Welcome to the final part of my 5 part series. But, before we start I have 3 things I want to say.
1) I dedicate this post to the victims of the tragic 9/11 terrorist attack. As all of you know, today marks the 10th anniversary of the horrific event. I actually have a personal connection to a victim. My aunt was actually a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11. Saying that, I extend my deepest sympathies to the victims and their families.
2) I also want to dedicate this blog to the victims of the latest summer-hockey tragedy: The Yaroslavl Lokomotiv KHL team. All but one of the 37 members of the Russian team perished, including one of my personal favourites, Pavol Demitra. It seems so weird to me, that guys like Ruslan Salei and Demitra are gone. It seems like yesterday I watched Salei deliver a punishing hit, and watched Demitra tear it up in the Olympics. Among the dead, was Canadian head coach and former assistant coach of the Detroit Red Wings, Brad McCrimmon, of Plenty, Saskatchewan. Czech players Josef Vasicek, Karel Rachunek and Jan Marek, Swedish goalie Stefan Liv, and Latvian defenceman Karlis Skrastins also died. R.I.P. So sad.
3) I know I promised this blog last Monday or Tuesday. I just returned to school on Tuesday, and who knew I'd be absolutely swamped in homework? I also wanted to let some time sink in over the Russian plane crash. I didn't want to say anything when pretty much everything was still unconfirmed. Anyways, here we go to the blog!!
Part 5 out of 5. I can't believe its taken me this long to write 5 parts. If you're new to this series, click onto my profile to check out the other 4 parts.
2011-2012 NHL Awards
Art Ross Trophy: Sidney Crosby
X factor: I've had Sid in this slot ever since I wrote them about a month and a half ago. But then, news came out that Sid likely wouldn't be returning this season, so I changed my prediction. But then, with news being released from the mouth of Sidney himself that he would 'likely' play this season, I put him back here in a heart beat.
Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy: Sidney Crosby
X factor: See above x factor. Sidney will be hungry. He hasn't played a game in the NHL since January. I don't think its crazy to expect 55+ goals.
Vezina Trophy: Henrik Lundqvist
X factor: I wanted to make a bold prediction here. But the more I thought about it, the more it became less bold to me. Think about it. Great defence, strong goaltending = wins and good goaltending stats. Wins and good goaltending stats = Vezina Trophy. I think King Henrik will be poised for a great year.
Hart Trophy: Henrik Lundqvist
X factor: Much like the case of Jose Theodore's win back in the early millennium, Lundqvist will have to be The Ranger's best player. And if the NHL actually read up on who is actually supposed to win the Hart ( "player adjudged most valuable to his team" ), Not "the player who scores the most goals/points", Lundqvist should take home the hardware.
Jennings Trophy: Jonathon Quick and Johnathon Bernier
X factor: I really expect Bernier to have a break out year this year, along with the Kings. Doughty will sign VERY soon, and plus, they have Johnson, Mitchell, Scuderi and Hickey. Them plus Quick and Bernier will equal a low GAA, resulting in the Jennings Trophy being awarded to the L.A duo.
Selke Trophy: Ryan Kesler
X factor: What can I say that you don't already know?
Lady Byng Trophy: Daniel Briere
X factor: This is a pick which is hard to predict. You never really know which way the NHL will go with this award, and this is just a shot in the dark.
Calder Trophy: Erik Gudbranson
X factor: Look, this kid is an absolute tank. He had an extra year to develop in the OHL last year with my home town Kingston team, and he will have no problem with the transition to the NHL this year. Expect hardware.
Norris Trophy Shea Weber
X factor: If Weber wants another raise, he'll put himself into beast mode. He will almost be enough to put the Preds into the playoffs again. Expect Shea's best season yet, and his first of many Norris'.
Masterson Memorial: Owen Nolan
X factor: Whats a better way to show dedication to hockey than making an epic comeback with a contender team? There is none. Vancouver would be crazy to not sign him, but even if he does crack the Canucks, you never know which direction the NHL will go with this award much like the Lady Byng.
Mark Messier Leadership Award: Jarome Iginla
X factor: This one also is a shot in the dark - sort of. Iggy has been tabbed as the best team mate you could ever play with. Not saying he's a lock to win this, but it could be likely.
President's Trophy: Pittsburgh Penguins
X factor: Pittsburgh will be a dominant team once again. Rock solid defence, they have Sidney Crosby, James Neal, Malkin, Kunitz, Sullivan, Staal, and Kennedy to score, and people seem to forget that they have a Vezina caliber goaltender in M.A Fleury. Expect at least 50 wins.
Jack Adams Award: Terry Murray
X factor: Before we start, I just want to say that the NHL should seriously consider re naming this the 'Pat Burns Memorial Trophy' since he was snubbed from being able to attend his own HOF induction. But anyways, the Kings' head coach will coach the Kings to a great record, and will introduce the Kings into NHL spotlight.
GM of the Year: Chuck Fletcher
X factor: Once again, before we start, I wanna say that they need to dedicate this award to someone!!! Someone like Sam Pollock. Do it NHL. Do it. Anyways, if my predictions pan out, the Minnesota Wild will make the play offs. The main reason, will be Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi. He didn't exactly grab them at a steal, but they are better from the trades. Good job by Chuck.
Ted Lindsay Award: Sidney Crosby
X factor: I've already explained why I think Sid the Kid will be the NHL's most outstanding player. Returning from injury......blah blah blah........Hasn't played since January........blah blah blah. Expect a few awards from the NHL's poster boy.
Conn Smythe Trophy: Sidney Crosby
X factor: Tired of explaining why. Let's reveal my winner of the Stanley Cup.
The 2011- 2012 Stanley Cup
Vancouver Canucks........................................................3 Wins
Pittsburgh Penguins.......................................................4 Wins
X factor Well, there it is. Sidney Crosby will go into BEAST mode in the playoffs, I'm predicting 25-35 points from him this coming spring. M.A Fleury will shut down the Vancouver offence and Sidney Crosby and his Pittsburgh Penguins will soar above with the Stanley Cup once again.
Alright, well. There you have it. Part 5. It's over and I'm kind of relieved. I need some time off. I am currently negotiating with another MyHockeyBuzz Blogger about a HUGE series of blogs which will be coming to you guys through-out this season. But until then, see you later,
Like this series? Follow me on twitter @allanrayer to share your opinion, or leave what you think in the comments!!