My take on the post-season awards from a Wild-eye view:
Winner – Crosby (PIT)
Wild – Marian Gaborik (2 fifth-place votes, T-20th)
I was actually pleasantly surprised that Gabby got some votes. He certainly proved he was valuable to the team this year. The Wild were 33-9-6 (1.5 pts/G) with number 10 in the lineup, while going 15-17-2 (0.94 pts/G) without him. Gaborik finished second in the league to Vincent Lecavalier with 0.62 goals per game in ’06-’07.
Winner – Evgeni Malkin (PIT)
Wild – Josh Harding (1 fifth-place vote, T-13th)
That’s about right I think. Good start for the young netminder. Hopefully he’ll get some more looks this year once the goalie situation settles.
Jack Adams (Coach)
Winner – Vigneault (VAN)
Wild – Jacques Lemaire (2 first-place votes, named on 10 ballots, 7th)
I don’t know that I would have put Lemaire in my top 3 coaches this year. Maybe if the Wild had won their division, but otherwise it was a solid but unspectacular year for Jacques.
Winner – Lidstrom (DET)
Wild – Keith Carney (1 third-place vote, 19th)
Wait, did I read that right? Keith Carney!? I don’t know what to say, I guess he had the best +/- of Wild defensemen, but my vote would have gone to Kim Johnsson as the Wild’s best.
Selke (Defensive Forward)
Winner – Brind’Amour (CAR)
Wild – Brian Rolston (1 first-place vote, named on 17 ballots, 16th)
I think this award is really hard to pick correctly so I’ll just say that the Wild have always relied on defensive play from their forwards and the fact that the team that allowed the fewest goals in the league doesn’t have a forward or defenseman in the top 15 of their respective defensive categories strikes me as odd.
Winner – Brodeur (NJ)
Wild – Niklas Backstrom (1 second-place vote, 1 third-place vote, 6th)
Backstrom was the only goalie given a second place vote besides Brodeur and Luongo. Someone put him ahead of Luongo, and I think that’s a difficult position to defend. Luongo should have won and Backstrom probably should have got a few more 3rd-place votes.
This had got to be one of the most ridiculous awards in sports. No further comment necessary. (If you must know, Pierre-Marc Bouchard finished 5th in the voting)