2013-14 NHL Awards Finalists - A Fancystats Breakdown

Bruce Bennett

A look at the 2013-14 NHL Awards finalists and how they compare based on advanced metrics.

The finalists for all the the 2013-14 NHL Awards have now been announced, so let's take a moment to look at the finalists and see how they stack up based on some of our fancystats.

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

This trophy is awarded "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability," which usually means it goes to a player who has one of the lowest PIM totals in the league. However, just having the fewest PIMs isn't the only factor, as they also consider playing ability, so a player needs to also play big minutes and put points on the board.

The first finalist is Patrick Marleau, who played in all 82 games, averaging 20:31 a night, and only managed to rack up 18 PIMs. Marleau had a 10.5 OGvT and 6.7 OPS, a 4.7 DGvT and 1.8 DPS, and a 16.5 GvT and 8.6 PS.

The second finalist is Ryan O'Reilly, who played 80 games, averaging 19:49 a night, and had just 2 PIMs the entire season. O`Reilly had a 10.0 OGvT and 5.8 OPS, a 1.4 DGvT and 1.3 DPS, and a 12.1 GvT and 7.1 PS.

The third finalist is Martin St. Louis, who played 81 games with 2 different teams, averaging 20:56 a night, and accrued 10 PIMs. St. Louis had a 12.2 OGvT and 6.3 OPS, a 4.0 DGvT and 2.4 DPS, and a 16.0 GvT and 8.7 PS.

Based on playing ability, Marleau and St. Louis are neck and neck, with St. Louis having an edge offensively while Marleau is better defensively. However, the votes take into account both on-ice and off-ice aspects of the player, so St. Louis' antics at the trade deadline could cost him. O'Reilly, while a bit lower in the skill aspect, does have quite the impressive lack of PIMs, being only the 2nd player ever to get 2 or less PIMs while playing 80+ games. So the votes should be quite close, with different voters swayed by different aspects.

Calder Memorial Trophy

This trophy is awarded "to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition," so the standard Rookie of the Year award. There is a heavy bias towards forwards and the primary focus is on offensive output, which means it is not surprising to see there were no defensemen or goaltenders amongst the finalists.

The first finalist is Tyler Johnson, who is the first undrafted finalist since 1991. He played in all 82 games and led all rookie forwards in ice time at 18:47 per game. He had a 7.9 OGvT and 3.9 OPS, a 5.0 DGvT and 2.5 DPS, and a 12.3 GvT and 6.5 PS.

The second finalist is Nathan MacKinnon, and 18 year old 1st overall pick. He played in all 82 games, averaging 17:20 a night, and led the rookies in all the major standard stat categories: Goals, Assists, Points, and Shots. He had a 10.5 OGvT and 5.7 OPS, a 3.1 DGvT and 2.1 DPS, and a 12.7 GvT and 7.7 PS.

The third finalist is Ondrej Palat, a late blooming 7th round pick. He played 81 games, averaging 18:02 a night and led all rookies in Plus/Minus. He had a 9.7 OGvT and 5.1 OPS, a 5.9 DGvT and 2.8 DPS, and a 15.4 GvT and 7.9 PS.

Knowing the voters' tendency to pick the best offensive talent, MacKinnon should be considered the favorite to win the award. However, Palat certainly makes a strong case when you consider that he was the top rookie defensively and even has a slight edge over MacKinnon in overall GvT and PS. Plus his late rush in which he led all rookies in scoring at the end of the season could give him a boost. It will probably go to MacKinnon, but don't be too shocked if you see the dark horse Palat come out in the end.

Frank J. Selke Trophy

This trophy is awarded ""to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game," although in practice it really goes to two-way forwards who are good at both ends of the ice.

The first finalist is Patrice Bergeron, who played in 80 games, averaging 17:59 a night and 1:57 on the PK. He also had one of the top Plus/Minus and FO% in the league. At 5-on-5 he had a .53 GA20 and .962 CSv% while on the PK he was a 1.77 GA20 and a .942 CSv%. He had a 5.5 DGvT and 2.8 DPS.

The second finalist is Anze Kopitar, who played in all 82 games, averaging 20:53 a night and 2:00 on the PK. He was just below Bergeron as one of the top Plus/Minus in the league and while not as impressive as the other finalists still had an impressively positive FO% as one of the Top 25 in the league. At 5-on-5 he had a .43 GA20 and a .970 CSv% while on the PK he was a 2.97 GA20 and a .912 CSv%. He had a 7.9 DGvT and 3.7 DPS.

The third finalist is Jonathan Toews, who played 76 games, averaging 20:28 a night and 1:33 on the PK. He was a bit further behind the other finalists but still had a Top 20 Plus/Minus in the league and was just behind Bergeron as one of the best FO% in the league. At 5-on-5 he had a .82 GA20 and .946 CSv% while on the PK he was a 2.17 GA20 and .926 CSv%. He had a 5.2 DGvT and 2.3 DPS.

Based on overall defensive ability and the edge in TOI, Kopitar is the obvious choice for the Selke, however his less than stellar numbers on the PK may hurt his chances. As such, Bergeron who excels at Plus/Minus and FO% while still being quite responsible in his own end could indeed pull off the upset. If Toews wins, on the other hand, it looks like it would be an undeserved popularity contest vote as the others are clearly better than him in defensive skill.

Vezina Trophy

This trophy is awarded "to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position," which unfortunately leaves a lot open to individual interpretation when it comes to voting.

The first finalist is Ben Bishop, who started 63 games with a 37-14-7 record and finished amongst the Top 10 in both GAA and Sv%. He had a 23.2 GGvT and 12.9 GPS, as well as an 88 GA%- and 18.48 GSAA.

The second finalist is Tuukka Rask, who started 58 games with a 36-15-6 record and finished with one of the best GAA and Sv% in the league. He had a 29.2 GGvT and 13.1 GPS, as well as an 81 GA%- and 26.40 GSAA.

The thrid finalist is Semyon Varlamov, who started 60 games with a 41-14-6 record and finished with the most Wins, just behind Rask as one of the top Sv% in the league, and down at Top 20 in GAA. He had a 30.0 GGvT and 15.5 GPS, as well as an 84 GA%- and 27.45 GSAA.

Based on the fancystats, Varlamov should win the award this year, he even has the raw Ws that appeal to the dinosaurs on the voting panel. However, it is quite close, him and Rask are neck and neck, so I wouldn't be overly shocked if Rask wins based on the standard GAA and Sv% metrics.

James Norris Memorial Trophy

This trophy is awarded "to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position," although more often than not all-around ability takes a backseat of scoring ability, so usually this trophy actually winds up going to the best offensive defenseman in the league.

The first finalist is Zdeno Chara, who played in 77 games averaging 24:39 a night, 2:26 on the PP and 3:10 PK. He finished as on of the top Goal scoring D and was Top 25 in Points and Top 10 in Plus/Minus. He had an 8.0 OGvT and 4.1 OPS, a 5.3 DGvT and 5.2 DPS, and a 13.3 GvT and 9.2 PS.

The second finalist is Duncan Keith, who played 79 games averaging 24:38 a night, 3:10 on the PP and 2:23 PK. He finished as one of the highest Point totals amongst D and was amongst the Top 10 in Plus/Minus. He had an 11.2 OGvT and 5.1 OPS, a 6.1 DGvT and 4.9 DPS, and a 17.2 GvT and 10.0 PS.

The third finalist is Shea Weber, who played 79 games averaging 26:54 a night, 3:07 on the PP and 2:36 PK. He led the league in Goals and was one of the top D in Points, although his Plus/Minus was rather disappointing. He had a 12.0 OGvT and 6.2 OPS, a 5.6 DGvT and 4.5 DPS, and a 17.6 GvT and 10.8 PS.

The award should go to Weber, he has the best all around numbers and the much coveted offensive dominance that tends to sway the voters, particularly an impressive Goal total. However, his Plus/Minus may hurt him, and I wouldn't be upset to see the better defensive player Keith win it in the end.

Mark Messier Leadership Award

This trophy is awarded "to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season," so it is a subjective measure and not something we can quantify with fancystats. The finalists are Dustin Brown, Ryan Getzlaf, and Jonathan Toews.

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

This trophy is awarded "to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey," so again it is not something which we can quantify to determine a winner. The finalists are Jaromir Jagr, Manny Malhotra, and Dominic Moore.

NHL Foundation Player Award

This trophy is awarded to "an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community," so once more a trophy we cannot evaluate with stats. The finalists are Patrice Bergeron, Brent Burns, and Duncan Keith.

Hart Memorial Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award

These trophies have similar meanings and the same finalists, so we can just group them together. There are slight differences, as the Hart is awarded "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team," whereas the Lindsay is voted for by the players and given to the "Most Outstanding Player" in the league. Oftentimes they go hand in hand, but due to the slight differences in wording sometimes you see the votes go different ways.

The first finalist is Sidney Crosby, the lone representative of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Las Vegas this year, who played 80 games averaging a league high amongst forwards at 21:58 a night. He was Top 10 in Goals and led the league in both Assists and Points. He finished in the Top 30 with a 26.5% IGP and one of the top IPP in the league at 76.5%. He had a 21.6 OGvT and 10.7 OPS, a 4.1 DGvT and 2.8 DPS, and a 26.1 GvT and 13.5 PS.

The second finalist is Ryan Getzlaf, who played 77 games and averaged 21:17 a night. He finished just behind Crosby as one of the Top 15 in Goals and one of the best in the league in both Assists and Points, in addition to an impressive Top 15 Plus/Minus. He finished with a 22.0% IGP and was amongst the Top 25 with a 61.7% IPP. He had a 18.8 OGvT and 8.8 OPS, a 4.3 DGvT and 2.4 DPS, and a 21.3 GvT and 11.2 PS.

The third finalist is Claude Giroux, who played all 82 games averaging 20:26 a night. He finished amongst the Top 30 in Goals and was on of the best in the league in both Assists and Points. He finished with a 20.3% IGP and amongst the Top 20 with a 62.3% IPP. He had a 15.8 OGvT and 8.1 OPS, a 3.0 DGvT and 2.1 DPS, and a 20.1 GvT and 10.2 PS.

Crosby is so far ahead of everybody else that there is no reason to assume he won't be the unanimous decision as "Most Outstanding Player" and walk away with another Lindsay. Even by the slightly altered standards of the Hart, Crosby had a hand in 3/4ths of the Pens goals and scored in 3/4ths of the games the team played this year. That is quite impressive in itself, but coupled with his massive TOI lead and the number of draws he took, it goes without saying that Crosby was indeed the most valuable member of the Penguins this year.

Jack Adams Award

This trophy is awarded to the Head Coach who "contributed the most to his team's success," although considering the finalists I don't really understand the criteria they use. The coach of the President's Trophy winners, not selected. The coach of the Patrick Division winners with the most Man Games Lost this season, not selected. Yet both of those teams were so far ahead of everybody else in their divisions. The coach of the Smythe Division winners, also not selected. And its not as if the coaches that were selected are playing with lesser rosters, as a number of other trophy finalists came from these same teams.

The first finalist is Mike Babcock, who had a 30-9-15-28 record with a 5 for 14 shootout record. They finished 4th in the Adams Division, were the final Wild Card seed at 8th in the Prince of Wales Conference, and 15th overall in the league. They finished 7th in the league with 255 Man Games Lost to injury. They were 17th in Goals For and 18th in Goals Against. They had an SRS of -0.14. They finished 18th in PP% and 12th in PK%.

The second finalist is Jon Cooper, who had a 32-14-9-27 record with an 8 for 14 shootout record. They finished 2nd in the Adams Division, 3rd in the Prince of Wales Conference, and 8th overall in the league. They finished 20th in the league with 137 Man Games Lost to injury. They were 8th in Goals For and 11th in Goals Against. They had an SRS of 0.25. They finished 13th in PP% and 23rd in PK%.

The third finalist is Patrick Roy, who had a 37-15-8-22 record with a 5 for 9 shootout record. They finished 1st in the Norris Division, 2nd in the Clarence Campbell Conference, and 3rd overall in the league. They finished 12th in the league with 197 Man Games Lost to injury. They were 4th in Goals For and 13th in Goals Against. They had an SRS of 0.40. They finished 5th in PP% and 24th in PK%.

Babcock has no business being one of the finalists, the Red Wings finished around the middle of the pack in the usual statistical categories and came just 2 games short of missing the playoffs. The only thing they have going for them is the amount of Man Games Lost, and that is absolutely dwarfed by the Penguins, both in sheer number and the salary/cap hit of players lost. For Babcock to be named makes no sense and if he were to win it would be a complete and utter joke. Cooper has the league leading number of rookies and the bouncing back from one of the worst teams in the league last season angle, but despite being young they have an extremely talented lineup and are only a couple years removed from the Conference Finals. Roy is the obvious choice to win, his team was one of the best in the league and beat out the big names in his Division, but the bounce back narrative is a bit overstated. They ave one of the most talented rosters in the league, so they should be able to finish near the top of the standings every year. The 3 choices certainly aren't the names I would have picked, but Roy is hands down the obvious choice amongst the finalists.

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