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TSN’s NHL Coaches Poll Reveals Awards Favourites

uspw_7261366It’s a shortened season, with teams never facing clubs from other conferences, but there are still awards to hand out and still accolades to deliver. To that end, TSN has asked the coaches of the National Hockey League for their opinions regarding some awards frontrunners. With two weeks to go in the regular season (yes, really), it’s time to have a look at who’s being talked about and who’s not being talked about.

For the Hart Trophy, Sidney Crosby still appears to be at the the front of the line. This may surprise some, considering the fact that he won’t likely be on the ice until the post-season and hasn’t been on the ice since the end of March, but that hasn’t stopped the coaches from the Eastern Conference from listing him at the top of the charts. In 36 games this season, Crosby has 15 goals and 41 helpers.

John Tavares collected a few votes for the Hart among Eastern Conference coaches. In 42 games so far, he has 24 goals and 18 helpers.

Also in the Hart mix is Jonathan Toews. According to TSN’s poll, Toews is the “overwhelming choice” for coaches in the Western Conference. In 42 games this season, Toews has 21 goals and 23 assists. He’s a plus-27. The only other player close to Toews among coaches in the west is Ryan Getzlaf, while Patrick Kane and Sergei Bobrovsky have also picked up some votes.

For the Calder Trophy, the conversation was quite heated in the Eastern Conference. Brendan Gallagher from the Montreal Canadiens had taken a slight lead over Jonathan Huberdeau. In 38 games with the Habs, Gallagher has put up 13 goals and 11 assists. Huberdeau has three more assists than Gallagher, good enough for 27 points in 41 games thus far. It’s a tight race, to say the least.

In the Western Conference, talk about rookies is just as close. Brandon Saad was certainly in the conversation for the coaches, with the Chicago Blackhawk’s 24 points in 41 games turning heads. Jonas Brodin was second, while three other defenders (Justin Schultz, Jake Muzzin and Brenden Dilon) were also listed.

The Norris Trophy chatter centred on PK Subban in the Eastern Conference, with Zdeno Chara and Kris Letang also among the favourites. Ryan Suter swept up votes in the Western Conference, while Francois Beauchemin, Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty picked up mentions as well.

Also of note, Vezina Trophy voting had Carey Price (!!) atop the survey in the Eastern Conference. It’s important to note that this was done before Saturday’s embarrassment against the Toronto Maple Leafs, so some coaches may have shifted their opinions in the time being. Tuukka Rask was also a vote-getter among Eastern Conference coaches, while Sergei Bobrovsky topped things in the Western Conference. Antti Niemi was in second place, while interestingly both Chicago goalies (Ray Emery and Corey Crawford) received votes.

There are still games to be played and things can shift around quite a bit over a relatively short period of time, but TSN’s poll gives at least some indication as to who the coaches have their respective eyes on. Who do you have your eyes on? Who are some of your frontrunners for the NHL’s honours?

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