Posted: Monday November 27, 2006 4:12PM; Updated: Monday November 27, 2006 4:12PM
Vezina Trophy:Miikka Kiprusoff
When your team scores less than three goals per game, you want Miikka Kiprusoff keeping an eye on your net.
Noah Graham/Getty Images
Forget the slow start. Kiprusoff has used the last month to establish himself as the league's most impactful goaltender and a leading candidate to capture the Vezina. He went 7-3 through his first 10 games in November, allowing just 15 goals and posting two shutouts. Factor in the pressure of supporting the anemic Calgary offense and Kiprusoff's individual heroics can't be overlooked.
In the running: Dwayne Roloson (2.24 GAA despite playing behind a very average defensive corps); J-S Giguere (only one regulation loss in 20 appearances); Cristobal Huet (top-three in both save percentage and goals-against for the surprising Habs)
Adams Award: Ted Nolan
Set aside for a moment that the 2006-07 Isles are battling for first place in the Atlantic and are a vastly more competitive -- and entertaining -- unit than the one that bored everyone to death last season. No doubt Nolan deserves most of the credit for that remarkable turnaround. But he has proven himself the most effective coach of the first quarter simply by motivating the league's leading waster of talent, Alexei Yashin, to play up to his potential. Through Saturday, Yashin not only was scoring at a career-best pace, but skating at a plus-10. Forget the Adams. Nolan deserves some kind of Nobel prize for that nifty trick.
In the running: Paul Maurice (has taught the old dog Leafs some new tricks and has them challenging for the conference lead); Lindy Ruff (his no-star squad leads the league in points and goals scored); Randy Carlyle (hard to argue with two regulation losses through 24 games).
Selke Trophy: Sami Pahlsson
There are at least a dozen truly outstanding defensive forwards in the league, but recognition for players who are breaking into the upper echelon can be slow to come. That's certainly the case with Pahlsson, a crafty and tenacious checker whose ability to shut down opposing forwards in recent seasons has come to the forefront only with the success of the Ducks. This season, despite playing alongside Pronger and Niedermayer, Pahlsson has emerged as Anaheim's top penalty-killer.
In the running: Brind'Amour (the game's best two-way player); Jay Pandolfo (a step better than teammate John Madden this year), Kris Draper (as reliable as a buzz cut).