Well by this point in time the teams are fully composed. Bad teams are bad, good teams are good, and mediocre teams are well, mediocre. So let's hand out a few awards at this point in the season.
I must be fair here. I have seen very few games from the Western teams. For this reason I will concentrate only on the Eastern Conference for these awesome, fictitious awards! My new job forces me out of the house by 5 am and there is no way I can watch the Western teams like in the past.
Best Defenseman: This is for the flat out best defender. Not like the Norris.
Zdeno Chara is a monster. He is averaging 26 minutes a game and is +15. He is dominate on the ice and it is not just his size. That helps alot, but he has a fire to compete that is very strong. No contest with anyone else.
Best Offensive Defenseman: This is the award that should be given out and named after the great Bobby Orr.
Markov has been great for the Canadians, Timonen has been his normal great player for the Flyers, but Mike Green of the Capitals has played 1/3 fewer games and is still only a few points back. I have to go with Green for this one. I live in the DC region and I get to see him alot. He is a great offensive player. Looks like a 4th forward on almost every shift. What an offensive force!
Sniper: Best pure goal scorer. Not the most, the most deadly.
This is close. Right now everyone knows about Ovechkin, but there are three other players in the East that are scary good right now. Thomas Vanek of Buffalo, Phil Kessel of Boston, and Jeff Carter of Philadelphia. These three guys are on fire so far, and Ovechkin is still right there. He is amazing to watch. Vanek is carrying the Sabres. Kessel scores huge goals for Boston. Rating just as a sniper, I give the edge this year so far to Jeff Carter. He is a solid two way player, but in the offensive zone he is a shooter! When the puck hits his tape, he shoots it, hard and on goal.
Playmaker:Sets up others for the gorgeous tap-ins.
This one is between Malkin and Crosby of the Penguins and Mark Savard of Boston. I am not a big Penguins fan and having watch these two guys this year, they are talented but not competing in tough games well. Their numbers are the product of lots of ice time and running up stats against a few bad teams. Mark Savard is the best playmaker in the Eastern Conference now in my opinion. The Penguins quit too easily this year and are clearly suffering from the Finals hangover.
Goalie: Stop the puck! Enough said.
This was the easiest category by far. Without Henrik Lundqvist the Rangers would be awful! I know all about Tim Thomas, but the entire Bruins team is playing well. This cannot be said about the boys in blue.
Most Valuable Player.
MVP. Not the most popular, or the best marketing guy, the best!
This is a tough one. Lundqvist, Ovechkin, Tim Thomas of Boston, Carter, and Vanek are all good candidates. I have to give the nod on this to Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers. Without him the Rangers would be in 4th place in the Atlantic (ahead of only the Islanders). This guy is great! That is how I judge MVP. The guy that without, the team would be awful! Boston has Savard and Kessel, Philly is loaded with scorers, Buffalo has Ryan Miller, but name me 4 Rangers leading in ice time! Go ahead quick! Right! Answer at the end.
Look forward to comments. Also if someone with knowledge wants to add the Western Conference I would love to read!
Don't start with the Flyers bias in the comments, my awards were spread around evenly. I know there are no Penguins on the list and that Malkin and Crosby are "the best", but this year they are simply going through the motions out there. Some nights they score alot, and some they don't even fight.
Rangers leading ice time guys: Gomez, Roszival, Redden, and Girardi.