Each day this week, the NHL will be announcing the three finalists for the offseason awards. Yesterday, the three Vezina finalists for best goalie were announced: Ryan Miller (Sabres), Ilya Bryzgalov (Coyotes), and Martin Brodeur (Devils). All three deserved to be nominated, yes Brodeur too, as they each had statistically superior years than the rest of the NHL goalie clan. The award should go to Miller, with Bryzgalov finishing second and Brodeur finishing third. Miller had an absolutely outstanding year, and deserves the award. Bryzgalov also had an outstanding year and carried the defensively-challenged Coyotes to a 100+ point year. Bryzgalov’s numbers are a bit below Miller’s numbers though, so Miller should still win the award.
Today, the Selke finalists for best defensive forward were announced: Jordan Staal (Penguins), Ryan Kesler (Canucks), and Pavel Datsyuk (Red Wings). Datsyuk has won the award the previous two years, but all three are superb two way players and defensive specialists. I personally like Kesler to win, but that’s because I’m biased from the Olympics.