Sunday, October 1 2023

The finalists for the NHL’s regular-season awards are being announced, and the question surrounding the Hart Trophy is not who will win but whether Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid can sweep the first-place votes.

McDavid finished with 153 points, the first player to top 150 since Mario Lemieux had 161 in 1995-96, and won the scoring race by 25 points. He was announced on Wednesday as one of the three finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, the most outstanding player award voted on by members of the NHL Players’ Association.

The Hart Trophy finalists will be announced on Friday and all the winners will be revealed at the June 26 NHL Awards show in Nashville, Tennessee.

Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark tied for the league lead in wins and led in goals-against average and save percentage.Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark tied for the league lead in wins and led in goals-against average and save percentage.

Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark tied for the league lead in wins and led in goals-against average and save percentage.

Here are the finalists announced so far (listed alphabetically):

Who are the finalists for the Vezina Trophy (top goaltender)?

Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets

Ilya Sorokin, New York Islanders

Linus Ullmark, Boston Bruins

Who votes: General managers

Analysis: Ullmark is the expected winner after tying for the league lead with 40 wins and leading in goals-against average (1.89) and save percentage (.938) for the record-setting Bruins. He even scored a goal. Sorokin had a league-best six shutouts and allowed one goal or fewer in 21 of his 60 starts. Hellebuyck led the league with 64 starts and recorded a save percentage over .900 in 46 of them.

Who are the finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award (most outstanding player)?

Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins

Who votes: Players

Analysis: McDavid is the likely winner after having the best season in the NHL since the 1990s, but Karlsson and Pastrnak also had special seasons. Karlsson is the first defenseman since the 1990s to record 100 points, and Pastrnak finished with a career-best 61 goals as the Bruins finished with a record 65 wins and 135 points. His contributions were particularly important when Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy were out at the beginning of the season. McDavid is a three-time winner. Karlsson and Pastrnak are first-time finalists.

Who are the finalists for the Masterton Trophy (perseverance)?

Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes

Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins

Alex Stalock, Chicago Blackhawks

Who votes: Professional Hockey Writers Association

Analysis: Letang came back from the second stroke of his career. He averaged nearly 25 minutes a game and had 41 points in 64 games. Keller came back from a broken femur in March 2022 to play all 82 games and set career highs with 37 goals, 49 assists and 86 points. Stalock was diagnosed with myocarditis after testing positive for COVID-19 in 2019-20. He appeared in 27 games with the Blackhawks, going 9-15-2 with a 3.01 goals-against average.

Who are the finalists for the Jack Adams Award (top coach)?

Dave Hakstol, Seattle Kraken

Jim Montgomery, Boston Bruins

Lindy Ruff, New Jersey Devils

Who votes: NHL Broadcasters’ Association

Analysis: Montgomery is the expected winner because he helped the Bruins set a record with 65 wins and 135 points during his first year with the team. To do that, the Bruins had to overcome the early season injury absences of Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy. Hakstol guided the Kraken to their first playoff berth in the franchise’s second season, leading the team to a 40-point improvement, a record for a second-year team. Ruff’s Devils improved by 49 points, a record for an 82-game season, and ended a four-year playoff drought. Their 52 wins and 112 points were franchise records. Ruff is a four-time finalist and won in 2005-06 with the Buffalo Sabres.

Who are the finalists for the Norris Trophy (top defenseman)?

Adam Fox, New York Rangers

Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks

Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche

Who votes: PHWA

Analysis: All are previous winners. Karlsson, who won in 2011-12 and 2014-15, recorded the first 100-point season by a defenseman since Brian Leetch in 1991-92. Fox, the 2020-21 winner, had 72 points in 82 games and led defensemen with 88 takeaways. Makar, last year’s winner, was limited to 60 games this season by injuries but averaged 1.1 points per game and had a league-best 26:23 in average ice time. He became the quickest defenseman to reach 200 career points (195 games). Considering that Makar missed 22 games, it’s a little surprising that Josh Morrissey, Dougie Hamilton, Brandon Montour, Rasmus Dahlin or Miro Heiskanen didn’t get enough votes to finish in the top three.

Who are the finalists for the Calder Trophy (top rookie)?

Matty Beniers, Seattle Kraken

Owen Power, Buffalo Sabres

Stuart Skinner, Edmonton Oilers

Who votes: PHWA

Analysis: Beniers and Power, who returned to the University of Michigan after being the second and first pick, respectively, of the 2021 draft, made their marks this season. Beniers led all rookie scorers with 57 points to help the Kraken reach the playoffs in their second season. Power led rookie defensemen with 35 points and led all rookies in average ice time (23:48). Skinner set an Oilers rookie record with 29 wins, taking the net when free agent signee Jack Campbell struggled.

Who are the finalists for the Selke Trophy (top defensive forward)?

Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils

Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs

Who votes: PHWA

Analysis: Bergeron is a Selke finalist for the 12th consecutive season. The five-time winner led the league in faceoff wins and was on the ice for only 27 even-strength goals against. Hischier was the top forward on the league’s fourth-ranked penalty-killing unit. Marner led the league with 104 takeaways, the seventh player with 100 or more since the statistic was introduced in 1997-98.

Who are the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship)?

Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils

Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning

Who votes: PHWA

Analysis: Hughes had a career- and franchise-best 99 points while taking only six penalty minutes. Kopitar led the Kings with 74 points and had only four penalty minutes. Point did have a fighting major in March, but had only seven penalty minutes while scoring 51 goals.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL awards: Vezina Trophy finalists announced for top goalie

Source: Yahoo Sports


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