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2018 NHL Awards Tracker: Caps have work to do after the All-Star break


2018 NHL Awards Tracker: Caps have work to do after the All-Star break

The Pro Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) held a vote for midseason NHL awards. The vote was open to members of the PHWA and fans. The results were released Friday and no Capitals player was among the three finalists for any of the awards.

Clearly if anyone from Washington is going to win hardware this season, they will need a strong second half to the season.

For clarity’s sake on these, the PHWA votes on several awards at the end of the season, but not all of them. Since this was just an informal exercise, the PHWA vote was for every award regardless of who ultimately decides those awards at the end of the season. The vote also included a few made up awards that do not actually exist such as the Rod Langway award for the best defensive defenseman.


In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I am a member of the PHWA and I did vote. Here are the results:

Hart Trophy - to the player adjudged to be most valuable to his team.

1. Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
3. John Tavares, New York Islanders

Norris Trophy - to the defenseman who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position.

1. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
3. John Klingberg, Dallas Stars

Selke Trophy - to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.

1. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
2. Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
3. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

Calder Trophy - to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition.

1. Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders
2. Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks
3. Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins

Lady Byng Trophy - to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.

1. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
3. Ryan O’Reilly, Buffalo Sabres

Vezina Trophy - to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position.

1. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
3. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

Jack Adams Award - to the coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success.

1. Gerard Gallant, Vegas Golden Knights
2. Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Paul Maurice, Winnipeg Jets

GM of the Year Award - to the General Manager adjusted to have contributed most to his team's success.

1. George McPhee, Vegas Golden Knights
2. Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Ray Shero, New Jersey Devils

Rod Langway Award - to the defenseman who best excels in the defensive aspect of the game.

1. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
2. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
3. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

Comeback Player of the Year Award - to the player who returned to a previous high level of performance that was interrupted by subpar play, long-term injury or major illness.

1. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Brian Boyle, New Jersey Devils
3. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

Those results, however, are for the first half the season and not a projection for who will ultimately win the award. Victor Hedman, for example, is first for the Norris, but as he is out with injury it seems unlikely he will ultimately win the award.

Be sure to check out this week’s 2018 NHL Awards tracker here to see where they differ from the PHWA’s midseason awards!

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Inside the Numbers: Trotz, Holtby are big winners at NHL Awards

Inside the Numbers: Trotz, Holtby are big winners at NHL Awards

Now that the NHL award winners have been determined, we now know just how well-respected Capitals coach Barry Trotz and goaltender Braden Holtby are around the hockey world.

Trotz gained 58 first-place votes to easily outdistance Gerard Gallant (20) and Lindy Ruff (1) in voting for the Jack Adams Trophy.

Holtby also won the Vezina in a landslide, garnering 26 first-place votes, well ahead of Ben Bishop (2) and Jonathan Quick (1).


In Hart Trophy voting, Holtby (292 points) finished fourth behind Patrick Kane (1,395), Sidney Crosby (800) and Jamie Benn (637). Alex Ovechkin was sixth at 212 points and Evgeny Kuznetsov was 19th at four points.

As for General Manager of the Year, Brian MacLellan was a runner-up (56 points) to Pittsburgh’s Jim Rutherford (90 points).

Holtby was also named a First Team All-Star, while Alex Ovechkin was named a Second Team All-Star at left wing. Ovechkin also picked up six votes as a right wing, a position he has not played in two years.

Evgeny Kuznetsov finished fourth in All-Star voting at center and Nicklas Backstrom finished eighth.

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Holtby wins Vezina as NHL's top goalie

Holtby wins Vezina as NHL's top goalie

The NHL confirmed on Wednesday night what Washington and the rest of the hockey world already knew:  Braden Holtby was the best goaltender in the NHL in 2015-16.

After matching Marty Brodeur’s single-season NHL record with 48 wins. Holtby won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender, beating out Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles  Kings.

“Holtby has put a lot of work in,” Caps general manager Brian MacLellan said. “He keeps developing and keeps getting better.

“It’s nice to see him get rewarded. He had a great season. All the work he’s done with Mitch (Korn) and all the things he learned before that has made him a more confident goalie and he’s getting rewarded for it here this week.”

Holtby, 26, went 48-9-7 during the regular season with a 2.20 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. He also led all goaltenders in playoff goals against average (1.72) and save percentage (.942).

In his acceptabce speech, Holtby thanked all of his goaltending coaches, including Arturs Irbe, Olie Kolzig, Dave Prior and Mitch Korn, along with John Stevenson, who has helped mentor him throughout his career.