|Evgeni Malkin will score big at the NHL Awards in June. "Best Makeout" not included.|
Hart Memorial Trophy - Evgeni Malkin
When we heard that Geno had been working out like a beast in the offseason, we knew he was going to have a huge season. Not only did he dominate the NHL scoring race, but he has helped lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to the playoffs for most of the season without Sidney Crosby or Kris Letang. Malkin is definitely the league's MVP.
Vezina Trophy - Henrik Lundqvist
While this was an excellent year for goalies, Lundqvist is the King of them as he among the league leaders in Wins, GAA, SV%, and Shutouts. While Brian Elliott's stats are historic, he just didn't play enough games. Lundqvist has helped lead the New York Rangers to their first division title since 1993-94, when they won the Stanley Cup.
Another great crop of rookies entered the NHL this season, but Landeskog was the most dominant of them all. Not only did he tie for the rookie scoring race and finish 2nd in goals, but he also had a +20 rating, 219 hits and 270 shots. Playing big minutes for the Avs this year because of injuries, Landy helped the Avs stay in the playoff hunt to the very end and looks to be a dominant player in the NHL very soon.
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy - Max Pacioretty
There's no shortage of nominees for this award, but I think you have to go with Max Pacioretty. After breaking a vertebrae in his neck and sustaining a severe concussion last March, he recovered to score his first 30-goal season on the 1 year anniversary of the infamous Stanchion collision. So many deserving candidates, but Pacioretty's story is pretty amazing.
Jack Adams Award - Ken Hitchcock
Since taking over the St. Louis Blues with a 6-7-0 record under Davis Payne, Hitchcock posted a 43-15-11 record and had them competing for the Presidents' Trophy. Under his systems, the Blues allowed the fewest goals against, and had the 2nd best 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio in the NHL. Not many expected the Blues to make the playoffs, but Hitchcock turned them into a Stanley Cup contender.
Frank J. Selke Trophy - Patrice Bergeron
It's about time Patrice Bergeron got some credit for what he does on the ice. He's a penalty kill and powerplay staple for the Bruins with a majority of his points coming at even strength. He's the faceoff king in the NHL this year with the most wins, and if there's one guy you don't want covering you, it's Bergeron who had an NHL best +36 rating.
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy - Jordan Eberle
Looking at the top players in the NHL, there are plenty of candidates to choose from that "score a lot of points, but don't take penalties", but not everyone can win this highly-sought after award. Eberle was almost in the Top 10 in scoring this year on a dreadful Edmonton Oilers team with only 10 PIMs. How you don't take more penalties out of sheer frustration playing for the Oilers deserves an award.
What do you think about our selections? Who do you think will win?