We’ve been on a bit of a vacation with NHL Saturday, but we’re back now after some traveling that made posting/writing a bit challenging. And with our return comes the 2013 season for professional hockey in North America … a 48-game, shortened season due to labor strife. So, the Point Shares marks are going to seem a little low; just fair warning.
With that out of the way, on with the show!
2013 Hart: Alex Ovechkin (original, confirmed)
There were six real candidates for this award: Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8.0 Point Shares), Pittsburgh Penguins Chris Kunitz (7.8), Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (7.6), Chicago right wing Patrick Kane (7.6), Pittsburgh C Sidney Crosby (7.5), and Tampa Bay Lightning C Steven Stamkos (7.1). Our two teammates duos lose out here, so we’re down to Ovi and Stamkos.
The Caps made the postseason by 6 points, so Ovi has value; can Stamkos top that? No, as Tampa Bay missed the postseason entirely. Thus, we can confirm Ovechkin’s vote win, and this is his second Hart nod from us (2008). He led the NHL in goals (32), power-play goals (16), and shots on goal (220), while adding 24A, 36 PIM, and 20:53 ATOI.
2013 Norris: P.K. Subban (original), Ryan Suter (revised)
The three top candidates here were Montréal Canadiens youngster P.K. Subban (7.1 PS), Penguins star Kris Letang (6.3), and Minnesota Wild free-agent acquisition Ryan Suter (6.0). The Habs cruised into the postseason with a 12-point cushion, while the Pens posted 72 points, the top mark in the Eastern Conference, to establish a 21-point margin for error. What about the Wild?
Minnesota claimed the last playoff spot in the Western Conference on a tiebreak, so it looks like Subban won’t keep his vote-won hardware. We’re giving it to Suter instead, because without him, the Wild miss the postseason entirely. His numbers: 32 points (4G, 28A), 24 PIMs, and 27:17 ATOI. Defensively, he was sixth in the NHL with 3.6 DPS. Minnesota’s decision to buy Suter’s services was a smart one.
2013 Vezina: Sergei Bobrovsky (original, confirmed)
Eight goaltenders finished within 1.5 PS of each other, making this a very crowded field. We narrow it down by postseason participants: New York Rangers stallwart Henrik Lundqvist (9.34 PS), San Jose Sharks veteran Antti Niemi (9.24), Detroit Red Wings starter Jimmy Howard (8.44), Boston Bruins backup Tuukka Rask (7.98), and Washington youngster Braden Holtby (7.98).
Now, Columbus Blue Jackets youngster Sergei Bobrovsky (9.24) won the vote, but his team lost that Western Conference tiebreak to Minnesota. There is still value there, but we know the Caps had a 6-point cushion, so Holtby has value, too. The Bruins had an 11-point margin, so Rask is out. The Red Wings had a 1-point edge on the Minnesota/Columbus tiebreak, giving Howard a big edge right now.
The Sharks had a 2-point cushion on that Western Conference final spot, while the Rangers came in with a 5-point margin for error. In order, to us, it looks like this surprisingly: Niemi, Howard, and Bobrovsky. It’s not the latter’s fault he lost a tiebreak, and we argue the Blue Jackets would have been out of contention entirely without him. Howard has a slight edge on Niemi here, when combining margins and PS marks.
We will confirm Bobrovsky’s award: 21-11-6, 2.00 GAA, .932 S%, 4 SOs, and a league-best 21.5 GSAA. In 11 starts with other goalies, the Blue Jackets only got 3 victories. The head coach made a mistake there.
2013 Calder: Jonathan Huberdeau (original), Jake Muzzin (revised)
Florida Panthers C Jonathan Huberdeau finished ninth among rookies in PS (3.3), but somehow, he won the Calder vote despite his team finishing with the worst record in the Eastern Conference. What a terrible vote! We have better candidates: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin (4.8), Ottawa Senators D Patrick Wiercioch (4.4), and Montréal RW Brendan Gallagher (4.0).
The Kings had a 4-point postseason cushion; the Sens had a 5-point margin; and the Habs had that 12-point security blanket. This means the award should Muzzin’s for the following stat line: 7G, 9A, plus-16 rating, and 35 PIMs. He finished eighth in the voting at the time, which is odd, although the Kings were the defending champions, and they did struggle a bit. But still … what a bad voting error!
2013 Conn Smythe: Patrick Kane (original), Corey Crawford (revised)
Chicago topped Boston in 6 games to claim its second Cup title in four seasons, winning Game 6 on the road to clinch it. RW Patrick Kane took home the Conn Smythe honors via the vote at the time, as he compiled 19 points in 23 games to top all Blackhawks skaters for the postseason. We’re not super impressed, so we will look elsewhere to see what is available.
Goalie Corey Crawford is more deserving to us: 16-7, 1.84 GAA, .932 S%. Anytime a goaltender posts a sub-2.00 GAA in the postseason, he’s going to top a skater that couldn’t even average a point per game. Boston would have had two candidates if it had managed to reach a Game 7, but Crawford’s numbers are too good to ignore in favor of a player from the losing team. So, Crawford it is, our 2011 Calder winner.
Check in on Saturdays for our NHL awards historical analysis on The Daily McPlay!