Thursday, November 17, 2005

Why Isn't He Considered A Rookie Of The Year Favorite?

Most reports about rookies this year tell us that the Calder Trophy race is between two people. 2004 first pick in the draft Alexander Ovechkin of Washington and 2005 first pick in the draft Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh.

Both are having very good seasons. Both are leading their teams in points. Crosby is has nine goals and 24 points in 20 games. This is good for 12th place in the NHL in scoring. Ovechkin plays with far less talented linemates and has 14 goals and 19 points in 18 games. This is good for a tie at 34th place in the NHL. Crosby has more points. Ovechkin has more goals in less games with lesser teammates.

So how come I don't think either of them have been the best rookie so far this year - although it is very close?

The reason is Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. Of the rookies in the NHL this year, this rookie goaltender has been the most important rookie to his team. He is one of the reasons the Rangers goals against is down this year despite scoring being up in the league. Among goalies who have had a few games playing time this year, Lundqvist's 1.88 goals against average leads the NHL. His .935 saves percentage is second in the league (to Manny Fernandez of Minnesota). The argument can be made that Lundqvist has been the best goalie in the NHL so far (although I would disagree with it). I could not imagine a serious argument that Crosby has been the best center in the NHL so far this year (that's Peter Forsberg) or that Ovechkin has been the best left winger in the NHL so far this year (that's Simon Gagne).

Its possible that things will change between now and the end of the year, but if the season ended right now, I would vote for Lundqvist as rookie of the year.

Nice whammy on the kid! What do you have against him? Jeez...
I couldn't agree with you more. I have been writing about him all year and refer to him as The Prince. To see these articles go to
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