As the regular season winds down and the Stanley Cup Playoffs commence, we are left to ask ourselves....who answered the call the best in their respective roles?
This week I am going to take a look at a few of the regular season awards up for grabs and tell you who "will win" and who "should win"
Who will win: Braden Holtby
Who should win: Braden Holtby
You can make the argument for Crawford as well, but at the end of the day, one goalie has been hunting down Brodeur's record and had the President's Trophy wrapped up ages ago (at least it feels that way). Sure, Holtby isn't a one man band, but through much of this season, he did carry the Caps.
Hart Memorial Trophy
Who will win it: Patrick Kane
Who should win it: Sidney Crosby
I know this one may cause some eye rolls, but Sidney Crosby returned to form when the Pens needed him the most this season and has been on an absolute tear for the second half of the season. With Sid the Kid looking like this again, it almost makes you wonder if we might see the playoff Sidney who led the Penguins to back to back Stanley Cups.
Chances are that Patrick Kane will end up winning this award. He will more than likely win the Art Ross Trophy this year as well and I would be willing to bet that there isn't one team in the league who isn't just a tiny bit terrified of facing Kane. Then again....he does have a pretty decent supporting cast.
Other possibilities would be Jamie Benn, Alex Ovechkin or perhaps even Anze Kopitar.
James Norris Memorial Trophy
Who will win it: Kris Letang
Who should win it: Drew Doughty
Plain and simple, Drew Doughty is one of the best all around defenseman. He currently sports a 25 +/- and has been a key ingredient to the Kings heading back to the playoffs. Doughty has been one of the best for years now and in my opinion, it is his time.
Recent history has shows us that the more offensively minded defenseman tends to get the nod these days which leads me to believe that Kris Letang will in fact win the Norris. However, the old school defense fan in me likes Doughty's 25 +/- a whole lot better than Letang's 6 +/-.
Calder Memorial Trophy:
Who will win it: Artemi Panarin
Who should win it: Shane Gostisbehere
This is one of those awards that this year is as bad as politics and religion...you just don't want to bring it up around your friend, because everyone has a different opinion on it.
Artemi Panarin has fit right into the reigning champions' squad. He is no doubt going to be a force to be reckoned with in the NHL. The question is though....is he a star yet or is he just surrounded by them?
Shane Gostisbehere's statistics aren't as bright and shiny as Panarin's or even Jack Eichel's, I mean you could make the argument that Colton Parayko has been insanely good on defense this year as well and even Max Domi has a few more points. With all that being said though, Shane Gostisbehere has lifted the Flyers from the rubble and into contention (currently they sit in the second Eastern Conference Wild Card spot) and become THE star of the team.
Do I think Gostisbehere has a chance in hell of winning the Calder? No...not at all, but do I believe he should? In my opinion yes *braces for tomatoes being thrown at me*. Panarin however is an easy, safe decision given the season he has had.