We move further into the 2010s today on NHL Saturday which means we’re only a decade behind the present day at this time. Remember when this series started? We do, but it seems so long ago—because it was! We hope to arrive at the present day just as the playoffs are digging deep in North American professional hockey. What a sport …
Here’s the good stuff; enjoy!
2011 Hart: Corey Perry (original, confirmed)
The top trio of forwards in the league were Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin (14.33 Point Shares), Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry (13,27), and Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (12.2). Sedin’s twin brother Henrik won the Hart vote and our nod last year; Perry won the vote this year. How does this all shake out for our analysis?
Well, the Canucks posted the highest point total in the league (117) with a playoff buffer of 22 points, while the Ducks had just 4 points to spare in securing their postseason berth. The Lightning were working with a 12-point margin themselves, so we will confirm Perry’s vote win an the strength of contextual value.
His numbers: an NHL-best 50 goals, 48 assists, 104 PIMs, a career-high 22:19 ATOI, and league-leading totals in both even-strength goals (32) and game-winning goals (11). Clearly, Anaheim would have been home golfing in the spring if not for Perry’s impressive efforts.
2011 Norris: Nicklas Lidström (original), Lubomir Visnovsky (revised)
Detroit Red Wings legend Nicklas Lidström won his seventh and final Norris vote (we’ve only granted him 3 of the prior 6 trophies, though), despite posting just 9.5 PS—which ranked ninth among defensemen. He won’t be keeping this piece of hardware, either. There are a lot of better candidates, including Ducks blueliner Lubomir Visnovsky (12.8), the only d-man in the league Top 10 for value.
The next-best defenseman was Vancouver veteran Christian Ehrhoff (10.4), so with the small margin for error in Anaheim’s playoff cushion, we will just give this award now to Visnovsky. His stats—18G, 50A, and 24:18 ATOI—were huge difference makers for the Ducks in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup playoff berth they eventually secured.
2011 Vezina: Tim Thomas (original), Henrik Lundqvist (revised)
Goaltenders dominated the league again: Caroline Hurricanes star Cam Ward (16.83), Boston Bruins stalwart Tim Thomas (16.15), Montréal Canadiens phenom Carey Price (15.37), Nashville Predators veteran Pekka Rinne (15.09), Phoenix Coyotes journeyman Ilya Bryzgalov (14.66), New York Rangers legend Henrik Lundqvist (13.95), and Canucks starter Roberto Luongo (13.57) all finished in the NHL Top 10 for Point Shares.
First cut: The Hurricanes missed the postseason, and we know the Canucks cruised into the postseason by a huge margin. That narrows it down, and the Bruins had a 12-point cushion for the postseason, while the Habs only had a 5-point margin of error. The Preds had a 4-point edge over the ninth-best team in the Western Conference, and the ‘Yotes had the same 4-point cushion as Nashville.
Meanwhile, the Rangers squeaked into the postseason by just 2 points in the Eastern Conference. So, even though Thomas won the vote, this looks like Lundqvist’s award with that slim margin for error. This is the second Vezina we have given Lundqvist, in addition to the Calder he earned from us as well. His numbers—36-27-5 on a team that went 44-33-5, along with a league-best 11 shutouts—are rock solid.
2011 Calder: Jeff Skinner (original), Corey Crawford (revised)
Five rookies finished with at least 8 PS this season: Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (10.0), Philadelphia Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (9.4), Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson (8.8), Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner (8.1), and New York Islanders right wing Michael Grabner (8.1). Skinner won the vote in his age-18 season.
The Blackhawks were the defending champs, and Crawford stepped in to snare them the final playoff spot in the Western Conference by 2 points, so we’re not sure how we can give this nod to anyone else. The Flyers cruised into the postseason by winning the Atlantic Division, while the Caps won the Southeast Division. We know Carolina missed the postseason, and so did the Isles. Easy!
Crawford’s stats were very good: 33-18-6, 2.30 GAA, .917 S%, and 4 shutouts—this on a team that went 44-29-9. He was the difference between a failed Cup defense and at least a shot at a decent chance to repeat.
2011 Conn Smythe: Tim Thomas (original, confirmed)
The Bruins beat the Canucks in Game 7 on the road, 4-0, to claim the Stanley Cup, and Thomas was named the Conn Smythe winner after posting a 1.98 GAA and a .940 S% throughout the postseason, including 4 shutouts—capped by the Game 7 gem in Vancouver. With no one on the Boston roster notching even a point a game, we only have to look at the losing team’s stats now.
And there’s nothing there: no goalie could top Thomas, and no skater on the Canucks scored a point a game, either, so we confirm Thomas’ hardware here, readily.