2012 NHL Awards: Zdeno Chara, Erik Karlsson, Shea Weber Named Norris Finalists
This year's Norris Trophy finalists have perhaps the widest age range in NHL history. The competition features older defenseman with a 108.8 MPH slap shot, a kid that is barely old enough to legally buy a beer and Shea Weber.
Erik Karlsson made his name this year, leading the Ottawa Senators to a Game 7 against the heavily favored New York Rangers in the first round of playoffs. Zdeno Chara and Shea Weber are familiar with the spotlight of being nominated for the Norris.
Here is how each finalists' numbers stack up:
Erik Karlsson: 81 games, 19 goals, 59 assists, 78 points, plus-16 rating, 42 PIMs
Zdeno Chara: 79 games, 12 goals, 40 assists, 52 points, plus-33 rating, 86 PIMs
Shea Weber: 78 games, 19 goals, 30 assists, 49 points, plus-21 rating, 46 PIMs
By the numbers, it is fairly obvious that Erik Karlsson deserves to run away with this award. However, don't be too fast to give him the award right away.
I'll leave you with one fact.
The Norris Trophy always seems to be one that is given to the more notorious player. Last season, Lubomir Visnovsky led all defenseman in points, but he wasn't even nominated for the award. Instead, Nicklas Lidstrom won his seventh Norris Trophy last year.
Let's compare their statistics:
Lubomir Visnovsky: 81 games, 18 goals, 50 assists, 68 points, plus-18 rating, 24 PIMs
Nicklas Lidstrom: 82 games, 16 goals, 46 assists, 62 points, minus-2 rating, 20 PIMs
So just because you have the more impressive stat line does not mean that you will be taking home the trophy. I still believe Karlsson takes it home, but surprises always happen.
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