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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Allow Me To Influence You...Blog Cosby's Picks for Player Awards

Let the celebration of winners begin!

Hart Trophy: Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
Why? I had to battle in my head between Miller and Bryzgalov, but in the end the stats said Miller played fewer games, faced significantly more shots, and maintained a higher save percentage and GAA. Now this alone doesn’t give him the win; since Bryzer has more wins, it becomes a closer battle. But I thought about the season and its highlights. Apart from Miller's stellar performance in the Olympics (which holds no bearing on my decision), he had far more highlight-reel saves than Bryzgalov, which tells me he made the extra effort to keep his team alive more often than Bryzgalov did.

The rest? One, Sedin can’t win, since they both had virtually the same points-per-game. Washington does fine without Ovie, as does the Pitts without Sid.

Vezina Trophy: Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
Why? He wins the Hart, how can he not win the Vezina?!

Calder Trophy: Tyler Myers, Buffalo Sabres
Why? Well you may think I have a thing for Buffalo, but you’d be wrong, they just had the right crew this year. Tyler Myers at 6’8” 222lbs, is expected to play the Chara role, and as a rookie at the age of 20, it’s hard to live up to expectation. He managed to pot over 40 points (more than Chara have you) and stay above a +11, on a team that has very little actual defense, in fact I would say they have more defensive forwards than defense. I know the complaints come in when he doesn’t take loads of shots and doesn’t crunch his opponents, but those aspects will come with time, and if you can get that many points your first season as a rookie, the hard part is done.
The rest? Jimmy Howard did a great job, but being six years older and having played NHL games in three previous seasons, he had too much time to develop to where he’s at. I give props to Matt Duchene, but he didn’t quite awe me.

Jack Adams Award: Dave Tippett, Phoenix Coyotes
Why? Let’s be honest, he took a team that shouldn’t have even started the season and organized a group that is unpredictable. The consistency of the 'Yotes after injuries is possibly the most impressive.
The rest? Joe Sacco and the Avs are impressive in their own ways, but it’s also not uncommon for a group of rookies and young players to play well together. As the Avs are currently in 8th place in the West, their journey is a bit less surprising.

Norris Trophy: Mike Green, Washington Capitols
Why? The big hype for d-men this year has been reserved for Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty, but I really think Mike Green was the most outstanding of all the defensemen. He has put up as many points as he did last season but switched his focus to the defensive side of the game, despite leading all d-men in goals. I also take into consideration the other defenseman that he plays with and I don’t see a superb group (apart from the recent acquisition of Joe Corvo). He is a standout on his team (for defense) and at his age he already tops them all (though I give big credit to Doughty).

The rest? Keith has a lot of defensive talent around him to both learn from and work with, so I consider his effort great, but also a result of a good team around him. Doughty has less talent around him, but still is learning the role and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him putting up Green-like numbers in the next few seasons.

Selke Trophy: Alex Burrows, Vancouver Canucks
Why? I know everyone says his numbers are mostly the result of playing with Swedish Twins, but he did play half of the season without them, and more importantly he plays shorthanded without them and is tied for the league lead with five shorthanded goals. He has maintained a +/- over 30 and does all of this while picking up 100+ PIMS. In addition to those numbers he has almost 70 takeaways, and only 20 giveaways.

Masterton Trophy: Tim Connolly, Buffalo Sabres
Why? Ok, now you really think I’m a Sabres fan. I chose Connolly because he surprised everyone. I’m not talking about his point totals because they are no surprise; I’m talking about playing most of the season! Since the lockout this guy has struggled with injuries, playing a total 161 games over four seasons (that’s out of a possible 328 games!). Connolly suffered from post-concussion syndrome from two different hits over those four seasons; to come out on top this season shows his perseverance in the game of hockey. Many players have made a return after a multiple-season injury, but most of them don’t produce the same as they did before.

And now for my personally created award...

Clarke Award: Chris Stewart, Colorado Avalanche
Why? (Should be) given annually to the player who isn’t afraid to fight for his team while being a vital component to the scoreboard. Stewart has neared a point-per-game this season, and even though he’s not breaking 100 PIMS, he will get into a fight, even with a goon. He has fought 7 times, many of them in the later part of the season. Players like Stewart (Getzlaf, Richards, and Backes, too) are more than valuable players. These guys contribute not only through raw talent, but through intimidation of their opponents. They show they have the grit to do what they need to do and nothing will get in their way (apart from the occasional sprained ankle...ahem...Getzlaf).


  1. I'd like to give the Clarke Award to Steve Downie of the Lightning. I know that sounds completely insane, but some of his stats are kinda interesting:

    21 goals, 202 PIMs, 8 fights, +15 in a team where no one else has a + rating (Stamkos is 2nd with -1, counting players with 10+ games).
    Especially the +/- rating makes absolutely no sense...

  2. Downie just knows when to get off the ice.

    I'd also give the Clarke to Downie, in part because he's willing to calf-rope Crosby.

  3. Love the Foligno's a rare mid-jump moment, and that Northland helmet is impeccably painted.

    I understand you like Burrows, but I have to knock the PIM's. 111 PIM, only 1 fight all memorable 16 PIM game in January (Auger incident). On a team that's 17th in the league on the penalty kill, that hurts a bit.

  4. We'll see next season. If he could shift some of those PIMS to Points, he's gold.

  5. Ok, so Burrows has a lot of minor PIMS, but that is apart from his defensive skill which is present when he's not the one in the box. Keep in mind he's not the only one getting loads of PIMS on the team, as Kesler is right up there(80+).

    I actually gave Mike Krushelnyski $20 to give me a memorable photo opportunity. I'm glad he chose Foligno over Ramage, though both were lined up perfect.

  6. There's something dirty about Rob might be the moustache...


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