What Jose Theodore’s Hart Trophy season says about Carey Price’s chances

Matt Larkin
Carey Price. (Getty Images)

The Carey Price Hart Trophy whispers simply aren’t whispers anymore. They’re screams. They’re wall-rattling trumpets. No player in the NHL has been more dominant or valuable to his team this season.

Price leads the league’s goaltending class in wins (37), goals-against average (1.89) and save percentage (.936), the latter two triple crown categories by a wide margin. His seven shutouts trail only Marc-Andre Fleury’s nine. Price has been remarkably consistent, posting a GAA of 2.48 or better and an SP of .920 or better every month. He’s also somehow improved since the all-star break, going 13-3-1 with a 1.34 GAA and .953 SP. Those numbers don’t even look like they’re from the modern era. The GAA seems stolen from Alec Connell.

Better still, Price has done all this for a team with the 21st-best Corsi Close rating in the NHL, and for a team that scores less than any other in a playoff position right now. His backup Dustin Tokarski’s numbers pale in comparison. This is no Martin Jones or 2013-14 Chad Johnson looking all-world understudying a superstar goalie on a dominant defensive team. Every possible way you slice Price’s season, his success is his own. He’s the best player in the NHL.

And yet, while the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie is all but cemented, history suggests the odds remain against Price in the Hart Trophy race. Dominant goalie seasons like Tim Thomas’ 2011 haven’t been enough to earn MVP status. No stopper has done it since Jose Theodore in 2002. Before that it was Dominik Hasek in 1997 and 1998. Then you have to flash all the way back to Jacques Plante in 1961-62. John F. Kennedy was alive and well then. Humans hadn’t landed on the moon.

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Did Calgary’s Mark Giordano do enough in 61 games to win the Norris?

Brian Costello
Mark Giordano

If Mark Giordano is to win the Norris Trophy this season, he’ll need to channel his best Bobby Orr to make it happen.

Giordano played 61 games this season before sustaining the torn bicep muscle that will keep him out of Calgary’s lineup until next autumn. In those games, he was the frontrunner for the award given to the NHL’s best defenseman. Problem is, those 61 games represent just 74 percent of an NHL season. The only other time that award went to a blueliner who played a smaller chunk of the season was 1967-68, when the great Orr played just 46 of 74 games (62 percent).

But we all know Orr was in a class by himself. That was the first of eight consecutive Norris Trophies for him.

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Legendary Oilers dressing room attendant Joey Moss to be inducted into Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Adam Proteau
Joey Moss (Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Iconic Edmonton Oilers and Edmonton Eskimos dressing room attendant Joey Moss is one of the most beloved figures in the city’s history, and the 51-year-old will be officially recognized as such in May when he’s inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

The Hall announced its new class of inductees Wednesday, and Moss is one of 11 honorees. He’s in the esteemed company of Olympic gold medalist curler Kevin Martin, Olympic gold medalist hockey player Carla MacLeod and former NHLer Bruce MacGregor (who also served as Oilers assistant GM) and hockey builder James “Bearcat” Murray. They’ll be honored at the ASHF’s induction banquet on May 29.

Moss has been famous in Edmonton – and for that matter, the hockey community – since joining the organization (and working primarily with the Oilers’ training staff) in the 1984-85 campaign; he’s been a part of four Oilers Stanley Cup championship teams and is a tremendous role model for those living with Down syndrome.

Moss was presented with the NHL Alumni Association’s “Seventh Man Award” prior to the 2003 All-Star Game, and four years later, he was given the Mayor’s Award from Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel as a recognition of the Oilers’ commitment to people with disabilities. He’s also served as an assistant to the training staff of the CFL’s Eskimos since 1986.

Oilers captain and native Edmontonian Andrew Ference paid Moss the highest compliment after hearing the news: Read more

Why Pekka Rinne is the most important player in Nashville

Jared Clinton
Pekka Rinne (John Russel/Getty Images)

Pekka Rinne’s return to the Nashville lineup tonight doesn’t just mean the team is getting their starting goaltender back, it means the Western Conference leading Predators will have their best and most important player back in the lineup.

Rinne, 32, has been unbelievable this season. In what many thought would be a transition year for the Predators under new coach Peter Laviolette, Rinne has flourished, quieting critics that said former coach Barry Trotz’s defensive style was a big reason for Rinne’s spectacular play. And when Rinne went down with an injury his value – and claim to the throne as Nashville’s MVP – became extremely evident. Read more

Calder Trophy not a sure sign of future success

Jason Kay
Buffalo's Tyler Myers (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

What does Andrew Raycroft have that Patrick Roy, Jacques Plante and Dominik Hasek don’t? The same thing Brit Selby does and Rocket Richard, Bobby Hull, Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur, Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky don’t: a Calder Trophy.

The award for NHL rookie of the year is prestigious, exclusive and possibly the toughest individual bauble to win. Players typically have just one crack at it. But the honoree in any given season doesn’t always prove to be the cream of his freshman crop, not in career distinction.

It’s not always a harbinger of future greatness. Check out these examples: Read more

THN’s mid-season NHL awards: Predators shock the world

Matt Larkin
Pekka Rinne (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

It’s that time of year when we pretend it’s that time of year.

Mid-season awards don’t really mean much, but they provide a strong sense of what to expect when the NHL hands out the real hardware in June. We held a vote between eight THN staffers for the Hart, Vezina, Norris, Calder and Selke trophies and the Jack Adams Award. Each voter submitted a top three for each award. Finalists received three points for a first-place vote, two for second place and one for third place.

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Top 10 Norris candidates: Letang the leader?

Kris Letang (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

Year in and year out, one of the most heavily debated awards is the Norris Trophy.

The award given to the NHL’s most outstanding defenseman has, in recent years, had a tendency not to go simply to the best defenseman, but rather the one with the most points. At times, it feels as though the trophy should be split in two, with one award going to the defenseman with the most points and another to the best overall defenseman.

However, in our ranking of the top 10 Norris candidates, we did our best to take into account all facets of defense in hopes it gave us a true picture of the Norris race. By using the standard statistics like points, average ice time and shorthanded time on ice – a key defensive situation – mixed with advanced statistics like Corsi for, quality of competition, and defensive zone starts, the things that can help tell us which players are driving play and not just benefitting from sheltered minutes.

There are a few surprises, but for the most part, it’s the usual suspects. Read more

What would it take for Ted Nolan to win coach of the year?

Jared Clinton

With the Buffalo Sabres eking their way into playoff contention, coach Ted Nolan has a shot, no matter how small it may be, at making this season Jack Adams Trophy worthy.

Traditionally, winners of the yearly award for best coach are those who are the bench boss of teams that finish atop the standings or make the playoffs while exceeding all expectations placed upon them. It’s in that last point that Nolan’s hope at his second Jack Adams becomes a reality. Read more