How would the awards be handed out? Individual awards, that is. I will save the playoff predictions for another time!
Lecavalier currently has a one-point lead over Kovalchuk, closely trailed by Iginla and Crosby.
Crosby. He gets hot down the stretch and wins his second of many scoring titles.
Lecavalier, Iginla, and Kovalchuk should all battle for second place, but watch out for Jumbo Joe in San Jose. He can get white hot, and usually does so down the stretch.
The Calder is notoriously given to the best offensive rookie, although there have been notable defensive players who have won (Barrett Jackman more recently). Kane and Backstrom should battle down the stretch, and Toews too depending how long he is out.
I would have said Toews before he hurt his knee, but the situation is a bid cloudier. Kane will probably win it because of his name and point production, but he has slowed down after a hot start. A trio of young defensemen: Enstrom, Niskanen, and Edler, all have been fantastic. Enstrom has gained a lot of press (especially around these parts) because of his great offensive production.
Backstrom and Toews.
The Selke winner is notoriously hard to predict, as it takes a lot more than a stat sheet to figure out who the top dogs are. I watch a lot of hockey, and read about even more. I’ll give it my best shot.
John Madden. Often the Selke is given to more “proven” commodities, and Madden fits the bill. He his having a stellar season, and is on pace for over 20 goals. Absolute anchor defensively.
Ryan Kesler. Kesler has been outstanding for the Canucks, playing a ton of minutes against the top opposition. He has chipped in offensively as well, and has been dazzling with his speed off the rush. He is probably too unproven to win this award, but his play definitely garners consideration. Alfredsson deserves a mention as well. His offensive skills are well known, but his defensive play is not. He is a sensational player in his own zone and is the driving force behind the top team in the East.
There is no clear cut Hart winner right now, with about five guys who could all probably take home the trophy in a few months.
Jarome Iginla. Iginla is currently the best all-around player in the league. He plays in the toughest division in hockey, and has absolutely spectacular numbers across the board.
Ilya Kovalchuk. Kovalchuk has been a one man wrecking crew this season. The Thrashers probably have to make the playoffs for him to win this, though.
Roberto Luongo. He and Nabokov have been clearly the two best ‘tenders this season (sorry, Pascal). He keeps the Canucks in every game he plays, and the scary thing is that he is still getting better.
Mike Babcock. Sure, the Wings have a very good roster, but Babcock has them playing a near flawless system.
Ken Hitchcock and Gretzky both have done terrific jobs with their young clubs.
No-brainer here… Lidstrom is the runaway favorite. He and Rafalski have been terrific and Lidstrom has been the one contestant through all of Detroit’s stellar squads over the past decade.
There are lots of great candidates here. Rafalski and Zubov both are playing some solid hockey. Mike Green in Washington has been fantastic offensively, but is still raw in his own zone. Look for a big second half from Bouwmeester.
Right now it is between Luongo, Nabokov, and DiPietro.
Probably two of the above that do not win the award.