Re: Coach's Poll NHL Awards
posted at 4/17/2013 11:45 AM EDT
Before Stanley has a coronary, I'll flag Bob's two final points:
A lot can change in the next 7-9 games when you're talking about a 48 game schedule, and coaches have no say on who wins any of these trophies.
It gives me no pleasure to say this, but Subban is not a ridiculous choice. Despite playing only 36 games, he leads defensemen in scoring, leads his team in scoring, and would lead the Bruins. He also leads defensemen in goals, has the fourth most shots, and has been more credible defensively than I've seen in the past. Coffey, Leetch, MacInnis, Keith - none of them won the Norris because they were great at both ends of the ice. One of my favourite things in the heyday of the Battle of Alberta was how often MacTavish danced MacInnis one on one, but the guy could shoot the puck and he could use that shot in so many ways.
This part is interesting, though: There have been 57 Norrises awarded. Orr won 8, Harvey and Lidstrom 7 each, Bourque 5. Pilote, Potvin, Coffey, Chelios 3 each. Eight guys have won 39 of the 57 awards. Those 8 guys set a pretty high bar for anyone who follows. The worst player on that list is probably Coffey - who happens to have the best offensive stats of any of the guys on that list not named Orr (and he even ripped the single season goals record from Orr). Of the 18 other years, Larry Robinson, Rod Langway, and Brian Leetch each up another 6 years. That leaves a dozen years for guys who've only won once. Just over 20% of the time, and I would argue that if Red Kelly, the first winner, had had an award to win prior to '53-'54, he wouldn't have been a soloist.
The one-time winners: Tom Johnson, Jacques Laperrier, Harry Howell (who had the immortal line about being glad to have won it when he did because Orr was going to own it for the next decade), Randy Carlyle, Doug Wilson, Rob Blake, Al MacInnis, Chris Pronger, Scott Neidermeyer, Chara, Keith and Karlsson (only the second time in the award's history that three guys have won their first and only Norris [to date] in the span of four years - Blake, MacInnis, Pronger just before Lidstrom began his stranglehold]. Despite the long-term dominance of Gretzky and Howe for the Hart, you don't really see that kind of domination for the other major trophies. The Vezina has three guys who've won it a lot since the rules were changed in the 80s, Hasek (5), Brodeur (4) and Roy (3). Only Thomas and Belfour have won twice since 81-82, which means about half of the winners are one-timers.
Says something about those guys who have owned the Norris, doesn't it? They are in a company of elites among the elite.