We're going to do two awards a day and analyze who we think should win and then say who we think will win. Because there's always a difference and nobody leaves happy except the player who won.
Frank J. Selke Trophy
this trophy is given to a forward who is excellent at both ends of the rink and are counted on to both score a goal and prevent one
Finalists: David Backes, Patrice Bergeron and Pavel Datsyuk
Honestly, we would not want to be in a faceoff with Backes. Because we know we would lose in a heartbeat. He's like the American version of Jonathan Toews except that he saves dogs in his free time. While playing on the Blues, Backes had team highs in both goals and points and was also a plus-15 to end the season. For a guy who is leaned on for both offense and defense, those are some pretty decent numbers. He also led the team in hits and blocked shots so you know he is there to play in all situations.
Bergeron is talked about as one of the most underrated players in the NHL and he is still horribly underrated. He's always been impressive in the faceoff dot but this season he was second in the league at 59.3%. As always, Bergeron was counted on as the Bruins top faceoff man when they're on the penalty kill. He's always been defensively responsible but also led the league at a plus-36 which is ridiculous for a player who plays on the penalty kill as much as he does.
What can we say about Pavel? We heard that his hands are insured for $1,000. We also heard that he steals pucks from opposing forwards in every arena in the NHL. This one time, he stole the puck from us and it was awesome. Datsyuk is always in the running for this award and for good reason. He was third among forwards with 97 takeaways, a plus-21 rating and only fourteen penalty minutes. That's why he's always in the running.
Who we would pick: Patrice Bergeron
For years, Bergeron has been the Bruins go-to centerman in all situations. Even after his concussion, he was all about both ends of the rink and that's why he's in the running for this award. Finally. He takes most of the Bruins faceoffs, wins over half of them and led Bruins forwards in shorthanded ice-time. Bergeron doesn't put up the points that players like Backes and Datsyuk do but he still finished second on the Bruins with 64 points which isn't bad considering the role he is asked to play. We think he is the best option because of everything he does to keep the puck out of his own net while also contributing offensively when the Bruins need it.
Who is probably going to win: David Backes
It is hard to argue with his stats this season. And the Blues have had a pretty impressive season to date and captain Backes was a huge part of that success. He was counted on to be the defensive leader of the forwards and he delivered on that. We can see him winning this not only because of his individual numbers but also because of the Blues record.
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
this trophy is for the "player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey"
Finalists: Daniel Alfredsson, Joffrey Lupul and Max Pacioretty
Last offseason, Alfredsson had back surgery. Pretty intense surgery for regular people but even worse for hockey players. And Alfredsson still came back to play. And he did it in style. He had twenty-seven goals, fifty-nine points and a plus-16 rating. All on a team that was projected to be almost dead last in the conference. Alfredsson captained the Senators through a better season than expected and also was named a captain at the All Star Game. Oh, he also did all of this while being 39-years-old. Not bad for an old dude.
Lupul had a pretty tough year and a half. He had back surgery and then had a blood disorder which knocked him out of hockey for a while. He also lost most of his muscle mass and close to forty pounds. Basically, Lupul had to train to be a hockey player again, starting almost from scratch. After coming to Toronto, he and Phil Kessel became this dynamic duo and scored at will together. Lupul was also named an alternate captain at the All Star Game which was a pretty big deal. Then he separated his shoulder and was out for the rest of the season.
Everyone knows what happened to Pacioretty at the end of last season. He suffered a fractured vertebrae and a concussion after the hit from Zdeno Chara that smashed his face into a partition. After that hit, Pacioretty had the entire offseason to recover and he came back better than ever. He had his best season ever with thirty-three goals and sixty-five points for the Canadiens.
Who we would pick: Joffrey Lupul
This trophy is all about perseverance and dedication to hockey and we think that Lupul displayed that throughout his entire recovery. There were so many roadblocks on his way to a full recovery that lesser men would have quit. He was determined to play hockey again and it is evident in his play as well. Last season was his first one when he was pretty much fully healthy and we saw what he could do. His dedication to the sport is pretty evident.
Who is probably going to win: Max Pacioretty
With his high-profile injury and recovery and the controversy we can see him winning this award. Everyone knows what happened and everyone knows how great of a season he had so we think that he will be the one walking away with this trophy. It's easy to figure out what happened to him and how his recovery went. We can't disagree too much because he did have an impressive season with the Canadiens after an injury like that.