Duncan Keith wins Norris Trophy

Duncan Keith.jpgA lot of folks thought the battle for the Norris Trophy was going to come down to a tight battle between Chicago’s Duncan Keith and Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty. While they were half-right about that, it was Washington’s Mike Green who made the vote interesting. That said, it was still Duncan Keith who came away with the hardware and his first Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman.

As for that voting breakdown, I’m sure folks won’t be asking a lot of questions about this. Duncan Keith was a pretty convincing winner taking down 76 first place votes, the debate will rage on about voters rather overwhelmingly choosing Green over Doughty.

        Pts.        1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th
        1.        Duncan Keith, CHI        1096        (76-37-14-2-1)
        2.        Mike Green, WSH        831        (34-46-23-15-9)
        3.        Drew Doughty, L.A.        662        (15-28-46-25-11)
        4.        Nicklas Lidstrom, DET        303        (4-9-16-28-36)
        5.        Chris Pronger, PHI        168        (2-3-9-22-16)
        6.        Dan Boyle, S.J.        116        (1-2-5-15-22)
        7.        Shea Weber, NSH        96        (1-2-6-12-6)
        8.        Zdeno Chara, BOS        88        (0-3-7-6-14)
        9.        Christian Ehrhoff, VAN        21        (0-1-0-3-5)
        10.        Mark Streit, NYI        15        (0-1-1-1-0)
        11.        Ryan Suter, NSH        13        (0-0-2-1-0)
        12.        Brian Rafalski, DET        12        (0-0-2-0-2)
        13.        Brent Seabrook, CHI        10        (0-0-2-0-0)
        14.        Sergei Gonchar, PIT        8        (0-1-0-0-1)
        15.        Tyler Myers, BUF        6        (0-0-0-0-6)
        16.        Dion Phaneuf, TOR        3        (0-0-0-1-0)
                Jeff Schultz, WSH        3        (0-0-0-1-0)
        18.        Ed Jovanovski, PHX        1        (0-0-0-0-1)
                Chris Phillips, OTT        1        (0-0-0-0-1)
                Anton Volchenkov, OTT        1        (0-0-0-0-1)

Obviously, a lot of people believe that Mike Green isn’t so much a defenseman as he is a forward that just happens to play the blue line, but his “defensive” numbers this year in having a +/- rating of +39 as well as his point totals may have done a lot to sway voters opinions of him. Green is outstanding at what he does, it’s just often difficult to to associate “defense” with a player who often gets exposed for not being very good at playing it.

On the upside for those gnashing their teeth over this, the battle between Doughty and Keith for this award on an annual basis should be outstanding for all of us who appreciate great two-way work on the blue line. These two players will be duking it out for this award for the next ten years at least.

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    Video: Mike Fisher ends Nashville’s nasty goal drought

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    No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.

    Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.

    They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.

    On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.

    Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

    Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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    Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

    Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

    Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

    The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

    “I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

    He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

    WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

    Ryan White, Matt Martin
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    You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

    Here are the handy links for the two contests.

    First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


    After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


    Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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    The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

    Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

    “Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

    Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

    Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

    Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

    Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer