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Eastern Conference Finals Game 6 Preview: Devils Ready to Make Their Own History

2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Eastern Conference Finals

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round 3
New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils
8:00 P.M. ET
TV: NBCSN
Radio: Bloomberg 1130 AM

If you told me last year that the New Jersey Devils would be one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals, I would have told you that you were crazy.  Fast forward one year and here we are, one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2003.  To say this isn’t a big deal is an understatement. This is HUGE for this franchise!

If you remember correctly, the last two games I’ve called out Zach Parise and Patrik Elias and they both decided to show up. Parise has five points in his last two games and Elias scored a goal on Wednesday so while we’ll be looking for those two players to continue to step it up, it’s now time for Ilya Kovalchuk to come through.

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2011 NHL Awards Recap

NHL Awards 2011The 2011 NHL Awards were not without controversy.  Nicklas Lidstrom stole the Norris from Shea Weber and Zdeno Chara despite his -2 differential on the year.  Ryan Kesler finally won the Selke, Corey Perry deservedly took home the MVP Hart Trophy, and Tim Thomas got the Vezina.  Without further ado, here are the voting results for the finalists of the major awards:

NORRIS: Lidstrom (736), Weber (727), Chara (688)

SELKE: Kesler (1.179), Toews (476), Datsuyk (348)

ADAMS: Bylsma (196), Vigneault (169), Trotz (80)

CALDER: Skinner (1,055), Couture (908), Grabner (497)

GM OF THE YEAR: Gillis (96), Yzerman (61), Poile (55)

LADY BYNG: St. Louis (994), Lidstrom (464), Eriksson (347)

VEZINA: Thomas (104), Rinne (84), Luongo (33)

HART: Perry (1,043), Sedin (960), St. Louis (332)

Roberto Luongo’s season was rewarded as part of some goalie tandem award, and I’m sure drinking from it will be just as sweet as the Stanley Cup he almost won.

Zdeno Chara won the Mark Messier leadership award, but finished third for the Norris. I don’t think anyone feels too badly for him after the way the Bruins’ season finished.

Dustin Brown best embodied the NHL’s core principals and won the NHL Foundation Award.

I got six predictions right, which is better than I did for my Oscars picks.  Dan Bylsma did amazing things with a depleted Penguins roster, and I’m glad to see him rewarded.  I thought Yzerman filled the holes in the Tampa Bay Lightning incredibly well, and was robbed for GM of the year.

Speaking of rookies, Jeff Skinner won the Calder and he deserved it after an exciting season for the Hurricanes.

Tim Thomas got the Vezina after setting the record for best saves percentage in a season, in what was probably the least surprising award of the night.

Congratulations to all the players that were awarded. Now, on to the draft!

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