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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thoughts on NHL awards

-- Unlike baseball, you have to search to find a full list of the vote totals for the NHL awards. The NHL should really push those into every morning newspaper, especially the Hart voting.
-- Nicklas Lidstrom finished fourth in the Hart voting. That was Lidstrom's highest ever finish in the MVP race. His previous best finish was sixth in 2007. He was seventh in 2006 and eighth in 2003. It's funny to hear players like Chris Chelios say that Lidstrom should be a Hart finalist. He's right because somewhere along the line Lidstrom should have won a Hart let alone just finish in the top three of the voting. But the players never back him for the Pearson either.
-- Pavel Datsyuk was ninth in Hart voting and Henrik Zetterberg was 10th. (After Lidstrom came Martin Brodeur, Joe Thornton, Evgeni Nabokov, Alexei Kovalev, then Datsyuk and Zetterberg.)
-- This was Lidstrom's biggest runaway with the Norris voting. He got 127 of 134 first-place votes. His point total (1,313) was more than double that of runner-up Dion Phaneuf (561). Brian Rafalski finished ninth in the Norris voting between Chris Pronger and Scott Neidermayer. Ninth is a fair finish for Rafalski.
-- Mike Babcock was a distant third in the Adams voting, just ahead of fourth-place Barry Trotz. I love Trotz, but coaches with a talented team like Babcock rarely get coach-of-the-year respect. I've seen it covering high school sports. I've seen it covering colleges. And it happens in the pros too. I know it's being a homer, but I thought Babcock should have won the Adams.
-- Datsyuk's third straight Lady Byng win was a runaway as well. He had 984 points and 75 first-place votes. Martin St. Louis was second in vote total with 261. But guess who was second in first-place votes? Lidstrom with nine. Lidstrom finished fourth in the vote total behind Jason Pominville. Zetterberg finished fifth and got six first-place votes.
-- The Selke voters (and I'm one) finally caught up with the new look of Detroit's forwards. Two years ago, Kris Draper finished sixth in Selke voting and Zetterberg ninth. Last year, Zetterberg was seventh in Selke voting, but Draper was a close eighth. Datsyuk was way down in 20th place. A lot of people nationally still looked at Draper and Kirk Maltby as Detroit's shut-down forwards. I even heard that said this year in Montreal when the Red Wings played there. I thought Datsyuk was Selke worthy last season. This season, he got a league-best 43 first-place votes in winning the award. Zetterberg was second in first-place votes with 22, but finished third in voting behind John Madden. Dan Cleary finished 15th in Selke voting and Draper was 32nd. Now that's a pretty clear picture of Detroit's forward play.
Selke voting is diverse, so a ton of forwards get votes. Valtteri Filppula finished 40th with a second-place vote and one fifth-place vote. Johan Franzen was 42nd with a second-place vote. Maltby, Mikael Samuelsson and Jiri Hudler (I love him, but no, I didn't vote for him) each got one fifth-place vote to finish tied with many others for 66th.
-- Datsyuk winning the Selke and Lady Byng in the same season is notable. Only Ron Francis (Pittsburgh, 1995) had done that before.


Anonymous mike canada said...

What I find really strange is that Datsyuk didn't make either the First or Second All-Star team this year (as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association).

First All-Star Team

Second All-Star Team

All-Rookie Team

June 13, 2008 at 2:09 AM 
Anonymous Justin said...

Thanks for the breakdown.

It also amazes me that Lidstrom hasn't won a Hart trophy. But he probably never will for the same reason Babcock didn't win.

June 13, 2008 at 9:22 AM 
Blogger Danno said...

Maybe this will help with your disappointment with Zetterberg's lack of award success.

TSN is naming him their first 'Player of the year' (regular season and playoffs)

June 13, 2008 at 1:30 PM 
Blogger Jay said...

Sweet review, i have seen the top 3s points but good to hear some deeper scores and results.


June 14, 2008 at 1:02 AM 
Blogger barbcue said...

I can tell you that every time I heard discussion on our sports radio, the guests all named Babs as the best and worthy of the Adams, but to a man didn't think he'd get it for just the reason you mentioned. We have some really good, talented and experienced guests ranging from Bowman and Devellano to McGuire, Esposito and a host of columnists and players/ex-players across North America on our station. If they all agree then why can't the voters see what they do? The Adams trophy has become a tribute to the largest team turnaround, which deserves recognition, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's all the coaching. Furthermore, having a good year does not make you the best. The long line of Adams winners to be canned within a year or two of winning one is testimony to the fact that a good season doesn't make you the best coach. Small wonder that some regard the Adams as a trophy not to be wished for.


June 15, 2008 at 2:32 AM 

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