Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sens Trio Up For NHL Awards Tonight

Tonight in Las Vegas is the 2012 NHL Awards and for once the Senators are heavily involved. After a surprising season that saw the rebuilding Sens squad make the playoffs at least a year early, the league heaped a bit of praise of the organization with three members from Ottawa being named a finalist for a major league award. It should be noted that all these are regular season awards voted on before the playoffs.

First year NHL head coach Paul MacLean has to be very flattered to be up for the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year after leading the Sens to a playoff berth in a season where most predicted we may finish dead last in the entire league. Despite that impressive season, MacLean will be a longshot to take home the award tonight. John Tortorella lead the Rangers to a 109 point regular season and Ken Hitchcock did the same for St Louis. The deciding factor will be no one having St Louis anywhere near that plateau heading into the season. The award is voted on by broadcasters' and Hitchcock is the overwhelming favorite to take this one home.

Daniel Alfredsson, who has previously won the Calder as the league's top rookie, is up for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writer's Association and is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. It's basically given as a comeback player award type deal, someone who has to overcome some adversity and had a bounce back season. While some may be willing to give him the vote out of nostalgia or years served, he faces some huge competition in the Habs' Max Pacioretty and the Leafs' Joffrey Lupul, who both came back from huge setbacks to have career years that were both better than Alfie's in total points. I think Alfie unfortunately comes up 3rd in this race but nice to be acknowledge still for the vet.

Last but not least is Erik Karlsson and the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenceman. The young Swede, who's fresh off a new 45.5 million dollar he signed yesterday, will face some serious competition, but may be the Sens best chance to land some hardware tonight. Former Senators and past Norris winner Zdeno Chara is one of the other finalists and Nashville's Shea Weber is the other. Both have a higher profile than Karlsson and that may work against him and people are willing to overlook the amazing season EK65 had because they will claim he's too young and too one dimensional. Those people haven't taken the time to do their research. The PHWA also vote on this one and we've found out throughout the year that barely any of them put any effort into it. Karlsson should be the winner of this one but likely won't. He does however have the best chance for the Sens to bring home a win.

The awards are on CBC at 8pm-10pm. Tune in to watch all the action live and see if any Sens are winners.

Do you think anyone from Ottawa will take home some hardware? If so who and why?

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