The NHL Awards Show airs tonight on Versus and CBC. And in America, I expect the ratings to be lower than dirt. Regardless, the NHL Award Show is a great night for fans and players alike.
The Candidates for the Major Awards and My Predictions:
Hart: Sidney Crosby, Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo
My Prediction: While Brodeur and Luongo both had equally great seasons, how can you deny the 19-year-old face of the game who lead the entire league in scoring? Sidney Crosby takes it.
Vezina: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, Miikka Kipursoff, Henrik Lundqvist
My Prediction: You can cross off Kipper and Henrik from this list, as it is a two horse race. While Brodeur did set the wins record this year, Luongo had just one less and he did it in less games. Brodeur had the better team in front of him, so I'm going with Roberto Luongo.
Calder: Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Paul Stastny
My Prediction: Sure, Malkin was basically handed the award before the season started, and most Avs fans thought Wolski would be here instead of Stastny. But Paul has been incredible this year, knocking Anze Kopitar out of this race. He outscored Malkin in the second half of the season and set a new rookie scoring streak record. There's no way Staal will get it over Malkin, so it becomes a two horse race. My vote goes to Paul Stastny.
Selke: Jay Pandolfo, Rod Brind'Amour, Sammie Pahlsson
My Prediction: Pahlsson is a former Av, so I'm sort of pulling for him. If you watched the Ducks this season, you'd understand that Pahlsson is the runaway winner in this. Winning the Cup didn't hurt either :P
Jack Adams: Lindy Ruff, Michel Therrien, Alain Vigenault
My Prediction: Lets forget abut Ruff winning this award because of how much of a favorite his team was coming into this season. It's very rate that the Jack Adams goes to a coach whose team was SUPPOSED to do well. That leaves us with Therrien, who took a young Penguins squad with two rookies playing key parts, to the Playoffs. We also have Vigenault, who coached the Nucks to a division title in the toughest division in hockey. However, if not for the Sedins, who knows where they would be. Michel Therrien takes this one because of his ability to turn around a club that was in last place last year and he had the guts to put Jordan Staal on the penalty kill in his first game. Not bad.
Norris: Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger
My Prediction: A pair of ducks and one wing. Dinner anybody? All three are great candidates, and it's not surprised they come from the West, which was signifcantly better in keeping goals out this year. I think the Ducks had the stronger defensive club this year, but they also had stronger players. Lidstrom and Niedermayer will be pretty close, and in the slimmest of margins, voters will look at the ice time (a huge stat for d-men) and Scott Niedermayer will take it home.
Lady Byng: Joe Sakic, Pavel Datsyuk, Martin St. Louis
My Prediction: For no other reason than I want him to win, I choose Joe Sakic.
Lester B. Pearson: Sidney Crosby