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Pittsburgh Penguins chances at end of season awards

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We analyze how Sidney Crosby, Matt Niskanen, Olli Maatta, Marc-Andre Fleury and Dan Bylsma have to win NHL wide awards as the 2013-14 season wraps up.

Bruce Bennett

Now that the Pittsburgh Penguins have officially clinched the division, let's turn and look at their chances at the end of season awards. Believe it or not there's only a handful of games left (5 for Pittsburgh) before the 2013-14 regular season will be over and the playoffs kick into gear in less than two weeks' time.

Art Ross Trophy

Pens best candidate: Sidney Crosby

Chance he has to win award: 100%

``In 77 games, Crosby's scored 102 points (36 goals, 66 assists) to run away with this one. 2nd place is Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf who has 84 points (31g, 53a) and only six games remaining. 3rd place Phil Kessel currently has 79 points. Crosby wrapped up the scoring title a long time ago, the only question is going to big his cushion will be. Right now he's Secretariat and all the other players in the NHL are just the other horses at Belmong.

Hart Trophy

Pens best candidate: Sidney Crosby

Chance he has to win award: 99%

``We'll say 95%, but it's probably higher than that. Crosby got gypped out of the league MVP last season, by virtue of missing the final quarter of the season, despite the fact he was easily the best player in the league for the first ¾ of the lockout abbreviated year. This season, however, Crosby hasn't missed a game, has lapped the field in scoring and despite the 500+ games lost to injury the Pens will end up with (including many by key players Pascal Dupuis, Evgeni Malkin, Paul Martin, Kris Letang), Crosby hasn't missed a beat and easily powered the Pens to the top spot in their division.

Ted Lindsay Award

Pens best candidate: Sidney Crosby

Chance he has to win award: 90%

``Players can be a fickle bunch in voting, going against the grain of the Hart trophy in recent years, like last season they selected Crosby (over Hart trophy winner Alex Ovechkin). That said, skill knows skill and it's not a secret around the league that Crosby has been unrivaled this season. We'll see if his peers recognize that, I'm guessing they will, if only because there's not really even a case for a rival when you compare them to Crosby's season this year.

Norris Trophy

Pens best candidate: Matt Niskanen

Chance he has to win award: 0%

``Niskanen's had a terrific season, but the Norris has become a glamor trophy presented to the defenseman with the most points. Niskanen's 42 points (10g, 32a) has him currently tied for 15th league-wide among defensemen. That's a good year but doesn't stand up to reigning Norris winner Erik Karlsson (70 points) or  Duncan Keith (57 points) or Shea Weber (21 goals, 50 points) and Niskanen's numbers just aren't as gaudy. But don't feel too bad, Ni$kanen i$ going to win hi$ prize on July 1, if he $o choo$e$, if you know what I mean.

Vezina Trophy

Pens best candidate: Marc-Andre Fleury

Chance he has to win award: 2%

``Fleury's had a great year (37-18-4, 2.35 GAA, .916 save %, 5 shutouts) but his stats aren't as sterling as some other goalies, like Colorado's Semyon Varlamov, Boston's Tuukka Rask, Tampa's Ben Bishop and Montreal's Carey Price all have stronger cases. And Fleury's reputation is still pretty toxic from playoff meltdowns past, so he's not going to be a guy that wins many votes by voters who might not see the Pens play every night. Still, kudos to MAF for the year he's had and to put his name in the conversation, even if it won't be the winning one.

Calder Trophy

Pens best candidate: Olli Maatta

Chance he has to win award: 5%

``The teenage defenseman in the NHL is a rare breed. One that logs regular minutes on a contending team is even more rare. Maatta has had a terrific season (9g, 20a) but Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon has 58 points (23g, 35a) and will get an even bigger role now that Matt Duchene is hurt. Tampa's Ondrej Palat (20g, 34a) isn't far behind in scoring. Maatta might deserve to be a finalist, and he'll certainly get his fair share of votes, but his fair share isn't first place.

Jack Adams Award

Pens best candidate: Dan Bylsma

Chance he has to win award: 10%

``Few coaches are revered around the league as Bylsma, who despite his Olympic failure in Sochi, is still a well-regarded and affable guy. That helps, and keeping the Pens afloat despite injuries has been impressive too. But, Detroit's Mike Babcock can also play the injury card and Colorado's Patrick Roy helped turn a bad team into a good team in his rookie year as a coach. St. Louis' Ken Hitchcock and Boston's Claude Julien have strong teams at the top of the standings and deserve consideration too. It's probably not Bylsma's year.

Selke Trophy

Pens best candidate: uhh, Sidney Crosby?

Chance he has to win award: 1%

``You could make a case for Sid because he's taken the most faceoffs (by far) in the league and has shifted his responsibility lately to help boost the Pens and protect their poor depth. But there's also instances like the -5 night against Dallas, that show Crosby isn't in the conversation for best defensive forward in the league. I'd probably toss him a 5th place vote, just because he played the most even strength minutes of any forward in the league, took the most faceoffs and shouldered a huge burden.

Masterton Trophy

Pens candidate: Kris Letang

Chance he has to win award: 50%

``This award usually is given to the player with a devastating injury or illness, and it would be difficult to have a story better (worse?) than a 26 year old defenseman, coming off a Norris trophy nomination last year, having a stroke mid-season and then working to regain his health and place in an NHL lineup. We'll see what the other nominees come out league-wide, but Letang has to have a pretty good shot to win the award that no player really wants.