Tag: Brian Lee

Keith edges Weber, Chara for his second Norris Trophy


Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith won the second Norris Trophy of his career on Tuesday, edging a potent group of finalists in the process.

The 30-year-old defenseman scored six goals and 55 assists for 61 points in 79 games, notching a +22 plus/minus. Those numbers aren’t far behind the sterling stats he produced in winning the 2010 Norris.

It couldn’t have been easy for voters. That being said, Keith actually beat finalists Shea Weber and Zdeno Chara by a pretty comfortable margin, as you can see from these results:

Pts. 1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th
1. Duncan Keith, CHI 1033 (68-35-17-7-2)
2. Zdeno Chara, BOS 667 (21-39-22-19-17)
3. Shea Weber, NSH 638 (26-23-29-19-15)
4. Ryan Suter, MIN 351 (9-12-20-22-11)
5. Alex Pietrangelo, STL 304 (3-13-18-25-18)
6. Drew Doughty, LA 284 (8-6-17-18-23)
7. Erik Karlsson, OTT 70 (0-5-3-4-8)
8. Ryan McDonagh, NYR 53 (0-1-4-5-11)
9. Victor Hedman, TB 42 (1-1-0-5-10)
10. Mark Giordano, CGY 36 (1-0-2-3-7)
11. Matt Niskanen, PIT 36 (0-1-2-5-4)

More than a few people wondered why Drew Doughty wasn’t in the top three after some masterful playoff work, even if postseason production isn’t factored into voting. As it turns out, he wasn’t even in the top five.

Here’s a list of the Norris winners and the second highest vote-getters since 1990:

Year Winner Runner-up
2014 Duncan Keith, Chi. Zdeno Chara, Bos.
2013 P.K. Subban, Mtl. Ryan Suter, Min.
2012 Erik Karlsson, Ott. Shea Weber, Nsh.
2011 Nicklas Lidstrom, Det. Shea Weber, Nsh.
2010 Duncan Keith, Chi. Mike Green, Wsh.
2009 Zdeno Chara, Bos. Mike Green, Wsh.
2008 Nicklas Lidstrom, Det. Dion Phaneuf, Cgy.
2007 Nicklas Lidstrom, Det. Scott Niedermayer, Ana.
2006 Nicklas Lidstrom, Det. Scott Niedermayer, Ana.
2004 S. Niedermayer, N.J. Zdeno Chara, Ott.
2003 Nicklas Lidstrom, Det. Al MacInnis, St.L
2002 Nicklas Lidstrom, Det. Chris Chelios, Det.
2001 Nicklas Lidstrom, Det. Ray Bourque, Col.
2000 Chris Pronger, St.L Nicklas Lidstrom, Det.
1999 Al MacInnis, St.L Nicklas Lidstrom, Det.
1998 Rob Blake, L.A Nicklas Lidstrom, Det.
1997 Brian Leetch, NYR Vlad. Konstantinov, Det.
1996 Chris Chelios, Chi. Ray Bourque, Bos.
1995 Paul Coffey, Det. Chris Chelios, Chi.
1994 Ray Bourque, Bos. Scott Stevens, N.J.
1993 Chris Chelios, Chi. Ray Bourque, Bos.
1992 Brian Leetch, NYR Ray Bourque, Bos.
1991 Ray Bourque, Bos. Al MacInnis, Cgy.
1990 Ray Bourque, Bos. Al MacInnis, Cgy.

Comparing the Rangers to the 1994 team that broke ‘the curse’


For the first time in 20 years, the New York Rangers are in the Stanley Cup Final series. It’s a big deal even if Sports Illustrated probably won’t run a cover story about how “The NHL is hot and the NBA is not” this time around.

The cast of characters is wildly different, yet there are enough interesting parallels between the Stanley Cup-winning 1994 team and this 2014 squad that it could be fun to study the similarities and differences. Feel free to share your own parallels (or disagree about these) in the comments.

The Team

The 2013-14 Rangers finished second in the Metropolitan Division, enjoying strong puck possession and getting this far by playing great team defense. The 1994 version seemed more like a total package; the Rangers scored the fourth-most goals and allowed the third least goals in going 52-24-8 (112 points) to win the Atlantic Division and the Presidents’ Trophy before that Cup win.

Fittingly enough, the New Jersey Devils were the only team close in the standings, finishing with 106 points.

The Captain

Mark Messier made that famous guarantee on his way to the sixth Stanley Cup victory of his storied career and the first Rangers championship in 54 years. On the other hand, these Rangers don’t even possess a captain.

That’s not to say they lack leadership, however. Henrik Lundqvist is a steadying presence in net. Martin St. Louis came to New York in exchange for their former captain Ryan Callahan. Rick Nash is a former captain and Brad Richards knows big-game pressure.

No one’s made a flat-out guarantee, which is wise considering the modern news cycle. That’s not to say this group is meek by any means; St. Louis did state that this is “our time” after beating the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4.

The Goalie

source: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

There’s something oddly fitting about Lundqvist winning his 42nd career playoff game, just now passing Mike Richter for the franchise record. Lundqvist, 32, also has a few more career regular season victories (309) than Richter finished with (301). Lundqvist also has that 2006 gold medal, a Vezina Trophy and a contract that indicates that Lundqvist will leave Richter far behind statistically speaking.

Even so, for many Rangers fans, “King Henrik” won’t pass Richter until he wins it all.

The Defenseman

Ryan McDonagh is a rising star defenseman. He’s even putting up some numbers that haven’t been seen since Brian Leetch was at his best. McDonagh is one of the best blueliners the team has employed since Leetch and he’s only 24. But he’s not Leetch yet.

Leetch wasn’t that much older at the time, yet he was absolutely in his peak years back then. He won his first of two Norris Trophies in 1991-92 and went on to win the Conn Smythe in 1994.

Then again, it’s not just about Leetch and McDonagh. The Rangers employed regularly underrated defenseman Sergei Zubov, who led the Rangers in regular-season scoring with 89 points (five more than Messier and 10 more than Leetch).

The Deadline deals

As this NHL.com article lays out, then-Rangers GM Neil Smith mortgaged future assets to win that year and also chisel the team into “Iron” Mike Keenan’s image. That included a deal that sent Tony Amonte to Chicago for Stephane Matteau, which still seems to haunt Smith.

Current Rangers GM Glen Sather set out to make this roster friendlier to his coach Alain Vigneault, even though the general vibe is reversed (grit to finesse). Martin St. Louis has been a fantastic fit in the playoffs in particular, yet the Tampa Bay Lightning received two first-round picks and Ryan Callahan on at least a “rental” basis for their troubles.

Even though the 1994 Rangers made a larger volume of moves, the big-picture message was the same: win now.


The 1994 Rangers were dominant where this version is talented yet scrappy. There are some other similarities and differences (this year’s team boasts some nice young talent while the ’94 group featured the likes of Alex Kovalev), yet these big picture considerations make for an interesting comparison.

McDonagh putting up Leetch-like numbers for Rangers

Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers - Game Four

From the NHL’s morning email:

* Ryan McDonagh registered the secondary assist on Moore’s goal and finished the series with eight helpers and 10 points, tops among both teams. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first defenseman in Rangers history to collect eight assists in a playoff series and only the second to record at least 10 points. The other: Brian Leetch, who posted 5-6—11 in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final vs. VAN en route to capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy.

We’ve written a lot about McDonagh in these playoffs. The 24-year-old didn’t have a great start to the postseason, perhaps still feeling the effects of a late-season shoulder injury (courtesy Vancouver’s Alex Burrows).

McDonagh is back in form now though; he outplayed Montreal’s PK Subban in the Eastern Conference Final, and he’ll need to stay in form in the Stanley Cup Final against either the Kings or Blackhawks, each of whom boast elite d-men in Drew Doughty and Duncan Keith, respectively.

PS — Good trip down memory lane here, Rangers fans. (“I’ve been sitting here alone in the White House watching this, cheering for you, biting my fingernails, screaming and yelling. It’s been great, it was a wonderful game.”)