(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.)
When Ryan Suter left the Nashville Predators for the Minnesota Wild, there was one question on everyone’s mind: Would he have to play 30 minutes a night this season to justify that salary?
The second question: How would both Suter and Shea Weber cope with their very successful partnership ending?
We’re starting to get a sense of that, at least for this season. Suter is sixth in the NHL in defensive scoring, with 18 points in 24 games, playing 27:29 a night. Weber has 13 points in 25 games, skating 25:45 per night. And yet in the latest Puck Daddy NHL Awards Watch, it’s Suter that’s cracked the top five for the Norris Trophy while Weber received a single fifth-place vote.
What if Ryan Suter gets a Norris nomination while Shea Weber doesn’t?
The way Minnesota is playing, that’s entirely possible this season. His profile is growing right along with their win total. But talk about your upsets: Would anyone have predicted that before the season?
Coming up, the Norris race and the other trophies in our weekly awards watch.
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.
1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (25)
2. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (18)
3. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning (12)
4. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks (6)
5. Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes (3)
Crosby was the unanimous choice for the MVP award, with Patrick Kane representing the NHL’s best team in the first half of the season. Stamkos remains the third choice, ahead of a surging Ryan Getzlaf and his spiffy new contract. Eric Staal is on arguably the best line in the East. Antti Niemi and Craig Anderson were goalies among the honorable mentions, along with center John Tavares of the New York Islanders.
1. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins (22)
2. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Phoenix Coyotes (14)
3. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues (12)
4. Francois Beauchemin, Anaheim Ducks (9)
5. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild (6)
Interesting field shaping up for the best defenseman prize. Letang is the NHL point leader for D-men with 26. Shattenkirk is third with 19. (What, no love for Kimmo Timonen, second with 19 points?) Ekman-Larsson has been all-around solid this season, while Beauchamin carries the torch for all defensive defensemen.
1. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators (20)
2. Antti Niemi, San Jose Sharks (14)
3. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks (14)
4. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins (9)
5. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens (7)
Despite not having played since Feb. 21, Anderson’s stellar work for the Sens hasn’t been forgotten by the panel. Niemi moves up to the No. 2 slot with 10 wins in 20 starts and a 1.96 GAA. Crawford (1.91 GAA) is right with him. Rask jumps onto the countdown with 13 wins in 18 starts, while Price remains among the league’s workhorses and biggest winners (13). Pekka Rinne and Viktor Fasth lurk just outside the top 5.
1. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers (23)
2. Cory Conacher, Tampa Bay Lightning (19)
3. Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Canadiens (16)
4. Justin Schultz, Edmonton Oilers (10)
5. Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens (2)
The Panthers rookie leads’em all with 12 goals on the season, the only rook in double digits. Conacher leads the rookie scoring race as the first to 20 points. Gallagher has 15 points and continues to play pivotal minutes for the Habs. Schultz leads rookie defensemen with 15 points, but is saddled with a minus-10. Galchenyuk narrowly edged Jake Muzzin, Dougie Hamilton and Vladimir Taresenko.
1. Joel Quennville, Chicago Blackhawks (24)
2. Bruce Boudreau, Anaheim Ducks (17)
3. Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators (15)
4. Michel Therrien, Montreal Canadiens (13)
5. Kirk Muller, Carolina Hurricanes (3)
The top four have been solidified for some time in the Adams race, with Coach Q still just ahead of Boudreau. Muller edges out Claude Julien and Randy Carlyle for the final slot.
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