Red Wings hope to shine at NHL awards show
A whole lot of other NHL trophies, however, could come to or come back to Detroit after tomorrow night’s NHL awards show from Las Vegas. The show will be broadcast on Versus at 7:30 p.m. and on Ch. 9 at 8:30 p.m.
Red Wings are finalists for five individual awards. Pavel Datsyuk is one of the top three vote-getters for the Hart Trophy (MVP), Pearson Award (MVP voted by players), Selke Trophy (defensive forward) and Lady Byng (sportsmanship). Nicklas Lidstrom is a finalist for the Norris Trophy (best defenseman). And Chris Chelios is up for the Masterton (perseverance).
Datsyuk being a finalist for the Hart Trophy is a rare thing in Detroit. Since Gordie Howe finished third in Hart voting in 1966, the Red Wings have had just two top-three finishers, Steve Yzerman (third in 1989) and Sergei Fedorov (first in 1994). Since Howe won the award in 1963, Fedorov (1994) has been the lone Red Wings Hart recipient.
Datsyuk is up against last year’s winner, Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin, and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, the NHL’s leading scorer.
Datsyuk finished fourth in the league scoring race this season, matching his career-high with 97 points while scoring a personal-best 32 goals. He ranked second among NHL players in takeaways with 89, placed third in plus-minus with a plus-34 rating, and won 56 percent of the 1,135 faceoffs he took.
Malkin followed up his break-out 2007-08 season by leading the NHL in points (career-high 113) and assists (78). He also led the league with 94 takeaways.
Ovechkin is vying to become the first repeat winner of the Hart Trophy since Dominik Hasek of Buffalo won in 1997 and 1998. Ovechkin won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for the second straight season for again leading the League with 56 goals – the fourth time in his five NHL seasons that he’s eclipsed 50 goals. He finished three points shy of becoming the NHL’s first repeat scoring titlist since Jaromir Jagr in 2000 and 2001. Ovechkin’s 528 shots on goal were the second highest single-season total in NHL history behind Phil Esposito’s 550 in 1970-71. His 19 power-play goals ranked second in the League and his 10 game-winning goals ranked third.
Datsyuk finished ninth in Hart voting last season. Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom placed fourth and Henrik Zetterberg was 10th.
Lidstrom's fourth-place finish last spring was the best Hart showing for a Red Wing since Paul Coffey placed fourth in 1995.
Datsyuk, Ovechkin and Malkin are also the three finalists for the Pearson Award.
Datsyuk joins Mike Richards of Philadelphia and Livonia-native Ryan Kesler of Vancouver as finalists for the Selke Trophy – won last season by Datsyuk. Richards finished fifth in the Selke voting last year and Kesler was 11th.
Datsyuk is also up for a fourth trophy – the Lady Byng. The Russian has won the past three Lady Byngs. Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay is a finalist as well and finished second to Datsyuk in the past two Lady Byng votes and finished third the year before that. New Jersey’s Zach Parise, who finished 25th in the Lady Byng vote last year, is the other finalist.
Lidstrom is continuing his run of dominance in the Norris voting. Lidstrom is a finalist for the top defenseman award for the 10th time in the past 11 seasons. Actually, in the previous nine seasons in which he was a finalist, Lidstrom finished either first or second in voting. This is the 13th straight season that Lidstrom has finished at least seventh in the Norris vote.
Washington’s Mike Green is a Norris finalist for the first time, having posted gaudy offensive numbers from the blue line -- 31 goals, 73 points and a plus-24 in just 68 games.
Boston captain Zdeno Chara is a Norris finalist for the third time. He finished third in the voting last season, fourth in 2006, second in 2004 and seventh in 2003.
Chelios is up against Steve Sullivan and Richard Zednik for the Masterton Trophy which goes to the player who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Chelios’ 1,644 regular-season games played are the most among active players and rank fourth in League history -- he, Gordie Howe and Mark Messier are the only men to have played in 25 NHL seasons. At 47, he’s the oldest player in the NHL.