2011 NHL Playoffs: Opening Round Awards
It has been an absolute pleasure watching some of the hockey that has been played in this year's first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Five of the eight playoff series' went the distance, two of which were decided in overtime. That is what we call edge of your seat action.
Having not only the game, but the series and season on the line with every scoring chance can truly be hazardous to your health. Whether or not the game ends in your favor, everyone enjoys the ride during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Here are your NHL Award winners for the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Hart Memorial Trophy: Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit)
The "Most Valuable Player" of the 2011 first round is Pavel Datsyuk.
Pavel Datsyuk excelled in every phase of the game during first round play.
Pavel commanded the Red Wing attack to a 4-0 series sweep of the Phoenix Coyotes and displayed incredible skill that amazed onlookers.
In just four games played, Pavel scored two goals, dished out four assists, and had a plus-six rating on the ice. Short, sweet, and to the point was how Datsyuk and the Red Wings handled this series.
Vezina Trophy: Dwayne Roloson (Tampa Bay)
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The "Most Outstanding Goaltender" award for the first round goes to Dwayne Roloson of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa ousted Pittsburgh four games to three.
There has been some stellar, absolutely stellar, goaltending so far in the playoffs. Not only are the number of saves and percentages phenomenal, the style in which some of these saves occur leave us speechless.
Roloson emerged in the playoffs and was a key reason why the Lightning were able to come back and shock the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Roloson is 41 years of age, and has only been in Tampa Bay for half the season. He pitched a shut out on the road, in game seven.
He stopped 243 of 256 shots faced in a grueling seven-game series. What Roloson did during game seven in Pittsburgh was nothing short of brilliant.
Honorable Mention: Michal Neuvirth (Washington)
Calder Memorial Trophy: Michal Neuvirth (Washington)
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The "Most Outstanding Rookie" of the first round award goes to Michal Neuvirth of the Washington Capitals.
There has some great rookie play on year long in the NHL. When it comes to playoff time, the toughest position for a rookie to start is goaltender.
Michal Neuvirth stepped into a platoon role and took over, helping Washington roll all over New York. Neuvirth's stats are incredible, boasting a 1.36 goals against average and a .946 save percentage.
Eight goals allowed in five games, with two of those games being at Madison Square Garden, is a pretty good stat.
Honorable Mention: Corey Crawford (Chicago), Marc-Andre Gragnani (Buffalo)
Norris Memorial Trophy: Shea Weber (Nashville)
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The "Most Outstanding Defenseman" award for this past first round goes to Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators.
The definition of an all around captain for his team, Shea Weber was magnificent in leading Nashville to their first ever series win.
In the six-game series with Anaheim, Weber scored three goals, assisted two other goals, and finished with a plus-4 rating.
Weber was fantastic both ways for his position while averaging nearly 27 minutes of ice-time per game.
Honorable Mention: Mike Green (Washington), Kimmo Timmonen (Philadelphia), Duncan Keith (Chicago)
Jack Adams Award: Mike Babcock (Detroit)
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The "Most Outstanding Coach" award for this past first round goes to Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.
Babcock's line-changes and instrumental usage player combinations gives Detroit an edge over competition when it comes to coaching.
His play-calling utilizes the skill-set of stars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, as well as maximizes the potential in young guys like Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm.
Babcock's demeanor on the bench keeps his team always focused on the game at hand.
This kind of coaching helps tremendously in the playoffs, and the Red Wings did happen to sweep Phoenix in four games.
Honorable Mention: Bruce Boudreau (Washington), Barry Trotz (Nashville)