FanPost

NHL Award Predictions, Part 1

Hello, fellow citizens of Leafland! Please be patient with me as I start off in the weird world of blogging. Any advice, praise, or constructive criticism will be welcomed, appreciated, and probably cried over. I'm a delicate flower, people.

Since news about the Leafs has died down some since Brendan Shanahan was introduced as President (I'm not sold on him, by the way), I've decided to start my blogging adventures by listing my picks for the 2014 NHL awards that haven't already been decided yet. I'll list my top 3 candidates for each award, why each one could win or could lose the award, then naming who should win and who will win. In the interest of saving time, I won't be discussing the Mark Messier Leadership Award or the King Clancy Award. My pick for the General Manager of the Year is Marc Bergevin.

Today, I'll be discussing the Selke Trophy. I trust that since you like hockey enough to know about this blog, you know what this award is for. Enjoy.

Frank J. Selke Trophy: Jonathan Toews, Anze Kopitar, Patrice Bergeron

Thanks to Jewels From The Crown for this handy chart comparing the three. The "defensive numbers" referred to hereafter are contained in the chart.

Jonathan Toews
Why he could win: Captain Serious and company had arguably the toughest schedule of any of these three candidates. Yet his defensive numbers are still up there with Kopitar and Bergeron.
Why he could lose: His numbers benefited somewhat from playing on the league's second-highest scoring team and his defensive numbers are mostly behind Kopitar and Bergeron

Anze Kopitar
Why he could win: The Kings were the 26th-highest scoring team in the league, yet he still put up extremely strong defensive numbers despite Jonathan Quick's injury issues and playing in the same division as Anaheim and San Jose. All while starting in his defensive zone 49.4% of the time, if I'm interpreting the advanced stats in the chart correctly.
Why he could lose: The Kings did not finish as well as the Bruins, and therefore Bergeron received more attention. 15-game winning streaks will do that for you.

Patrice Bergeron
Why he could win: He started in his defensive zone more than the other 2 candidates, and his play was a big reason why Boston went on the aforementioned winning streak.
Why he could lose: The Professional Hockey Writers' Association can look past the Bruins' impressive team play and see that Kopitar contained far more possible damage than Bergeron.

Should Win: Kopitar
Will Win: Bergeron

This is kind of a "test post" hence only discussing one award. Stay tuned, I'll post other awards picks sometime next week, after my exams are finished.

PensionPlanPuppets.com is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of PensionPlanPuppets.com.

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