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NHL Awards Watch: Sidney Crosby vs. Patrick Kane; surprise leader for Norris

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.)

Injuries can sometimes recast how one feels about awards candidates.

Henrik Sedin won the Hart in 2010 partially because of his play with Daniel Sedin injured, for example.

Do we think less of Craig Anderson when we see the Ottawa Senators not missing a beat in his absence? To that end: Do we think more of Paul MacLean when he’s leading an injured team than when that team’s healthy?

Do we think more of Sidney Crosby when he’s carrying the Penguins sans Evgeni Malkin?

Coming up, the latest NHL Awards Watch from Puck Daddy, in which Sid pushes for Hart and one of this teammates makes a surprise appearance at the top of an awards ranking.

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. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (20)
2. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (16)
3. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators (10)
4. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators (9)
5. John Tavares, New York Islanders (8)

Crosby takes the top spot from Kane, and could solidify that lead if he leads the Penguins with Evgeni Malkin out. Anderson moves up a spot. Tavares, whose team isn’t in a playoff seed, makes the cut while Thomas Vanek, whose team is the Buffalo Sabres, falls out of the top five for the first time this season. Steven Stamkos, Henrik Zetterberg and Viktor Fasth also received consideration.

Norris Trophy

1. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins (22)
2. Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues (17)
3. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Phoenix Coyotes (9)
4. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues (9)
5. Francois Beauchemin, Anaheim Ducks (7)

Pietrangelo falls from the top spot for the first time, as the Penguins’ puck-moving D-man Letang is having an outstanding season. Ekman-Larsson moves up two spots as Andrei Markov – not the same player since PK Subban returned to the Montréal Canadiens – drops out. Coach Bruce Boudreau said defensive defenseman Beauchemin is having a fantastic season for the Ducks, and hey, he’s even scoring too.

Vezina Trophy

1. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators (23)
2. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators (16)
3. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks (14)
4. Viktor Fasth, Anaheim Ducks (11)
5. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens (8)

Anderson’s 1.49 GAA and .952 save percentage remain stellar as he recovers from an injury. Rinne’s 1.90 GAA is impressive, as he backstops one of the NHL’s worst offensive teams this season. Crawford is an outstanding 8-0-3 with a 1.50 GAA. Fasth took his first loss but remains a sensation. Price has started 15 games and won 10 of them.

Calder Trophy

1. Cory Conacher, Tampa Bay Lightning (23)
2. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers (21)
3. Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens (10)
4. Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues (10)
5. Justin Schultz, Edmonton Oilers (11)

Sunshine State rookie race? Conacher claims the top spot for the first time, while Huberdeau’s 8-goal campaign with the Panthers has him second overall. Galchenyuk inches ahead of former Calder leader Tarasenko, currently battling an upper body injury. The same five players appeared on every ballot.

Jack Adams

1. Joel Quenneville, Chicago Blackhawks (24)
2. Bruce Boudreau, Anaheim Ducks (19)
3. Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators (14)
4. Michel Therrien, Montreal Canadiens (14)
5. Barry Trotz, Nashville Predators (2)

Since Chicago has decided never again to lose a game in regulation, Coach Q remains on top of the Adams race. Boudreau’s Ducks are trying to keep pace with the Blackhawks, and he’s trying to do the same here. MacLean’s working miracles through the Senators’ injuries. Therrien’s Habs are atop the conference, while Trotz has the Predators fourth in the West.

Superlatives

Most Surprisingly Terrible Plus/Minus Ratings

1. James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Jacob Josefson, New Jersey Devils
3. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings

Neal has 18 points, yet is a minus-7, which should tell you a lot about his power-play proficiency. Josefson is a minus-10 for a Devils team that only has one other player above a minus-2. Doughty’s minus-6 remains a mystifying number for the preseason Norris favorite.

The NHL’s Road Warriors

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
2. Saku Koivu, Anaheim Ducks
3. John Tavares, New York Islanders

Kane has scored 18 points in 10 games away from Chicago. Tavares has 14 including seven goals, in 10 games on the road. Koivu has 12 points in 10 games on the road for the Ducks, and just four in seven at home. He’s also a plus-10.

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