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Sports The case for Leafs’ Andersen to win the Hart Trophy over the Vezina

04:20  14 march  2018
04:20  14 march  2018 Source:   thestar.com

Bruce Arthur: Leafs preparing for a fight with the beasts of the East

  Bruce Arthur: Leafs preparing for a fight with the beasts of the East Bruce Arthur: Leafs preparing for a fight with the beasts of the East“(It’s) definitely a little different, especially in our division, with two runaway teams, and we’re pacing right behind them,” says Andersen, the most important Toronto Maple Leaf. “That’s the challenge of coming in and trying to focus on what you’re doing today, rather than thinking about tomorrow … today was a chance to get better, and that’s the way we’ve got to approach a season like this, because if you start to look too much big picture, you’re going to lose focus on what’s important right now, and that’s to get better today, and recover for Saturday.

The case can be made: Frederik Andersen for Hart . The Maple Leafs goalie will almost certainly get lots of consideration for the Vezina Trophy , given to the goalie adjudged to be the best at his position.

Two other Vezina - winning goaltenders have also won the Hart Memorial Trophy : Roy Worters and Al Rollins. Chuck Rayner was the only goaltender to win the Hart Memorial Trophy ^ a b "Red Wings, Bruins Play to Draw, 2-2 - Mowers Maintains Three-Goal Edge Over Brimsek in Vezina Trophy Race".


Although Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen will almost certainly get lots of consideration for the Vezina Trophy — given to the goalie adjudged to be the best at his position, the case for Andersen to win the Hart — given to the player deemed to be the most valuable player on his team — is stronger.: <span style=Although Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen will almost certainly get lots of consideration for the Vezina Trophy, the case for him to win the Hart is stronger." src="/upload/images/real/2018/03/14/although-leafs-goalie-frederik-andersen-will-almost-certainly-get-lots-of-consideration-for-the-vezi_214776_.jpg?content=1" />© Steve RussellAlthough Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen will almost certainly get lots of consideration for the Vezina Trophy, the case for him to win the Hart is stronger.

The case can be made: Frederik Andersen for Hart.

The Maple Leafs goalie will almost certainly get lots of consideration for the Vezina Trophy, given to the goalie adjudged to be the best at his position. Other goalies have better save percentages and goals-against averages, which will work in their favour with Vezina voters.

Still, Andersen has given a still-young team with questionable defence and key players injured a chance to win just about every one of his starts. That can’t be overstated. So the case for him winning the Hart — given to the player deemed to be the most valuable player on his team — is stronger.

Dave Feschuk: The case for Andersen as Maple Leafs’ MVP

  Dave Feschuk: The case for Andersen as Maple Leafs’ MVP The simple mathematical case for Auston Matthews as Maple Leafs MVP goes something like this. In the 53 games Toronto’s No. 1 centreman has played this season, his team has operated at a 106-point pace. In the 53 games Toronto’s No. 1 centreman has played this season, his team has operated at a 106-point pace. Extrapolate that over the full 82 and that’s a franchise-record total. Only a handful of NHL teams have performed better this season. And the production Matthews provides has proven difficult to replace. Matthews is one of just a handful of NHLers averaging more than a half a goal a game this season.

It was the most shots Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen had faced in his career Still, if the Vezina goes to the best pure goaltender, it’s fair to argue Andersen won ’t and shouldn’t get it. The Hart Trophy , however, supposedly goes to “the player judged most valuable to his team” in

But Andersen , a big-time workhorse in Year 1 with the Leafs , locked things down with a .923 SP over his next 61 games. To contend for the Vezina , he’ll need the young Leafs to improve their wobbly defensive play, but the fact he still Five dark-horse Hart Trophy candidates during the stretch run.

But it won’t be easy.

Read more:

Leafs are having fun chasing down another playoff spot

Andersen exits early in Leafs’ outdoor loss to Capitals

Opinion | Dave Feschuk: The case for Andersen as Maple Leafs’ MVP

Nikita Kucherov might go wire-to-wire to win the scoring title on the NHL’s best team. Evgeni Malkin’s second-half surge on the goaltending-starved Penguins might well carry Pittsburgh. Nathan MacKinnon could lead the unlikely Colorado Avalanche to the playoffs. Ditto perhaps for Taylor Hall in New Jersey and Alexander Barkov in Florida.

Slightly more than half of the 309 members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association who will vote on the Hart Memorial Trophy certainly have their work cut out for them this year.

Vezina Trophy Power Rankings: Rinne on track for 1st of his career

  Vezina Trophy Power Rankings: Rinne on track for 1st of his career In the first edition of theScore's Vezina Trophy Power Rankings, editor Josh Wegman ranks the top goaltenders around the league from this season. 5. Frederik Andersen, Maple Leafs GP Rec. GAA SV% SO 5.

Over the past few seasons, there has tended to be a clear separation between the true Vezina So, not only did Holtby finish fourth in Hart Trophy balloting, but he captured the Vezina with 26 of the 30 The Case Against: Wins are a team statistic, and that Vasilevskiy leads in that category won ’t

Absent from that list are the three trophies anyone actually cares about: the Stanley Cup, the Norris, and the Hart . Based on the recent play of Morgan Rielly and Auston Matthews, a Toronto Maple Leafs player could soon win the Norris and the Hart (though not this year Andersen for the Vezina .

There’s Sidney Crosby, still deemed to be the best player in the world, and Connor McDavid, his heir-apparent (and who’s more valuable to a team than McDavid to the Oilers?)

Have we mentioned Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Laine and what their wonderful goal-scoring duel means to their teams’ rise in the standings?

Those are merely the forwards. The award is open to players of all positions.

So consider the case for Andersen: The Leafs survived the three-injury loss of Auston Matthews in large part because of Andersen. Two rookies logged big minutes on the blue line. Where would the Leafs be without the league-leading minutes Andersen has played so superbly? Not likely sitting comfortably in a playoff position with a month to go in a season.

“I take a lot of pride in being ready to play, and being healthy,” said Andersen, who is 33-18-5 this season with a 2.76 GAA and .919 save percentage. “That’s a factor that should be considered. I’d rather play 70 games than sit. You always want to contribute, and you contribute by being on the ice and helping the team.”

Leaf Nation focuses on health of Andersen, Matthews

  Leaf Nation focuses on health of Andersen, Matthews All of Leafs Nation will be looking towards Buffalo on Thursday night, and not because of a promised rematch between Nazem Kadri and Rasmus Ristolainen.The focus will be squarely on the status of two players -- Frederik Andersen and Auston Matthews.So we're only talking about the two most important players on the Maple Leafs roster. Both injured. Playoffs looming.Andersen was never expected to play against Buffalo -- Curtis McElhinney will get the start -- but whether he joins the team on the trip will be an important indicator of his health. It's not looking good, at leastThe focus will be squarely on the status of two players -- Frederik Andersen and Auston Matthews.

There are a handful of goalies who are building a solid case for the Vezina Trophy , plus at least another And with some up-and-down efforts over the past few seasons, it looked like the Vezina window was 14. Frederik Andersen , Toronto Maple Leafs When he’s on, he’s as good as anybody.

Two other Vezina - winning goaltenders have also won the Hart Memorial Trophy : Roy Worters and Al Rollins. "Red Wings, Bruins Play to Draw, 2-2 - Mowers Maintains Three-Goal Edge Over Brimsek in Vezina Trophy Race".

Voters, however, have tended to be biased against goalies because they have their own award (the Vezina), and sometimes appear to hold it against defencemen, who have the Norris to contend for. Only one defenceman (Chris Pronger) and three goalies (Carey Price, Jose Theodore, Dominik Hasek) have won the Hart in the last 20 years. No one has been more valuable to a team than Henrik Lundqvist over the past 15 years, and he’s never gotten a sniff at the Hart.

Andersen has already won a major award: He shared the Jennings Trophy with John Gibson in 2015-16, his last year in Anaheim. It’s a straight stats-based award, given to the goalies on the team that was scored on the least. (A goalie must have appeared in at least 25 games to get his name on the trophy.) That year, the Vezina went to Washington’s Braden Holtby.

“Everyone wants to (be deemed) the best at their position, be the guy,” said Andersen. “Great teams have great players. But (awards) are secondary. They’re byproducts of a team doing well, especially for goalies. It really is about how well we do as a team.

“As a goalie, you always look better when you’re on a good team.”

Maple Leafs recall Sparks with Andersen out

  Maple Leafs recall Sparks with Andersen out The Toronto Maple Leafs recalled goaltender Garret Sparks from the AHL, the team announced Thursday. Workhorse starter Frederik Andersen left Wednesday's contest versus the Dallas Stars with an upper-body injury, prompting the emergency call-up of Sparks as the team heads to Buffalo to take on the Sabres on Thursday night. © Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images Sport / Getty Head coach Mike Babcock said Curtis McElhinney, who secured Toronto's 6-5 shootout win over Dallas, will start against Buffalo. There's no word yet on how long Andersen will be unavailable.

In 2015 Carey Price became the first goalie since Jose Theodore in 2003 to win both the Vezina and the Hart Trophy in the same year. Hedman could win more than one of these before his career is over .

No respect at all. Chris Pronger was the last defenseman to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP, when he nipped Jaromir Jagr With the NHL handing out its awards for the 2016-17 season, here’s a look at some of the notable happenings in the history of the Hart , Calder, Vezina and Norris Trophies

A wide open field could well mean split votes. Those that put Crosby first are not likely to put Malkin second when they hand in their list of five candidates. Kucherov might be hurt by simply having Steven Stamkos as a teammate. Folks in Winnipeg say Blake Wheeler is the real MVP there, not Patrik Laine.

And when a team fails to make the playoffs, it tends to hurt MVP candidates. McDavid will almost certainly suffer that backlash despite how much of Edmonton’s offence he generates (McDavid is in on 44 per cent of Edmonton’s goals; Malkin is at 38 per cent, two ahead of Kucherov). The chances of Hall, Barkov and MacKinnon getting votes may also depend on making the playoffs as voters look for ways to break ties on their ballots. The last time a player won the Hart on a non-playoff team was Mario Lemieux in 1988.

Voting begins the last week of the season and must be filed before the puck drops on the first playoff game. Five names are on every ballot. Here’s how things are shaping up:

HART MEMORIAL TROPHY

(Most valuable player)

VOTERS: Select members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association

LAST YEAR’S WINNER: Connor McDavid

SKINNY: Kucherov is the favourite. He was the leader when the PHWA polled its members mid-season, and it would take either a brave, or idiotic, voter to leave him off a ballot, especially if he goes wire-to-wire leading the league in points. Malkin, who won the award in 2012, is the sexy up-and-coming choice. There will be a movement toward Taylor Hall if the Devils make the playoffs. Having seen them more, Western voters might align behind MacKinnon or McDavid.

Leafs in no hurry to bring back Auston Matthews

  Leafs in no hurry to bring back Auston Matthews The Leafs are taking a cautious approach with Auston Matthews. Leafs head coach Mike Babcock wasted little time in his media scrum Monday announcing that the team’s star centre is “is not ready to go” for Tuesday’s game in Tampa, Fla. Nor are defenceman Nikita Zaitsev and forward Leo Komarov. Goaltender Frederik Andersen might be, however. The Leafs returned Garret Sparks to the Marlies, suggesting that Andersen, dealing with an upper-body injury, will at least be the backup against the Lightning.

When the votes were cast for individual hardware following that season, he finished second for the Vezina Trophy behind Tim Thomas, and fourth in Hart Trophy voting. Why He Should Win . If the NHL general managers were voting on the Vezina today, Pekka Rinne would be the clear winner.

Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen ’s Vezina Trophy case has been heating up ever since his 44-save performance in a shootout win over Nashville on Feb. 7. That talk should be at full volume now.

JAMES NORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY

(Top defenceman)

VOTERS: PHWA

LAST YEAR’S WINNER: Brent Burns

SKINNY: Tampa’s Victor Hedman was the mid-season leader, according to the PHWA poll, and probably hasn’t been passed. Minnesota would be lost without minutes-leader Ryan Suter. Drew Doughty is a plus player with good possession numbers whose minutes are right behind Suter. A dark-horse could be Dougie Hamilton, who has terrific possession numbers and is having an outstanding season in Calgary.

VEZINA TROPHY

(Top goalie)

VOTERS: The 31 NHL general managers

LAST YEAR’S WINNER: Sergei Bobrovsky

SKINNY: Andersen ought to draw a great deal of attention, leading the league as he does in minutes and games played by a goalie, but Connor Hellebuyck in Winnipeg is third in minutes and has both a better GAA and save percentage than Andersen. Ditto Tampa’s Andrei Vasilevskiy, fourth in minutes with better GAA and save percentage than both, and the leader in wins. Pekka Rinne, Jonathan Quick and Tuukka Rask are also at the top of their games, and might more easily come to mind.

FRANK J. SELKE TROPHY

(Top defensive forward)

VOTERS: PHWA

LAST YEAR’S WINNER: Patrice Bergeron

SKINNY: The usual suspects (Bergeron, Ryan Kesler) have been injured, opening up the possibilities for Barkov in Florida. Leafs’ first-line winger Zach Hyman leads all forwards in penalty kill minutes per game, with Toronto’s PK rated seventh. Former Selke winner Anze Kopitar remains both a top scorer and top penalty killer with the Kings (second best PK in the NHL).

Four takeaways from the Leafs’ loss in Tampa

  Four takeaways from the Leafs’ loss in Tampa They blew it.How else to characterize the Leafs’ 4-3 loss to the Lightning in Tampa on Tuesday night?Toronto played an almost perfect road game, especially in the first period, and had built a 3-0 lead heading into the 17th minute of the second period. In other words, they were the better team against the Eastern Conference-leading Lightning.James van Riemsdyk was red hot — again — bagging two of the Leafs’ goals, to give him seven in his last four games.But when Victor Hedman scored with 3:20 left in the second, the edge the Leafs’ had in their game fell off in an alarming hurry.

The Toronto Maple Leafs allowed 173 goals against, barely beating out the Montreal Canadiens' 175 goals against and the Chicago Blackhawks' 176 goals against. Chuck Rayner was the only goaltender to win the Hart Memorial Trophy , but he never the Vezina .

For over 30 years there has been a statistic with an uncanny reliability for predicting the winner of the Hart Trophy , and it is pointing squarely at Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers winning the He's a shoo-in for the Vezina , but will the PHWA voters go off the usual script and give him the Hart ?

CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY

(Top rookie)

VOTERS: PHWA

LAST YEAR’S WINNER: Auston Matthews

SKINNY: This is going to Mathew Barzal (69 points in 69 games) of the New York Islanders, no questions asked. It had been closer before Boston defenceman Charlie McAvoy got hurt, and before Vancouver’s Brock Boeser (the all-star game MVP) slowed down and suffered a season-ending injury. The three had been neck-and-neck-and-neck.

LADY BYNG MEMORIAL TROPHY

(For sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct)

VOTERS: PHWA

LAST YEAR’S WINNER: Johnny Gaudreau

SKINNY: Buffalo’s Ryan O’Reilly has taken one minor penalty all season and remains one of the more underrated top performers in the league. Defenceman Will Butcher has played a full season of big minutes in New Jersey, taking only two minors. Toronto’s William Nylander has three minors and plays a big role.

TED LINDSAY AWARD

(Most outstanding player)

VOTERS: Players

LAST YEAR’S WINNER: Connor McDavid

SKINNY: The award often mirrors the Hart in that it is rarely given to a player whose team missed the playoffs. Like the Hart, its last non-playoff winner was Mario Lemieux in 1988. This year, though, the players would likely look the other way and give it again to McDavid, though they could quite as easily honour Crosby, a three-time winner. One can easily see a Malkin-for-Hart, Crosby-for-Lindsay campaign.

JACK ADAMS AWARD

(Top coach)

VOTERS: NHL Broadcasters Association

LAST YEAR’S WINNER: John Tortorella

SKINNY: There’s only been one repeat winner (Jacques Demers in 1987 and ’88). Vegas’ Gerard Gallant has to be the favourite, taking a team of castoffs and turning an expansion team into a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Winnipeg’s Paul Maurice is another candidate. He started the season as a favourite to be an early firing if the Jets failed to take off. Any other candidates are just fodder for the ballot.

GM OF THE YEAR

VOTERS: A panel of 40 including GMs and NHL employees

LAST YEAR’S WINNER: David Poile

SKINNY: The vote happens at the conclusion of the second round of the playoffs. George McPhee, architect of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, should be the runaway winner. It shouldn’t even be close, though let’s give Tampa GM Steve Yzerman credit for some trade deadline moves that made the Lightning even more dangerous as a Cup contender.

Four takeaways from an impressive Leafs win over Predators .
Four takeaways from an impressive Leafs win over PredatorsThat effort not only reconfirmed the Leafs as a definite threat to go deep in the playoffs, it answered for Tuesday’s loss to the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning in which Toronto blew a three-goal lead, mostly in the third period.

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