March 25 2016 09:00AM
The Norris Trophy is given to the league’s “top defence player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position,” making it somewhat of a conundrum to award. Some people view this in a traditional sense and seek the defenceman who’s the best at shutting the other team down, because that’s just what defencemen are supposed to do. Others determine who provides the most to their team by looking at their offensive production. Regardless, it’s not an easy task to quantify a defenceman’s ability, especially not when you’re trying to look at the big picture and truly determine all-around play.
Fortunate for us, there isn’t really much of a conundrum this season. Yes, there a whole boatload of excellent defencemen in the league who deserve praise for different reasons, but this year, nobody has dominated the game from the blue line as much as Erik Karlsson has. Call him a forward, pseudo defenceman, or liability as much as you want, but the Senators are barely an NHL team when he isn’t on the ice, and what he lacks in strong, standup defence, he compensates for by completely changing the game in his team’s favour when he gets on the ice.
Nation World HQ
March 25 2016 05:00AM
Video behind the scenes of the Phaneuf trade, Dylan Larkin for the Calder, Flames do virtual reality practice, Oilers and the salary cap going forward, players that teams could lose to expansion draft, Calder and Vezina trophy races, the Canadian tank battle and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.
March 21 2016 09:00AM
On paper, this seems like a really easy trophy to hand out. Braden Holtby is challenging the league’s single-season win record, and as a result, he should certainly be running away with the award. While it’s true that he probably will, because those who vote for these awards tend to overvalue basic and meaningless statistics like wins, there are goalies in the league who have had much, much more impressive seasons than Holtby has.
The Vezina Trophy is meant to be awarded to the goaltender who is adjudged to be the best at the position. With that considered, we need to break down how each goalie fares based on what their team gives them to truly determine who the best goalie in the league is. Last year, Carey Price was magnificent not only because he had a lot of wins and an excellent save percentage, but because the Canadiens didn’t make his life very easy. This year, while the results may be surprising, there are a few goalies who are being overlooked who have been absolutely fantastic despite their teams allowing them to be peppered with high danger chances all the time.
March 18 2016 11:49AM
The Calder Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey league. After a draft featuring two phonemes last spring, it was expected that this was going to be a two horse race between Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel for rookie of the year. With McDavid missing significant time thanks to injury and the rise of a couple of unexpected late bloomers, the safe bets are pretty much out the window.
Nation World HQ
March 18 2016 05:00AM
How you fix the Draft Lottery, making sense of the Expansion Draft, expected Salary Cap for next year, Dan Hamhuis enjoys mentor role, Anthony Mantha getting his shot, Flames cap future is scary, Oilers speak the harsh truth, McGrattan fights Maggio again and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings