Even though the season's not quite over, speculation runs rampant at this time of year about the NHL's postseason awards. James over at From the Rink has asked each of us SB Nation hockey bloggers to designate winners for the major awards not just for the league at large, but for our own teams as well. So, without further ado, the On the Forecheck awards go to...
Firstly, for your Nashville Predators:
Hart Trophy: J.P. Dumont; a bit of a surprising choice to some, I'm sure, but he, Arnott & Weber were the only core players on the team with positive GF/GA results in 5-on-5 action. Toss in his team 2nd-best Penalty Plus/Minus rating of +9 (which is ultimately the difference-maker between he and Jason Arnott), and you have a player whose offensive production took a bit of a step back, but his overall contributions were still enormous.
Norris Trophy: Shea Weber: his impact on 5-on-5 play was the strongest on the team, and his goal-scoring obviously came back to the forefront after a lost 2007-8 campaign. Nashville fans are incredibly fortunate to see this young gun mature into the player we've all thought he can be; it seems like there are usually a dozen or so "next great young defensemen" who never seem to put it together like Weber did this year.
Vezina Trophy: Pekka Rinne, duh?
Calder Trophy: Pekka Rinne, double duh?
Selke Trophy: Joel Ward: It's still stunning to think how this guy just dropped out of the blue and established himself as a key player on this team. Whether in even strength or penalty killing situations, he uses his size and experience to good effect in keeping the play out of Nashville's end.
A lot of the weight behind these decisions came from the following table. It breaks down the game into 5-on-5, 5-on-4 (PP), and 4-on-5 (PK) situations, using the impact on Goals For/Against per 60 minutes (from Behind the Net), along with Games Played and Time On Ice to determine, balancing both offensive and defensive results, how a player has impacted the team GF/GA in each situation. Lastly, the Penalty Plus/Minus factor gets brought in, to represent how a player helps create favorable or unfavorable conditions for the team (for further details, check out my previous article using this type of analysis).
|NAME||GP||5-on-5 TOI||5-on-5 Rat||5-on-5 Imp||PP TOI||PP Rat||PP Imp||PK TOI||PK Rat||PK Imp||Tot Rat Imp||PPM||PPM Imp||Tot Imp|
|Greg de Vries||46||13.08||-0.88||-8.82||0.11||-3.76||-0.32||1.9||2.31||3.36||-5.78||-15||-2.30||-8.07|
For the league at large? I won't burden you with another table, so here's my winners:
Hart: Mike Green, Washington Capitals. What he's done this year is simply remarkable. His impact on GF/GA across all situations (using the analysis above) is at elite levels, including the top rating on the PK (+12.16), and 3rd-best on the PP (+22.97).
Norris: Mike Green, again.
Vezina: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins. That .933 save percentage is just sick.
Calder: This is a hair splitter, but I'm going with Pekka Rinne over Steve Mason. Rinne has the better save percentage while facing a heavier workload, and is relied upon more heavily by his team. Both of these guys have had excellent seasons, however.
Selke: Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils. Top-notch defensive numbers combined with 31 goals and a point-per-game pace? Yikes, what a year.
So what do you folks think? Am I nuts on these?