It’s time for NHL Awards predictions, so it’s time for the 2014 NHL Awards Spectacular, which predicts the winner for each award handed out, as well as who should win all the awards. To see my NHL Awards predictions for who will take home the hardware, continue reading.
Making NHL Awards predictions is part hockey knowledge, part player performance, part east coast bias. Below are both NHL Awards predictions, for who I think will win, and who I think truly deserves to win the awards this year. So let’s hand out some hardware.
Lady Byng Trophy
Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks
Ryan O’Reilly, Colorado Avalanche
Martin St Louis, New York Rangers
Who Will Win: Ryan O’Reilly
Who Should Win: Ryan O’Reilly
While the other two men are quite gentlemanly hockey players, but O’Reilly only had ONE penalty called on him the entire season. And even that penalty was pretty weak (playing with a broken stick). While low penalty minutes isn’t the prerequisite to win, it seems to have become that over recent years. That said, this is O’Reilly’s trophy to take home.
Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Who Will Win: Nathan MacKinnon
Who Should Win: Nathan MacKinnon
The Lighning duo helped Tampa make the playoffs this year despite losing Steven Stamkos to a broken leg for half the season, and a trade demand by Martin St Louis to go to New York. Despite their accomplishments, they’d likely split a vote. If anyone actually voted for them. Nathan MacKinnon should likely be a unanimous choice for rookie of the year, proving that he was definitely worthy of the top overall draft pick. MacKinnon was a key part to the Avalanche resurgence, and he led all rookies in goals, assists, and points.
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Who Will Win: Patrice Bergeron
Who Should Win: Anze Kopitar
Expect this award to have a bit of an east coast bias. Bergeron has been the talk all season in terms of a two way forward. However, the Eastern Conference is not that good, as this Stanley Cup Playoffs proved. While the writers will likely give the Selke to Bergeron, I think Anze Kopitar had his star making season, and is more deserving of the award. If the award were given out after the postseason, Kopitar would be a lock after shutting down the top centers on the top teams of the top conference, all the way to a championship.
Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche
Who Will Win: Tuukka Rask
Who Should Win: Tuukka Rask
While there might be some support for Varlamov, there might also be so self righteous writers who will punish him for his domestic drama earlier in the season. But in the end, Rask was dominant this year. He led the league in shutouts, and had the best save percentage of goalies playing in at least half the games, as well as second in goals against average amongst that same group. Unfortunately for Rask, the Vezina is good, but not good enough to forget a playoff loss to a hated rival.
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
Who Will Win: Zdeno Chara
Who Should Win: Duncan Keith
Chara will get credit for being the biggest monster on the best defensive team this season, albeit in an inferior conference. Keith was the defensive soul of a defending champion team that played nearly as well as a season ago. Keith also bested Chara in both points and assists.
Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Who Will Win: Jonathan Toews
Who Should Win: Jonathan Toews
This is one of the no brainer awards of the night. Toews is universally seen around hockey circles, both NHL and internationally, as the ultimate captain in the game today. Toews leads a potential dynasty, and has already been the first to touch the Stanley Cup twice already, definitely captain material.
Jaromir Jagr, New Jersey Devils
Dominic Moore, New York Rangers
Manny Malhotra, Carolina Hurricanes
Who Will Win: Dominic Moore
Who Should Win: Dominic Moore
Jagr was nominated for being old and still playing. Malhotra was nominated for making it back from an ugly eye injury that had him make his way back through the minors and finally with Carolina in the NHL. But the saga that Dominic Moore has gone through is heartbreaking. Moore stepped away from the NHL to be with his wife Katie, who was diagnosed with liver cancer, and passed away. Moore came back this season, started a foundation for cancer research, and led the Rangers back to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in twenty years.
Jack Adams Award
Mike Babcock, Detroit Red Wings
Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning
Patrick Roy, Colorado Avalanche
Who Will Win: Patrick Roy
Who Should Win: Patrick Roy
This is likely to be another Avalanche of votes for someone from Colorado. Roy stepped behind an NHL bench for the first time this season, and this started with a bang. From trying to fight another coach on opening night, to changing the way coaches think about pulling the goalie, Roy has been the talk of coaching circles. While Babcock would be a great choice to win his first, Roy’s first season was just too good.
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Who Will Win: Sidney Crosby
Who Should Win: Ryan Getzlaf
While it might be blasphemy for me to say that the Golden Child shouldn’t win yet another MVP, I don’t think this is his year. Getzlaf battle through the Western Conference, carrying the Ducks to a #1 seed. While Crosby has the numbers, he also has more talented linemates, and the benefit of a cozy east coast schedule. While most writers will disagree with me and give Crosby the award, I think Getzlaf was the true MVP of the thrilling hockey season.
That’s all for the NHL Awards predictions this year. It’s the final chapter of what has been an amazing season of hockey, both regular season and playoffs.
Bryan Vickroy has an addiction to hockey, and is willing to partake in all its forms. He is skating extra shifts for The Sports Bank, covering the Minnesota Wild, the NHL, and NCAA hockey, including the Frozen Four, all year long. Look for new articles throughout the week. He can be followed on Twitter at @bryanvickroy. If you’d prefer to speak in more than 140 characters at a time to him, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.