These are the totally official Puck Drunk Love NHL midseason awards. Don’t let any of the other writers fool you, this is the best and only list you need to read. This will be a thorough breakdown of all the awards you know and love.
Hart Trophy: Patrick Kane
It may ruffle the feathers of some but Patrick Kane is easily the best player in the league this year. He not only leads the league in points but does so by a substantial margin. He has had a very, very impressive year and it is really amazing that he hasn’t fallen off a cliff with his shooting percentage. His linemates have done wonders for him as well as it seems like he has finally found a home with players that jive with his style of play. Players like Jamie Benn, Braden Holtby and Erik Karlsson could also probably stake a claim but with a year like this it will be a wonder if Kane doesn’t win it.
Vezina Trophy: Braden Holtby
Holtby is becoming the player many imagined when they heard goalie coach Mitch Korn was coming with Barry Trotz over to the Capitals. He is not only changing the Capitals outlook in the division but also changing their outlook around the league. Holtby is rocking a .940 even strength save percentage one of the best in the entire league. It helps that he is on one of the best teams in the league too. Roberto Luongo is also staking a claim to the award who is neck-in-neck with Holtby in almost every statistical category.
Calder Trophy: Artemi Panarin
Panarin is running away with the rookie scoring race and it is easy for people to forget that. He is playing with Kane which may seem easy but at times Panarin is the star of that line and overshadows Kane. What makes him so special is the fact that he was such an unknown commodity before the season. The fact that his rookie season is coming at 24 is just showing that rookies can come in all shapes and sizes, just need to know where to look. Dylan Larkin and Max Domi both can stake a claim when season end comes.
Norris Trophy: Erik Karlsson
Many will tell you that Erik Karlsson doesn’t play defense but why the hell does that matter if he is always playing on your side of the ice? He is having a season that defensemen just don’t have anymore. At a point-per-game pace, Karlsson is an absolute weapon on the blue line and takes a mediocre Senators team and makes them very potent. He carries around any skater he is paired with and magically pulls them up to his caliber of play. Drew Doughty is the name that may catch him but that is very unlikely but don’t be surprised if John Klingberg comes into the conversation later on.
Jack Adams Award: Lindy Ruff
When you have the most exciting team in the league, it doesn’t always translate into the best team in the league. Somehow Lindy Ruff has been able to do both at the same time. Ruff and the Stars went through some growing pains last year which was to be expected with some overhaul of the roster. Players like Spezza and Hemsky took awhile to assimilate but this year they appear to be doing just fine. It remains to be seen how exactly they will finish out the year and perform in the playoffs but something tells me they will be okay. Barry Trotz much like Ruff helped his team find an identity and bring it to life, don’t be surprised if he or Gerard Gallant win the award come seasons end.
Selke Trophy: Anze Kopitar
A claim could be staked that a lot of the usual suspects should win this award. They wouldn’t be wrong. Patrice Bergeron is continuing to have a stellar year. Pavel Datsyuk is forever underrated. Hell, you could even make a case for Sean Couturier this year. Kopitar though is the catalyst for the most dominant team in the Western Conference. He has some of the strongest possession metrics of the bunch and is at the top of the scoring sheet for the Los Angeles Kings. While players like Jonathan Toews get the publicity players like Kopitar are much closer to the real deal.
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Alexander Wennberg
Wennberg is mostly an unknown commodity but he is one of the few players in the league that have zero penalty minutes this season. Wennberg in conjunction with his lack of penalty minutes is also having a breakout season on a perennially bad team. He is the white light at the end of the tunnel for a Blue Jackets team looking for good news. Datsyuk may stake claim on this trophy as well and his teammate Brad Richards will also have a say too. They both have zero penalty minutes and have been around this league long enough to merit some recognition for their gentlemanly play.
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