Victor Hedman has joined Brent Burns and Mark Giordano as this summer’s Norris Trophy finalists -- Hedman’s third year in a row being nominated (he took the award home last summer). Back in January when the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association voted on “midseason” awards, the results were quite different -- Morgan Rielly got the nod alongside Giordano and Burns, not Hedman. The rationale for the change is pretty sound, and Lauren laid it out for us in her article at the end of March.
Burns, Giordano, Rielly, and Carlson are still the top four in defenseman scoring as of [March 29], but Hedman has put up more points than the last three since the [All Star] break (albeit just one point). Although the Norris nominees have usually been those high in scoring among defensemen, it’s not the only thing considered for a nomination (at least, it shouldn’t be). Despite his overall point totals, Hedman is third in the NHL among defensemen in WAR (wins above replacement) behind Rielly and Carlson.
Does Raw Charge think he’ll win? Not this year.
Based on the seasons that past winners have had (as well as his current competition), Hedman probably hasn’t had a strong enough season offensively to really win the Norris this season (Giordano will probably win it this year). However, Hedman’s defensive game hasn’t faltered this season on a Lightning team who can sometimes struggle in their own end.
Anyway, here’s the nomination press release: Hedman voted Norris Trophy finalist [Tampa Bay Lightning]
The reigning Norris Trophy winner registered 12-42-54 in 70 games as the anchor of a Lightning defense that allowed the fifth-fewest goals in the League en route to tying the NHL record for wins in one season. Hedman topped Tampa Bay blueliners in average time on ice for the sixth consecutive season (22:46) while logging a +24 rating, tied for ninth among all League defensemen. He also scored 10-plus goals for the sixth straight year, tied for the longest such streak among NHL blueliners (w/ Burns, Giordano, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Roman Josi).
The other thing that happened yesterday in Tampa Bay Lightning news is this. The organization took out an apologetic advertisement in the Tampa Bay Times, signed by all of the players, promising to “do all that we can this summer and throughout next season to ensure a better result for all of us in 2019-20.”
This off-season won’t just be a test for the players, but for Julien BriseBois too — it’ll be his first summer flying solo, with a lot of salary cap considerations to juggle. The TBTimes wrote this up, but Raw Charge will do our own treatment of this in a week or two.
Salary-cap shadow looms over Lightning’s roster [Tampa Bay Times, paid content]
Ryan Callahan, Braydon Coburn, Dan Girardi, Anton Stralman
It’s probable that at least one of these players has worn his Lightning jersey for the last time. Callahan, Coburn and Girardi are the eldest on the roster at 34 (Girardi turns 35 on April 29), and Stralman is 32 (33 on Aug. 1). Forward Callahan, signed for one more season at $5.8 million, did not play as much as he has in seasons prior, partially due to injuries. Defensemen Girardi ($3 million) and Stralman ($4.5 million), who can be unrestricted free agents July 1, were out for much of the latter part of the season hurt. Defenseman Coburn ($3.7 million) also can be an unrestricted free agent. If the Lightning wants any of the free agents back, it’s possible that for family reasons they would take less money to stick around so they could finish their careers in Tampa Bay while making cap room.
After a painful loss in Game 2, the Syracuse Crunch are looking to take back the ice in Game 3. Watch this video from Spectrum Syracuse.
And then there’s Connor Ingram.
My bro has babies born on 6/9 and 4/20. Legend.— Connor Ingram (@CBIngram1) April 21, 2019
Playoff recap from JustinG.:
Boston 4, Toronto 2 (Series Tied 3-3)
Why would Toronto make things easy for their fans by actually winning Game 6 at home? Nope they have to torture them with another Game 7. Morgan Rielly opened the scoring for the Leafs before the Bruins scored the next three (Brad Marchand, Torey Krug and Jake DeBrusk). Auston Matthews made things exciting with his fifth goal of the series four minutes into the period, but Toronto could not find the equalizer. Marchand sealed the deal with an empty net goal. The series moves to Boston for the big finish. [Pension Plan Puppets]
The Leafs haven’t been near the Bruins net enough. A lot of their shooting is point shots, and I don’t know why some fans believe in them so fervently, but that’s not a good sign. If the Leafs can’t bust through to the net on a cycle, then they need rush chances, and they aren’t getting them because their movement through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone is not great.
San Jose 2, Vegas 1 (2OT) (Series Tied at 3)
Tomas Hertl scored shorthanded midway through the second overtime to send the series back to San Jose tied. His goal, and Martin Jones franchise-record 58 saves, kept the Sharks from becoming yet another higher seed eliminated in the first round. Logan Couture opened the scoring for San Jose while former Lightning Jonathan Marchessault was the lone Golden Knight who beat Jones. [Knights on Ice]
It’s hard not to feel the gut punch that this game represented. Vegas had its second opportunity to put the Sharks away but failed to do so despite dominating the game early and often. Now both teams have the same number of victories and both stand one win away from advancing to round two.