Archive for the ‘Nashville Predators’ Category

As the NHL season comes to a close, we are going to vote on the NHL Awards, and four of us will pick one candidate each to “campaign” for. At the bottom, you will see balloting and the final results.

Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings by Gabbi

While there are several worthy candidates for the Norris trophy, there’s no doughty about who this year’s recipient should be. All puns aside, the top defenseman in the National Hockey League this season is Drew Doughty of the LA Kings. For a young guy playing only his third season in the NHL he’s playing as though he’s been in the league for 20 years. (While looking at his numbers I saw NHL Seasons: 3 and said, “No. There’s no way!”) Coming of a sophomore campaign where he was nominated for the Norris, he had 40 points and helped anchor the defense of the young Kings team. With that, young Drew Doughty has earned this year’s Norris trophy.

Lubomir Visnovsky, Anaheim Ducks by Realdeal

Visnovsky has to be the Norris favorite after leading all NHL Defensemen in points (62), and finishing second in goals (18).  He’s played over 24 minutes per game for the Ducks, being a rock on their blueline when the team needed it the most.  His 116 blocked shots are ahead of the likes of other Norris candidates such as Weber, Letang and Chara.  His +18 is pretty respectable and his 5 Power Play goals and 31 Power Play points are part of the reason the Ducks finished second with the man advantage.

Shea Weber, Nashville Predators by Cujo

For the Norris trophy a man you should consider is Shea Weber. He might not have as many points as some, but he has been a real workhorse for the Nashville Predators. He is averaging 25:19 in ice time and 29 shifts per game. 2nd on the team in blocks and 1st in hits, he knows what it takes to get the job done on the ice.

Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes by Joey

I’m sorry say that again…Yandle is 24? Hard to believe that this year’s most consistent defenseman in all facets of the blueline game is young buck Keith Yandle of the Coyotes.  Handling top minutes and opposing teams’ best forwards night in and night out in lieu of Zybnek Michalek’s departure to Pittsburgh could easily have been a sign of tough times for Yandle this year. Except not only has he filled in admirably but he has only improved in stats and intangibles for the third consecutive season. Considering the typical development of an NHL ready defenseman, we may be looking at the next big thing on the blueline for a long long time. This is no flash in the pan; this is a Norris candidate for years to come. 

Final Voting (more…)

As the NHL season comes to a close, we are going to vote on the NHL Awards, and four of us will pick one candidate each to “campaign” for.  At the bottom, you will see balloting and the final results.

Guy Boucher, Tampa Bay Lightning by Cujo

When you award the Jack Adams, there is only one guy who truly deserves it, and that is Guy Boucher. The hottest free agent head coach coming into this year for good reason, in his 2 years of head coaching (1 season in QMJHL, and 1 in AHL) he went 106-27. He came in, and took essentially the same Tampa Bay Lightning team that was out of playoff contention last year (34-36-12) and has led them to the playoffs this year (46-25-11). He has played a huge part in making Tampa a dangerous team, and it should be interesting to watch them for years to come.

Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh Penguins by Realdeal

As a Flyers fan, the last thing I want to see a Penguin win is some hardware.  But, as a hockey fan, Dan Bylsma deserves the Jack Adams.  Of course, the Penguins had high expectations coming into the season. But the Pens losing their two top players around the same time mid-season, and still staying afloat in the Eastern Conference, almost winning the Atlantic Division, says a lot about Bylsma.  HBO’s 24/7 showed how Bylsma is one of the bright, young coaches in this league, and should get some recognition for it.

Jacques Lemaire, New Jersey Devils by Gabbi

Of the four coaches we have selected, the now former New Jersey Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire is the only one to have not clinched a playoff birth. If, then, his team is not in contention for Lord Stanley’s glory, why should he be considered for the Jack Adams? After leading the Devils to the top spot in the Atlantic Division, Lemaire called it quits, saying he wanted to retire from the team he coached to a Stanley Cup in 1995. The club then brought in John MacLean; the team’s all-time leading goal scorer to coach the club. MacLean then proceeded to lead the team to a 9-22-2 record. Upon his firing midseason, Lemaire took the reins back and was given the daunting task to turn the club around. That he did. In 48 games, his neutral zone style brought the New Jersey Devils 28 wins and only 17 losses. Though his club failed to make the playoffs, they were not eliminated until they had 3 games remaining in their season. And while he may not be the team’s coach anymore, the most deserving of these men for the award is Jacques Lemaire, former coach of the New Jersey Devils.

Alain Vigneault, Vancouver Canucks by Joey

Often times the Jack Adams award has an aura more like a lifetime achievement award for the NHL’s coaching brethren. It’s with that thought in mind Alain Vigneault should win the Jack Adams award. Yes he has won once before in 2007 and has a great team at his disposal, but he also leads a team that just gets better and better year after year. That shows that he isn’t there simply for the ride with elite talents like the Sedins and Luongo in your lineup, he is a driving force behind the Canucks success.

Final Voting

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Here are our first round NHL picks.

(Sidenote: We made an agreement to not pick the series’ our teams were involved in)

Vancouver and Boston are favorite picks.  San Jose, Philly, and Detroit are pretty strong selections as well.  We had a tough time with both 4/5 matchups, slight favorites to Nashville, and split 50-50 in the East.  Washington-New York was also split, presumably because of Washington’s past playoff failures.

Tell us what you think, agree or disagree!

And another hockey season is upon us, which means…..*drumroll*..prediction time! Just to explain the below picture, I make my division picks on my basement fridge every year.  Last season, in addition to four of six division winners, I had two of the final four teams correct (Chicago, Philadelphia, with the Flyers making the finals).  However, I’d rather not say who I had winning last year.  Without further ado, here are the picks, with playoff picks.

The Fridge of Destiny

Starting with the Atlantic Division, the Flyers would be the team to beat coming off a Stanley Cup run, but questions in goal could derail division title hopes.  Pittsburgh will edge the Flyers, but lack of winger scoring could hurt them in the long run.  Both teams will keep a distance between them and New Jersey.  Jersey will hope for one more run from Marty Brodeur, but it won’t be this year.  The signing of Ilya Kovalchuk drained payroll, and the Devils will have to play with a short roster, or will have to waive some veterans.  The Islanders will be improved, but without Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo for a large chunk of time, playoffs won’t be on the radar this year, but they’ll give the rival Rangers a tough time, who’ll miss the playoffs a second straight year, and fans will still demand Glen Sather be fired.  At least Wade Redden won’t be the scapegoat this season for the Blueshirts.

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