Handing out the NHL hardware

Calder Trophy: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
The first overall pick from last June's draft is turning the Rookie of the Year race into a runaway, as MacKinnon piles up the points for an Avs team that continues to exceed expectations. It's not just that he's running away with the rookie points race, although that's a factor (his 49 points are 12 more than surprising Tampa rookies Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat). For us, it's the fact that MacKinnon seems to be getting better all the time. As of Monday, MacKinnon is enjoying a 11-game point streak and had points in 13 of his past 14 games, including five multipoint efforts. MacKinnon, playing most recently with captain Gabriel Landeskog and veteran Paul Stastny, also leads all first-year players with five game-winning goals and leads in points, goals, assists and power-play goals. Runners-up: Johnson; Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets

Jack Adams Trophy: Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh Penguins
As usual, there are a lot of intriguing choices when it comes to picking the Coach of the Year. This is an award that usually goes to a coach who gets a lot out of a little, which often precludes the coaches of top-end teams, fair or not. There are guys this year like Jon Cooper in Tampa and Patrick Roy in Colorado who deserve attention for getting their teams into the thick of the playoff discussion, but for us it comes down to two coaches of top teams: Bruce Boudreau of the league-leading Anaheim Ducks and Dan Bylsma of the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins. Given the injury/suspension issues Bylsma has had to confront with the Penguins this season, we'll go with the Pittsburgh coach to earn his second Jack Adams award. Runners-up: Boudreau, Cooper

Frank J. Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
The award given to the league's best defensive forward is among the most prestigious in the NHL, and always one of the hardest to narrow down to a group of deserving finalists. Anze Kopitar continues to do yeoman's work for a Los Angeles Kings team that has the stingiest defense in the NHL. Toews is in the hunt, for sure, after his first-ever Selke win in last year's lockout-shortened season. And what about other elite players like Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings or even Crosby, given their dedication to the two-way game? For our money, though, the Selke goes to the man who has won more faceoffs than anyone in the NHL this season and consistently is asked to shut down opposing teams' top offensive units. Bergeron, a former Selke winner, is a big reason the Bruins rank first in the Eastern Conference and second in the league in goals allowed per game. Runners-up: Kopitar, Toews

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