So with the season winding down a few names have emerged as leaders to receive the coveted Norris Trophy, the award given to the NHL’s best defenseman. The candidtes are:
1. Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay Lightning – As discussed on the Sports Nerds Network Hockey show earlier this evening, Ron Gallo and I both agree (amazing) that Hedman has had a breakout season with the Lightning despite the fact that Tampa has had a mediocre season. he has 38 points through 47 games, on pace for 55 points for the season
2. Drew Doughty – Los Angeles Kings – Doughty has an advantage over Hedman in that he is playing on a good team that has its share of talented defensemen on it’s roster. he ranks 7th in goals for percentage and his case will increase if the Kings make the postseason
3. Erik Karlson – Ottowa Senators – This is Ron’s pick for the Norris Trophy as he is one of the main reasons the Senators are a playoff team this season.
4. Shea Weber – Montreal Canadiens – Weber is the sentimental choice because he has been snubbed in past seasons, but in order for him to be a solid contender the Habs have to make the playoffs and there is no guarantee that will happen.
5. Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks – Burns is part of arguably the best team in the Western Conference, making him a prim choice for the trophy, but there remains concerns despite him leading in points and goals among all other defensemen.
Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks – with 50 points this season he cannot be overlooked. Not his best season compared to past years, but he is a valuable spoke in the wheel that drives the Blackhawks
Justin Schultz – Pittsburgh Penguins – on a team that is overshadowed by the presence of Sydney Crosby, Schultz has managed to produce 48 points and a +32 +/- this season. I see him as a dark horse.
These are my opinions, and not facts. its gonna be a great playoff push to end the season to see which player takes home the gold. Personally I am pulling for Hedman (Of course) but it will be exciting to see who will take it home.