Notebook: Jonathan Toews finishes fourth in MVP voting
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org June 15, 2013 11:30PM
2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Two
Updated: August 15, 2013 2:41AM
The Blackhawks were the best team in the NHL and are one of the last two teams standing. But they’ll have to settle for Jonathan Toews’ Selke Trophy as their only individual recognition.
For a team that’s made it this far on the strength of its depth, it seems fitting.
Toews finished fourth in the Hart Trophy voting (MVP) and Patrick Kane was a distant sixth behind winner Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and John Tavares.
Brandon Saad — the Hawks’ only finalist among Saturday’s major awards — was third in the Calder (top rookie) voting behind Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau and Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher.
Duncan Keith was sixth in the Norris (top defenseman) voting, well behind winner P.K. Subban of Montreal
Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky won the Vezina (top goalie), as voted on by the league’s general managers. Oddly enough, Hawks backup Ray Emery finished seventh (with one first-place vote) and starter Corey Crawford finished eighth. Emery was 17-1-0 this season.
Toews won the Selke as the league’s top defensive forward on Friday night. A day after winning the award, he deflected the praise to his teammates.
“There’s no chance I’d get recognized for an award like that if I wasn’t in the middle of a great team here,” Toews said before Game 2. “It’s exciting and I think my teammates definitely understand that.”
As for Saad, he burst onto the scene late, likely hurting his name recognition nationally. He had just three goals and no assists through the first two months despite playing on the Hawks’ top line with Toews and Marian Hossa. Then March came around, and Saad erupted for 24 points in his final 28 games.
Toews barely edged out Boston’s Patrice Bergeron for the Selke Trophy. Bergeron actually received more first-place votes than Toews did (78-75). Toews is seeing firsthand just how good Bergeron is, defensively.
“It’s one thing to go against really offensive players,” Toews said. “I wouldn’t say they’re easier to play against, but in some moments, when you have the puck and play a puck possession games, sometimes those players don’t focus as much as on competing against you and making things more difficult for you offensively. If you play against a guy like Patrice Bergeron, every shift is going to be tough; he’s going to be all over you. It’s much like [Detroit’s] Pavel Datsyuk, obviously, and Henrik Zetterberg. They’re going to create plays and make you worry about them when they have the puck, but at the same time they’re going to be all over you and checking you wherever you go.”
Nathan Horton, who suffered an apparent shoulder injury in overtime of Game 1, was back in the lineup for the Bruins, in his usual right wing spot on the top line. Horton practiced Friday and participated in the morning skate on Saturday and said he wasn’t in any pain.