Tag: Nikita Kucherov

Mid-Season NHL awards: UPDATED

Hart Memorial Trophy: A few months back we did this same exact thing and not much has changed for this trophy. We have a very close race on our hands and unfortunately, since the league goes by basically who has the most points, Nikita Kucherov could win this one. But, I would not sleep on Nathan MacKinnon, MacKinnon is my choice for this trophy and should easily win it, due to the impact he has on this Colorado team. Without him they are toast. MacKinnon trails Kucherov by four points, in 48 games this season McKinnon has 24 goals, 36 assists, and 60 points. Over the last month, he has 8 goals, 9 assists as well. While Colorado was expected to be yet again a basement team this season, MacKinnon has single handily made this team playoff contenders hope the NHL comes to their senses when they make this selection.

James Norris Memorial Trophy: My nomination is John Klingberg, yet we won’t see that because his name isn’t Drew Doughty. The way this award will go down is probably a win by Drew Doughty, which should not happen. Klingberg leads all defenseman for points 5-on-5 with 32 points, while Doughty has 22. Klingberg leads all defenseman with 48 points. If we are going to choose based on numbers then Klingberg is a clear choice. After the season he had last year and being able to bounce like this is amazing. Give it to the guy.

Calder Memorial Trophy: This one is tough because Matt Barzal and Brock Boeser are putting on absolute shows right now. Barzal is a game changer on the ice and has certainly made the biggest impact on his team’s roster, he is the player on the ice that all five opposing guys need to keep an eye on and at any point can blow by any player on the ice. He is producing amazing numbers and has changed this Islanders offense, in 50 games he has 51 points, 16 goals 35 assists. While Brock Boeser has 43 points in 46 games with 24 goals and 19 assists. One guy is up there for most assists in the league while the other is up there for the Rocket trophy. Boeser has certainly made an impact on his team, but Barzal definitely has made the Islanders a playoff contending team. Both players control the game and it is not like they are feeding off veteran players they are the ones making the opportunities and sometimes even doing it alone. My choice though as much as it hurts would have to be Barzal.

Ted Lindsay Award: Give the Hart to MacKinnon and the Ted Lindsay to Kucherov, vice a versa. MacKinnon has to receive an award and get some recognition for what he has accomplished this year. If Kucheorv wins both the Hart and Ted Lindsay the NHL is no fun.

Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy: Alex Ovechkin, the guy is unreal right now. 30 goals in 49 games, 53 points, and the scary part is, as we known Ovechkin for his power play dominance. He only has 9 power play goals, which means 21 come even strength. I don’t see this guy falling off and losing the race this year. But, let’s note that Anders Lee, William Karlsson and Kucherov only trail Ovechkin by three goals, will be an interesting race.

Vezina Trophy: This is going to be a clear choice, based off numbers alone, Andre Vasailevsky will win it. in 40 games started he has a 29-9-2 record with a .931 save percentage, 2.18 goals against and 7 shutouts. Yes, he plays for the best team in the league but this has these awards work. Connor Hellebyuck should definitely get some consideration for what he has done this year, coming in cold, beginning the year as a backup goaltender and stealing the job from a veteran, and then leading his team to a  divisional lead is something special.

Jack Adams Award: Gerard Gallant (Vegas Golden Knights). No further comment. Don’t even have to discuss this one. Simple as this, the Golden Knights are one point away from being the #1 team in the NHL, lead the Pacific by nine points. Oh, not to mention this is their first year as a franchise.

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NHL Mid-Season Awards

We are currently 40-42 games into the season and the NHL is at its halfway point. We’ve seen some amazing surprises this season, as well as some teams surprise us in the wrong way. Some players continue to dominate while some unforeseen names have emerged their way onto the list of mid-season awards.

Hart Memorial Trophy:

Nikita Kucherov: Kucherov has started where he left off last season, dominating the goal column, leading the Bolts to leagues best and tallying 60 points in 43 games. Kucherov has 27 goals and 33 assists. Between last seasons 74 games plus this seasons 43 games(117 games) he has totaled 145 points and 67 goals. Kucherov is a favorite for the Hart at this moment.

Some honorable mentions, Nathan McKinnon(52 points), John Tavares(52 points), Claude Giroux(52 points).

Norris Trophy: 

John Klingberg: Maybe some may disagree with this and continue to tout Drew Doughty’s horn, but Klingberg is my Norris favorite at this point. The Stars had a terrible season last season and Klingberg surrounded by a blueline filled with young players and Marc Methot, Klingberg has propelled this blue line. In 43 games Klingberg has 39 points, 33 assists, and 6 goals, with a +12 and 14 power play points. Klingberg continues this production and Stars make the playoffs it will be hard to not recognize Klingberg.

Honorable Mentions: Victor Hedman(33 points), John Carlson(34 points), Alex Pietrangelo(30 points).

Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy: 

Alex Ovechkin: For a 33-year-old forward, who has been scoring consistently for the past seven years, for Ovechkin to come out like this season and score 27 goals in 43 games is hard to not say this guy deserves the Rocket plus he has 46 points. He’s also already six goals from his goal total last season. Of the Capitals 132 goals, Ovechkin has 27 of them, that’s pretty impressive. Ovechkin will continue this pace and I think he has to be a favorite for the Rocket.

Honorable Mention: Nikita Kucherov(27 goals), Anders Lee(25 goals), Sean Couturier(23 goals).

Calder Memorial Trophy: 

Brock Boeser: At this point with how much Boeser has contributed to the Canucks offense and what he has accomplished at this point is amazing. Rookie of the month, 40 points in 40 games and since Bo Horvat has been out he has contributed 49.6 percent of the points (goals/assists). Boeser is absolutely unbelievable and one of the most exciting players to watch. With the environment, he is in one of the worst teams among the other rookie nominees Boeser is my Calder favorite.

Honorable Mention: Matt Barzal(39 points), Clayton Keller(32 points), Yanni Gourde(30 points).

Vezina Trophy:

Andrei Vasilevskiy: Now obviously it is not too hard to be the best goalie in the league when the team in front of you plays so dominantly but Vasailevskiy leads the league in goals-against average(2.10), save percentage(.933) and wins(27), no matter what the team as a whole does, those stats you cannot overlook. Vasailevskiy has stood tall in net for the Lightning and has given them the confidence to be this successful. It’s tough to consider anyone else for this award.

Honorable Mention: Tuukka Rask(14 wins, 2.23 GAA), Jonathan Quick(19 wins, 2.31 GAA), Connor Hellebuyck(23 wins, 2.36 GAA).

 

NHL Headlines 10/31

Ar1zona: And they got one, but it was for sure not a pretty one. The Arizona Coyotes now have more wins than the Whalers, Thrashers, and Golden Seals this season with a massive 1 win. This came after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Flyers with less than a minute and a half to go in the third period. Clayton Keller obtained another point tonight on the game winning OT goal by Alex Goligoski. I am still in disbelief that they pulled this one out. I am sure once Raanta is back, and they get a couple of wins this team will show some signs of life and probably will not finish last in the NHL this year.

Lightning Strikes 8 Times: Man, Tampa Bay looks good, really good. They defeated the Florida Panthers 8-5 in the battle of Florida where the gunners Kucherov and Stamkos combined for 3 goals and 2 assists. Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his 10th win of the season, tying the NHL record for wins in October. He did not have the strongest of games saving only 15 of 20 with a few weak goals, but 10 wins is 10 wins. Tampa Bay appears as the early favourite to win not only the Eastern Conference, but maybe even cup favourites as well. This team coming off an injury depleted season where they missed the playoffs, additions of an emerging young defense man in Sergachev and the strong play of their all-world captain surely makes them a different animal in the East.

Shark in Unknown Waters: Patrick Marleau played his first game as a visitor in San Jose last night. Being drafted by the Sharks in the 1997 draft, he spent the past 2 decades as a leader and hall of fame player for the Sharks. The opening tribute was one that Joe Thornton said he shed a few tears during. This was a big game for both clubs as they look to get back to form. The Leafs were on the losing end of this match, a mellow comeback for Marleau, but one the Sharks will be proud of. Brent Burns appears to be back on track after he obtained an assist, making it assists in his last 4 games. To be noted, Tyler Bozak, Roman Polak, and the Leafs’ 4th line all sat during the majority of the 3rd period. The Leafs are looking weaker as their shooting percentage falls, and their defense remains a weak point on the team.

NHL PICKS OF THE NIGHT: Vegas hits the road, Coyotes worst NHL start

Vegas Golden Knights(8-1-0) vs New York Islanders(6-4-1)

Vegas is coming off a seven-game homestand as they hit the road for a six-game road trip. This will be a test for Vegas to see how they handle road trips and back-to-back games. The Islanders John Tavares ranks third in the league with his second hattrick in one week and nine goals on the season, it is always a positive sign for the Islanders to see captain Johnny T doing his part. For Vegas, Oscar Dansk gets yet another start after coming off a 32-save shutout vs Colorado. Vegas keeps proving all doubters and fans wrong with their hot start but there comes a time when a team hits a wall and a six-game road trip sounds like it is time for Vegas to come back down to earth. Islanders, 4-3.

Arizona Coyotes(0-10-1) vs Philadelphia Flyers(6-5-0)

This is set to be a historic game and all for the wrong reasons as the Coyotes are on the brink of making NHL history for the worst start by a franchise. If the Coyotes lose tonight, they will be off to the worst start since the 1943 New York Rangers. Coming into Philadelphia vs a team who just lost their best defenseman Shane Ghostisbere, and have a top point go-er in the league, it will not be an easy matchup for Arizona. As it appears Antti Raanta will get the nod and Brian Eliott will be the other netminder. Arizona has a ton of talent and young weapons but against an experienced, high powered offense like this, they don’t stand a chance. Flyers, 3-1.

Boston Bruins(4-3-2) vs Columbus Blue Jackets(7-4-0)

The Bruins really lucked out Saturday night after losing a heartbreaking overtime game vs the Kings, where Tyler Toffoli scored with .4 seconds left off an unbelievable faceoff play.  The Bruins now with their number one goalie back, Tuukka Rask, will pay dividends into their overall game and confidence of the players. Against a projected to be top team in the Eastern Conference it will be no easy feat for the Bruins on the road at Nationwide Arena. There is no word on David Krejci yet but it appears he is out for another game which hurts this teams center depth. The aspect both teams have going for them is their penalty kill as they are both ranked in the top ten, Bruins with an 83.3 percent and Columbus with an 89.3 percent, so neither power play will be efficient tonight. Still, Blue Jackets, 3-2.

Montreal Canadiens(3-7-1) vs Ottawa Senators(5-1-5)

For some odd reason, it amazes me this Ottawa team has only one loss and five overtime loses, the Senators could easily be an undefeated team or a borderline .500 team, which concerns me. But with production like Mark Stone and Derek Brassard as of late the Senators find ways to score goals and win games. While the Canadiens are coming off a much-needed win vs the New York Rangers, but still have ways to go. A positive sign in Montreal is that Jonathan Drouin despite this team’s poor record, does have 8 points leading the team. Montreal does not concern me especially with the performance of Carey Price lately and against an Ottawa offense that can score goals, it will be a nightmare for Montreal’s defense and Price. Ottawa, 4-2.

Tampa Bay Lightning(9-2-1) vs Florida Panthers(4-5-1)

Tampa Bay had their four-game win streak and Steven Stamkos/Nikita Kucherov point streaks snapped with their loss to Anaheim Saturday night. The Lightning will face Florida for the third time this season already and the last time until March, 6. Florida will have their hands full tonight and better hope they stay out of the box as the Lightning have the second best power play in the league and the Panthers have the third worst penalty kill in the league. Stamkos and Kucherov will be back on the board tonight but Panthers top guys like Vincent Trocheck and Evgeny Dadonov will be looked upon to match the Lightning’s top-duo. Tampa Bay, 3-2.

JJ’S NHL PICKS OF THE NIGHT: COOLER OUT EAST

New York Islanders(2-3-1) vs New York Rangers(1-5-1)

Both teams have a storied history so let’s put records and past play behind us here for this game. Whenever these two meet it turns out to be a Stanley Cup matchup feel. The Islanders have had the Rangers number over the last few years, and have managed to take the last four of five meetings. Jaroslav Halak is in tonight, and he seems to play exceptionally well when he see’s the Rangers on the schedule. While Henrik Lundqvist will get the start, Hank has been slow to start but a rivalry matchup may set the tone for the veteran goaltender. Don’t expect much offense from these two. Rangers, 3-2.

Vancouver Canucks(2-2-1) vs Boston Bruins(2-3-0)

The Bruins have recently lost Ryan Spooner for 4-6 weeks as well as Tuukka Rask who collided with a teammate during Wednesday’s practice. Rask’s health is unsure but he is still listed as the #1 on the Bruins depth chart. As Jacob Markstrom will get the start for Vancouver, Markstrom has posted respectable numbers and give the Canucks the best chance to win. Canucks rookie Brock Boeser who was said to be in and out of the line up earlier in the year leads the team in goals and points. Bruins will need to see their two forward threats take command tonight and help aid the Bruins back in the win column. Bruins, 4-3.

Nashville Predators(3-2-1) vs Philadelphia Flyers(4-2-0)

These two met a week and two days from today, where Nashville took a come from behind win in a dramatic late-game fashion. The Flyers since then have been on a tear, the offense has combined for thirteen goals in two games and has walked over there two last opponents. Shane Ghostisbehere has awakened from his last season slump tallying 10 points in six games. The Predators have seen the usual suspects chip in and do the work, Filip Forsberg leads the team with 9 points and five goals. But the key tonight is the Flyers depth and recent success, the Flyers have seen players like Travis Konecny, Nolan Patrick and Valtteri Filppula chip including Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux’s success. It will be difficult to knock these guys off their mojo especially on home ice. Flyers, 4-3.

Tampa Bay Lightning(5-1-0) vs Columbus Blue Jackets(5-1-0)

The story coming into tonight is quite obvious can Nikita Kucherov extend his streak to eight games? Against another 5-1 opponent and the Nationwide arena’s fifth line, it will be no easy feat. The Blue Jackets and Lightning look to be two favorites coming out of the Eastern Conference. With Steven Stamkos back, the Lightning forwards depth, they have the tools for another deep run. While the Blue Jackets newly acquired Artemi Panarin and their top six, this will be a fun offensive game in the making. Both teams have sure fire power plays and can score goals, it will not be a goalies night, let’s just say that. Lightning, 3-2.

New Jersey Devils(5-1-0) vs Ottawa Senators(3-1-2)

The most surprising 5-1 team in the league right now and after beating a top in the league the Devils are flying high. Entering Ottawa will not be an easy matchup though, despite Ottawa’s blunder of a loss Monday night vs Vancouver, the Senators offense has been clicking as of late and seeing support from Craig Anderson may pay dividends to this team’s success tonight. New Jersey has seen contribution from up and down the lineup, it can come from lines one through four on any given night, while Corey Schneider has stood tall in net helping shut down opposing offenses. Senators, 4-3.

NHL: What if Wednesday’s

Kucherov pass Lemieux’s record? 

We all obviously are aware of what Nikita Kucherov is doing right now if not well I will quickly fill in, but please stay up to date people. Kucherov has scored now eight goals in his first seven games and has put his name along some of the greatest to ever play. When I first heard it I didn’t think eight goals in seven games was all that great, but if you look around the league some guys are having trouble scoring one goal in five to six games and Kucherov has eight goals, scary.  Kucherov has joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk for goals in seven consecutive games to start the season. Right now he is chasing Mario Lemieux’s record of a goal in twelve consecutive games. What if he gets there and Kucherov does bury twelve goals in twelve games, is he an early write off for the Rocket and or Hart trophy, I mean I would say so, but what if he continues this tear, will he score 55 plus goals or more, will he be the first player to score 55 goals or more since Steven Stamkos in 2011-12?

Rangers & Oilers miss the playoffs? 

NHL NewsThe New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers have been off to a slow start and they have struggled immensely out the gate, nobody saw these coming, not even Kevin Weekes. Rough patches happen and this may be a rough patch but this is bad, there’s no denying that. The Rangers are 1-5-1 ranked 10th in the Eastern Conference wild card and 29th in the NHL. The Oilers are 1-4-0 ranked 8th in the Western Conference wild card and 30th in the NHL. What if both teams continue this poor play, they struggle all season and miss the playoffs, hey it’s early and it is a what if so don’t kill me now. But what if! Well, that opens two playoff spots since many had the Rangers and Oilers as shoe-ins to the playoffs. What if they both miss and teams like the Hurricanes and Kings jump into the playoffs, what if!!

Two storied head coaches get fired?

Two coaching situations we should talk about the Rangers Alain Vigneault and Canadiens Claude Julien. Now, both have done an awful job managing lines and matching players together and it has shown in their team’s records thus far. What if they both get fired, who steps up in both places? Does Darryl Suter get a call? Does Lindy Ruff resurge this Rangers team? What if they both continue down this mess and really end up mismanaging their teams, what will happen? I’m saying one of the two will be gone sooner than later if both teams continue this atrocious play.