, Colorado Avalanche
2. Adam Oates, Washington Capitals
3. Bob Hartley, Calgary Flames

Sacco’s in Year 4 as head coach of the Avs, and might have to fall in his sword for a lineup that’s hindered by injuries and Ryan O’Reilly’s free agency. Oates is off to a rough start; and are the Flames so “win now” that they’d can Hartley for a boost?

Player Most Likely To Be Hit By a Massive Suspension

1. Tom Sestito, Philadelphia Flyers
2. Rene Bourque, Montreal Canadiens
3. Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes

The first two have history, both in violent incidents and punishment from the NHL. As for Doan, Harrison Mooney writes: “Because he always does stuff that borders on suspension and the Coyotes aren't doing very well and I could just see it happening.”

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