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Haggerty’s NHL Awards ballot

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Haggerty’s NHL Awards ballot

With the NHL Awards now all presented to the winners, it’s a good time to quickly review this humble hockey writer’s ballot submitted back in April. I got three of the five winners correct while casting first place votes for Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane, Norris Trophy winner Drew Doughty and Calder Trophy winner Artemi Panarin. I voted finalists as my first place winners in both Lady Byng and Selke Trophy, but I admittedly didn’t have Anze Kopitar in my top five for the Byng award given out to the most gentlemanly player.

That was probably the most glaring omission from my ballot, so here it is with a brief explanation after each category:

Hart Trophy

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

2. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

3. Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars

4. Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks

5. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

My take: Kane was the most dominant player in the NHL last season, and I had little hesitation with picking him as tops in the NHL. I voted Ovechkin second because of Washington’s regular season, and the way the Russian sniper continued growing as a leader along with being his explosive self in the offensive zone. Could I have placed Sid a little bit higher on the list? Maybe, but he was too cold early in the season for me to put him in the top three despite the way things eventually finished for Sid and the Penguins. It also wasn’t going to be at the expense of Benn, who is the best player on that Dallas team by a wide margin, and deserves all kinds of credit for continuing to push the Stars once Tyler Seguin went down with injury. I thought Burns was a game-changer for the Sharks all season, and thought he merited a vote for his truly dominant season on the back end for the Sharks. But I guess I was the only one since my fourth place vote was the only vote he got in the Hart balloting.

 
Norris Trophy

1. Drew Doughty, LA Kings

2. Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks

3. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators

4. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

5. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins

My take: This is the one that really gets people upset. I have voted Drew Doughty tops on my Norris ballot for two years in a row because I value his two-way game for the Kings, and the way he sacrifices some offense to play hard at both ends of the ice. I also couldn’t ignore the goals scored by Burns along with the clear physical presence he had for San Jose on a nightly basis. I couldn’t ignore Erik Karlsson’s historic offensive numbers, but I don’t think the Norris is about handing the award to the player with the best stats. Karlsson has stepped up his defensive play of late, but it’s telling to me that Doughty and Burns both led teams that made it to the playoffs. Karlsson did not. If I had to do it over again I’d have flip-flopped Victor Hedman and Kris Letang on the ballot, but I felt very strongly about Doughty, Burns and Karlsson as my 1, 2 and 3.

Calder Trophy

1. Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks

2. Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers

3. Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings

4. Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres

5. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

My take: Connor McDavid was brilliant for a half-season, but that’s all he played. Artemi Panarin was dominant for the Blackhawks from the go-go and produced all season. Ditto for Shayne Gostisbehere, who was a game-changer for the Flyers and almost helped push them into the playoffs. I gave Larkin and Eichel the edge over McDavid because they played full seasons, and put up similar stats with Eichel putting up more goals and points than the Edmonton rookie. It was a tough break that he got injured during the season, but that had a major impact on my Calder ballot.

Lady Byng

1. Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers

2. Sam Reinhart, Buffalo Sabres

3. Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins

4. Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks

5. Ryan O'Reilly, Buffalo Sabres

My take: This is always one of the toughest awards to vote on. Barkov and Eriksson were no-brainers, and I probably should have had Anze Kopitar in my top five instead of maybe Patrick Marleau if I had to do over again. On the bright side, I wasn’t the PHWA voter that gave a first-place vote to Patrick Kane in this category.

Selke Trophy

1. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

2. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

3. Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks

4. Anze Kopitar, LA Kings

5. Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild

My take: Maybe I’m biased, but I feel like Patrice Bergeron got robbed of this one. The numbers are overwhelming when it comes to face-offs, and the quality of competition he plays against on a nightly basis. I might feel badly about having Kopitar back at fourth on my ballot, but then again 15 voters had Bergeron fourth or fourth on their Selke ballots. I’m not sure what they were watching last season. 

Who are the top 10 right wings in the NHL right now?

Who are the top 10 right wings in the NHL right now?

With another two-goal effort against the Devils Tuesday night, David Pastrnak upped his league-leading total to 19 this season — in just 21 games.

That's a 74-goal pace, a total that no player has reached since the 1992-93 season (Alexander Mogilny, Teemu Selanne).

Even if Pastrnak doesn't maintain this ridiculous pace, a 50-goal season seems all but assured, assuming he stays healthy.

But has the 23-year-old established himself as the best right wing in the game, or does he still slot in behind established talent like Patrick Kane or last season's Hart Trophy winner, Nikita Kucherov?

Joe Haggerty is kicking off a series of positional rankings by stacking up the best right wings in the NHL.

Click here for Haggerty's Top 10 right wings.>>>>>

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Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 5-1 win over the Devils

Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 5-1 win over the Devils

GOLD STAR: Matt Grzelcyk kicked off the scoring for the Bruins and finished with the first two-goal game of his NHL career in the win over the Devils. Grzelcyk had the two goals along with a plus-2 rating in 19:16 of ice time while showing exactly what he can do offensively with Torey Krug out of the lineup. The second score in the third period was a highlight-reel goal as he faked out PK Subban at the offensive blue line and then rocketed a shot under the crossbar past Mackenzie Blackwood to ice things for the Black and Gold. Grzelcyk finished with three shots on net, a hit and a blocked shot in the biggest offensive game of his career.

BLACK EYE: PK Subban looked bad against the B's. Subban finished with a minus-2, took a lazy tripping penalty in the third period that led to David Pastrnak’s insurance power-play goal and then got completely posterized by Grzelcyk on a third-period goal where he dangled right around the New Jersey D-man. Subban didn’t do much of anything at the offensive end either aside from one shot in the slot area that Tuukka Rask made a pretty routine save on. It all underscores just how much Subban’s skills have apparently eroded due to either age or injuries because he sure isn’t the same guy that he was in his younger years in Montreal.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins had a solid 2-1 lead after the first 40 minutes, but they had given up a goal late in the second period that ate away at their momentum a little bit. So, it was important for them to come out guns blazing in the third and that is exactly what they did while blowing the Devils out of the water. The Bruins scored three goals and took advantage of some sloppy mistakes from the Devils to pull away in a game that felt a lot closer than it ultimately ended up being on the scoreboard. Certainly, seeing the B’s pull away from teams in the third is a much more welcome sight than the third-period implosion we saw against Florida a week ago.  

HONORABLE MENTION: David Krejci was excellent sliding in as the top center between Brad Marchand and Pastrnak, just as he was last season when Patrice Bergeron also missed time with an injury. Krejci got the secondary assist with a great backhanded pass on Grzelcyk’s first-period goal and then he set up Pastrnak for his first-period score as well. Krejci finished with a couple of assists, a plus-3 rating and 7-for-14 on face-offs in 15:49 of ice time. Krejci is again showing exactly what he could do if he was ever centered between a pair of elite offensive wingers instead of the carousel of right wings the Bruins have provided him the past couple seasons.

BY THE NUMBERS: 19 – the number of goals for Pastrnak this season after another two-goal outburst. That leads the NHL. There have only been seven games this season for the Bruins where he hasn’t scored a goal.  

QUOTE TO NOTE:  “I don’t think we made one mistake in the third [period]. We just played winning hockey in the third.” –David Pastrnak, to NESN on the B’s pulling away from the Devils in the final 20 minutes.

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