The season will end Sunday and so will the voting period for the NHL's major trophies. Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Assn. vote for most trophies; the Jack Adams (Coach of the Year) is selected by the NHL Broadcasters' Assn., and the Vezina (best goaltender) is chosen by NHL general managers. The Times doesn't allow its writers to vote.
The envelopes, please…
Toews is the unquestioned leader of the NHL's best team and a key reason the Blackhawks have sustained their excellence. Crosby had 56 points in 36 games before breaking his jaw, but Pittsburgh has the depth to succeed without him. Tavares, with 26 goals and 45 points for a team that wasn't expected to contend for the playoffs, might win someday, but not yet.
Vezina (best goaltender)
Through Saturday's games, "Bob" was second in save percentage (.931) and sixth in goals-against average (2.03) in 35 games. Rask has similar numbers (.929, 1.96) on a better team. Niemi is a workhorse who kept the Sharks going when they slumped. An ankle injury has limited Anderson to 21 games, not enough to win this. Crawford and Emery are too good to pick one.
Norris (best defenseman)
Suter, a commanding presence defensively who has chipped in 28 assists while averaging more than 27 minutes' ice time per game, is the reason the Wild might return to the playoffs. Letang and Subban are more offense-oriented, though both have improved defensively. Prediction: Drew Doughty of the Kings will be a finalist next season.
Calder (rookie of the year)
Saad (10 goals, 25 points) makes a good team better with his high-tempo style and well-rounded game. Conacher (28 points) and Gallagher (25 points) average fewer minutes than Saad's 16:24. Huberdeau, who leads rookies with 14 goals, might be the most spectacular of the group. Defenseman Brodin benefits from being paired with Ryan Suter but averages a rookie-high 23:06 on merit.
Jack Adams (coach of the year)
Winner: Randy Carlyle, Toronto. Runners-up: Joel Quenneville, Chicago; Paul MacLean, Ottawa.
It's not a Mr. Congeniality contest, so Carlyle should win for getting the Maple Leafs into the playoffs for the first time since 2004 while coaching in a fishbowl. Quenneville had ample resources but is making a two-goalie system work and kept the team at an exceptionally high level. MacLean faced injuries to core players yet is still likely to guide the Senators to the playoffs.
Selke (best defensive forward)
Bergeron is widely considered the cream of the crop. Toews and Kopitar are team leaders who have worked hard to become strong, two-way forwards.