The NHL Awards were chugging along on Wednesday with few surprises. And then the Norris Trophy was given out, and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings skated away with the first Norris of his career.
The award is given to the defenseman demonstrating “the greatest all-around ability in the position,” as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
That defenseman was probably Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators, who had 82 points and led the NHL in points for a defenseman for the third consecutive season and fourth time in the past five campaigns. He appeared in all 82 games for the third straight season and led the NHL in total time on ice (2,375:55), even-strength time on ice (1,885:26) and average time on ice (28:58), all career-high figures.
He was good enough to win the Norris last season, when the Senators made the playoffs. They missed the playoffs this season, and he didn’t win the Norris. OK.
The bottom line is that Doughty – who had a fine, fine season and was an advanced stats monster for the Kings – found out tonight what many of us suspected from the start of the season, which is that in the eyes of some voters he was “due” for a Norris, no matter what other candidates did during the season.
Karlsson was better. But he has two Norris Trophies. Doughty didn’t have one. And now he does. Congrats, hockey’s Al Pacino-winning-Oscar-for-Scent-Of-A-Woman.
Duncan Keith hasn't been the 11th best defenseman anywhere ever. Not even in the nursery.
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY