I saw it coming but was still pretty disappointed when the nominees for the Calder Trophy were released earlier this week and it included the leading scoring forward (Jeff Skinner), the 2nd leading scoring forward (Logan Couture) and the 3rd leading scoring forward (Michael Grabner)... I mean, c'mon, did the professional hockey writers have to make it so bloody obvious that they don't look at anything other than who has the most points when deciding who to vote for? This would be like if they gave the Oscars to whatever film grossed the most money, "This year's Oscar for best actor goes to... Buzz Lightyear!!!".
Here's a few items I imagine they overlooked:
- Heard many times that Skinner's 63 points were the most by a rookie since Patrick Kane had 72 in 2007/08. Mentioned somewhat less is that Nicklas Backstrom also had 69 points as a rookie that year and over the five seasons prior to this year, seven players have had rookie seasons with more than 63 points.
- I haven't heard anyone mention that Kevin Shattenkirk's 43 points by a rookie dman was bettered only by Tyler Myers (48 in 2009/10) and Dion Phaneuf (49 in 2005/06) over the past 10 seasons or that Shattenkirk's .597 pts/gm was only exceeded (barely) by Phaneuf's .598 over the past 10 seasons.
- Not a peep about how Cam Fowler's 40 points were the most by a dman in the season immediately following his draft year since Phil Housley in 1982/83.
- We know P.K. Subban had no hope but that's ok since he's hands down the winner of the fantasy Calder as 14+24=38, 124 PIMs & 197 shots is a monster season for a dman.
- Corey Crawford racks up 33 wins this year but I guess nobody is impressed that only five other rookie goalies in the past 10 years have topped 30 wins... and to boot, he was 8th in the league in gaa (2.30) and 17th in sv% (.917). Those are almost identical numbers to Steve Mason (33W, 2.29 & .916) when he won the award in 2008/09.
- This brings up an interesting point as just two seasons ago Mason (with the numbers listed above) won the award over the top scoring forward, Bobby Ryan (31+26=57 in 64 gms), but Crawford's performance this year is no more impressive than Couture's (32+24=56 in 79 gms) or Grabner's (34+18=52 in 76 gms)? I guess those 10 shutouts Mason put up really won the voters over (Crawford only had four this year, shame on him). Mason also allowed 4+ goals in 13 of his 61 starts that year (21%) whereas Crawford kept it to seven out of 55 starts (13%). Moral of the story: consistency sux & shutouts rule!
This all leads me to the point that I really think John Carlson was the biggest snub for the Calder this year... do the voters not understand that a dman playing well defensively and scoring 37 points is a bigger accomplishment than a forward getting 50+???
- 89 forwards had 50 or more points this year but only 37 dmen had 35+ points.
- Over the past 10 seasons, 25 rookie forwards had 50+ points but only 14 dmen had 35+ points.
- Carlson led all rookies in ice-time at 22:38/gm & was a plus-21 playing for a team that finished 2nd overall.
- Carlson was 2nd amongst rookies in SHTOI/gm (2:19) and played almost as much shorthanded as Skinner (0:03/gm), Couture (1:04) & Grabner (1:31) combined. Side note: The Capitals PK was the 2nd best in the league at 85.6%.
- Carlson was 19th among all dmen (who played at least 20 games) with 1.11 ESP/60mins... Skinner (25th), Grabner (45th) & Couture (70th) couldn't match that ranking amongst all forwards. (Thanks to Behindthenet.ca for the numbers)
Clear case of the voters discriminating against defenders... which just cheapens the awards even further.