Also absent, Duncan Keith
The NHL announced the next set of finalists for end of the season awards - up today were the finalists for the Norris Trophy and it's not a huge shock but Duncan Keith was not named to the final three. Keith definitely made a name for himself this year as he stepped up his game so much that anytime you heard a list of "the best players you don't know about" Keith's name always seemed to come up. So that cat is out of the bag and was last seen being lifted by its tail at Wrigley.
The Finalists this year are:
|2008 - Mike Green||68||31||42||73||24||68||18||1||4||1||243||12.8|
|2008 - Zdeno Chara||80||19||31||50||23||95||11||0||3||2||216||8.8|
|2008 - Nicklas Lidstrom||78||16||43||59||31||30||10||0||4||0||180||8.9|
and just for kicks, lets throw in Keith's stats and see how he compares
|2008 - Duncan Keith||77||8||36||44||33||60||2||1||1||0||173||4.6|
Keith did lead all defensemen in +/- but there's a whole list of reasons you shouldn't really trust that stat that we won't get into now. Not to say it's a worthless stat but there are stats that provide a better reflection of players.
A lot of people are focusing on Green's goals and points as a leading reasoning for his candidacy. Green did have an amazing year offensively with 31 goals and 71 points but is that a good reason to qualify for the Norris? Probably not. After all, the award is supposed to go to the "defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position" not just the one who scores the most.
Luckily for Green though, he had a good year as a defender as well. He's got the 4th highest behind the net rating, tied for the highest corsi rating, Goals against/60 was only 2.18 which is the same as Keith (Lidstrom - 2.14, Chara - 2.23). Green's not a shutdown guy but he's hardly Brian Campbell.
In my mind the race is between Green and Chara with Lidstrom's time being done. I'd give Green the edge..
Keith is close to many of the finalists in many stats and if he keeps improving should be considered for the award in the next year or two, especially as the Hawks around him continue to improve. Some people, like godfather Mirtle, already have him damn close at 4th overall. Others like Puck Daddy don't even mention him in the "uninvited" list. Luckily Mirtle's got a vote and Wysh doesn't (I don't think). There's plenty of other lists coming out that have Keith ranked pretty high as well but it's too much to find/list 'em all - so if you see any interesting ones put up a link in the comments.
UPDATE: Ask and you shall recieve... here's Seabrook's numbers
|2008 - Brent Seabrook||82||8||18||26||23||62||3||1||1||0||132||6.1|
Biscuit is still a ways away from getting serious consideration for this award. He's getting really solid defensively but doesn't bring much offense to the game. His PPTOI probably hurts him a lot, as it does for Keith. All the other three candidates lead their teams for PPTOI for D-Men.
What Biscuit does have for him is he has the highest QUALCOMP rating of and D-Men in the league. Keith is also just behind him, tied for second overall