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NHL first quarter winners and losers: Yzerman, Stamkos, Emery and more

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Ben Bishop and Martin St. Louis

Goaltender Ben Bishop has been a godsend for the surprising Tampa Bay Lightning. (Scott Audette/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

At 20 games, give or take, into the 2013-14 regular season, it can’t hurt to pause for a bit of reflection on what’s come to pass so far.

We’ve already cast a cold, clear, beady eye at the players who have established themselves as the front-runners for the major NHL awards, so now we’re moved to assess those who have notably stepped up on the ice and in the front office during the early going…and some who were stepped upon.

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  • Published On Nov 18, 2013
  • Awards races tight as season, playoffs

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    Few people get fired up about the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play and sportsmanship, however Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell will be a rare bird if he wins it. (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    The NHL hands out its annual individual player awards tonight in Las Vegas during a glitzy, star-spangled gala that’s a far cry from the afternoon luncheons in Montreal that were hosted by Clarence Campbell.

    Just as the regular season and playoffs were hard to predict as a result of the league’s parity, it’s difficult to try determining who the voters selected for some of the hardware, and there may be some controversial choices among fans who will believe that the wrong guy won. You have to keep in mind that the voting was done at the conclusion of the regular season and the award recognizes only that aspect of the players’ performances. The playoffs are not a factor.

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  • Published On Jun 20, 2012
  • Is Steven Stamkos Hart-worthy?

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    Steven Stamkos still has a legitimate chance to become only the second 60-goal scorer since 1995-96. (Scott Audette/Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    Should a player whose team fails to make the playoffs get consideration for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP? That’s a question voters for the award may be faced with this season because Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning has been so valuable player to his club.

    It’s possible that the question won’t need to be asked, though, because Tampa Bay’s improved play during the last six weeks has given them a shot at the postseason. A main reason they have, however, it is Stamkos.

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  • Published On Mar 06, 2012
  • Our choices for the 2011 NHL Awards

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    Given the rugged nature of the position, a defenseman hasn’t won the Lady Byng Trophy (gentlemanly play) since 1954, but Nicklas Lidstrom of the Red Wings truly deserves it. (Robin Alam/Icon SMI)

    By Stu Hackel

    The NHL hands out its regular season awards on Wednesday evening in Las Vegas, a venue that just oozes hockey history and tradition. Actually, the “nominees-winner” Academy Awards-style format is as artificial as Vegas glitz because the “nominees” are not nominees at all but actually the top three vote-getters from the April balloting (here’s who SI.com’s Michael Farber chose) after the votes are tabulated. So the winner has already been determined when the nominees are announced. This format transforms the known into the suspenseful, so maybe Vegas is the right venue after all.
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  • Published On Jun 21, 2011
  • Hart Trophy candidates hit the stretch

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    Goaltender Carey Price is surely a longshot, but it’s hard to imagine where the offensively challenged Montreal Canadiens would be without him. (Scott Cunningham/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    After our usual Tuesday night skate, my teammates and I repaired to the Grill where the TV had highlights of all the NHL action. I noticed the Canadiens had won 3-1 in Atlanta and Carey Price had made 40 saves. Maybe it was the unusually large amount of lime that Eddie O. the bartender put in my club soda, but it crossed my mind that Carey Price certainly could be a legitimate candidate for the Hart Trophy. And then I started to think about who else might be considered. Compared to some of them, Price — who has almost single-handedly saved Montreal from a disastrous season — might be a longshot.

    With the regular season entering its final stages — no team has more than 20 games left, the trade deadline has passed and playoff-race ferocity saturates the competition — the time is right to examine the NHLers who have been so crucial that the their teams might well have been a level or two below, if not complete train wrecks, without them.
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  • Published On Mar 02, 2011


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