Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Calder Trophy Race

I have written recently about the close Vezina Trophy race where I am currently picking Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks. It is not the only close race for an NHL award. The Calder Trophy race for rookie of the year is also close. Most of the season I have been picking Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks as the rookie of the year, but that is no longer true. My new selection is Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals. Backstrom has just passed Kane in the rookie scoring race (66 points to 65 points) and is also a more complete player with better defensive skills. This is supported by their +/- ratings. Backstrom's +11 rating is the third highest on his Washington team, while Kane's -8 rating is the worst on his Chicago team. I think the third nominee in the Calder race is likely Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, but he is a bit back of the other two. It is not as easy to argue that Price has been as dominant a player this season, in part because he has been limited to 37 games played so far.

As far as Pricey goes, so far, Halak's numbers have been better as far as save percentage goes. (But obviously Halak hasnt played nearly enough games to qualify.)
Price is a "money goalie", i think he's got a better shot at the Conn Smythe (with any luck)
I'll take Backstrom over Kane also...not to mention he's got a "pedegree" hockey name.
1) Probably if Towes stays healthy the Calder was his. Briefly Peter Mueller looked like Calder material, but like his team, has fallen back recently.
2) Many, without looking at the stats, believe that Backstrom is simply feeding Ovechkin, leading to his point totals. However only a fraction of Backstrom's assists are from setting up Alex.
I think what you mean to say is if Toews had stayed healthy (and scored at the same rate per game) then he would have won Calder. Your comment reads as though Toews has to remain healthy for his remaining five games in order to win the Calder - and that idea makes little sense to me.
1) Actually if we wrote: "Probably if Towes stays healthy the Calder IS his". Then you'd have a point. However our and your sentence example are merely two ways of stating the same opinion.
2) As such the statement: "Probably if Towes stays healthy the Calder WAS his" is understandable in its context, and most folks who don't feel the need to be contrarian for the sake of it, would be able to admit/see this.
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