As a follow up to my lists of award contenders, here are my picks for the major individual awards.
Runners up: Getzlaf, Giroux, Pavelski, Kopitar
Crosby runs away with this one. His 103 points is gaudy in today’s NHL and he played most often with non-stars Kunitz, Dupuis, and Stempniak. He played a huge number of minutes, drew penalties, played against the other team’s best — he did it all. Pavelski may be a surprise on the runners up list, but he really shouldn’t: he scored 40 goals, was strong defensively, and played in all situations.
Vezina (top goalie)
Runners up: Varlamov, Price, Bobrovsky, Bishop
This was a tight choice between Rask and Varlamov but I gave the edge to Rask’s better 5-on-5 save percentage. (Assessing goalies is always difficult.)
Calder (top rookie)
Runners up: Palat, Johnson, Trouba, Krug
MacKinnon lead all contenders in points, shots, and penalty differential, but this wasn’t an easy selection. I can see cases for Palat with his excellent production on tough minutes or Trouba for doing well while forgoing the sheltered minutes usually given to rookie defencemen.
Norris (top defenceman)
Runners up: Weber, Karlsson, Suter, Niskanen
The only thing that made this a tough call for Giordano was the time he missed. He had sparkling numbers (+13% GF% rel and +10% CF% rel) while playing the toughest minutes in all situations on a bad team. Some may be surprised with Niskanen as a runner up but he performed very well playing mostly with a rookie (Maatta) and two boat anchors (Scuderi and Engelland). Despite not playing as many minutes as other D his +30 5-on-5 goal differential is best among Norris contenders.
Selke (top defensive forward)
Runners up: Bergeron, Getzlaf, Toews, Little
This was a two-horse race between Bergeron and Kopitar. What pushed me over towards Kopitar is his higher quality of competition, more ice time (3 mins/game), and ridiculous +20% GF% rel. Just to spell that last point out: while he was on the ice at 5 on 5, the Kings scored 56 goals and allowed 25 (69%). While he was on the bench, they were 75-78 (49%). It doesn’t hurt that he also had 70 points.