Every other Friday, we’ll bring you an updated look at the candidates for the major awards around the league…
Stats: 31 GP, 24 G, 20 A, 44 Pts, +7
Though his production hasn’t been at an unworldly pace like earlier in the season, Stamkos has still been a key cog for Tampa Bay. He definitely had as Hart Trophy moment last weekend as he bailed out his team in Vancouver with the overtime winner. The early favorite for this award has some catching up to do to catch Crosby.
3. Pavel Datsyuk
Stats: 30 GP, 11 G, 26 A, 37 Pts, +10
Datsyuk has been one of the more dominant two-way players this year, and has 15 points in the last 10 games.
Other candidates: Tim Thomas, Brad Richards, Daniel Sedin
2. Carey Price
Stats: 29 GP, 18-9-2, 2.10 GAA, .930 SV%, 4 SO
One of the more telling statistics on Price’s resume this season is not wins, goals-against, or shutouts; it’s his .930 save percentage. When you play night in and night out like he does (similarly to the Lundqvists and Kiprusoffs), your save percentage can fall off a bit. But Price has been rock-solid for Montreal all year. It’s one of the better stories of the first half.
3. Ondrej Pavelec
Stats: 21 GP, 10-6-3, 1.80 GAA, .943 SV%, 2 SO
Pavelec has jumped into this mix with his stellar play over the last month.
Other candidates: Jonathan Quick, Jaroslav Halak, Henrik Lundqvist
2. Jeffrey Skinner
Stats: 30 GP, 8 G, 14 A, 22 Pts, -5
The early hype surrounding Skinner has been a bit subdued of late, but he is still second on Carolina in scoring behind Eric Staal.
3. Jordan Eberle
Stats: 31 GP, 9 G, 13 A, 22 Pts, -2
Back before the season, I stated that Eberle would be the best of the Oilers rookies this season; so far, he has been. Eberle’s nine goals are third for rookies (behind Couture and Hall). He is also logging over 18 minutes of ice time per game, tops for rookie forwards. Eberle’s skill has been seen first-hand on opening night and in a recent shootout. This kid is the real deal!
Other candidates: Sergei Bobrovsky, Kevin Shattenkirk, Taylor Hall
2. Dustin Byfuglien
Stats: 33 GP, 11 G, 22 A, 33 Pts, +6
Big Buff’s quick adjustment to the blueline is a big key to the Thrashers’ first half success.
3. Nicklas Lidstrom
Stats: 30 GP, 7 G, 19 A, 26 Pts, +5
Lidstrom had two points in 11 games before Wednesday’s hat trick. Is the future Hall of Famer back on track?
Other candidates: Zdeno Chara, Lubomir Visnovsky, John-Michael Liles
Back in September, if you would have told me that the Thrashers would be one point behind the Capitals on Dec. 17, I wouldn’t have believed you. But that is exactly the case as the Kovalchuk-less Thrashers have been the surprise team of the season. Ramsay is proving that he was the perfect fit for a young team like this one. If he keeps this up, Ramsay should be the Jack Adams favorite.
2. Guy Boucher
Record: 17-10-4, 38 points, 7th Eastern Conference
Atlanta is getting a lot of recognition, but Boucher’s Bolts are also knocking on Washington’s door.
3. Joe Sacco
Record: 17-10-4, 38 points, 5th Western Conference
Amid all of the injuries, Sacco once again has his Avalanche in playoff position; they’re also the second-highest scoring team in the league.
Other candidates: Mike Babcock, Marc Crawford, Barry Trotz
Photos credit: NHL.com
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