All-Rookie, All-Star Teams and rest of 2018 NHL Awards

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Let’s recap the remaining winners from the 2018 NHL Awards. Before we do so, here are the other big winners and corresponding links.

Hart Trophy

Taylor Hall

GM of the Year

George McPhee

Vezina Trophy

Pekka Rinne

Selke Trophy

Anze Kopitar

Jack Adams Award

Gerard Gallant

Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman

Calder Trophy

Mathew Barzal

Bill Masterton Trophy

Brian Boyle

Ted Lindsay

Connor McDavid

Lady Byng

William Karlsson

Also:

P.K. Subban named cover star for “NHL 19.”

Humboldt Broncos reunite to honor late coach Darcy Haugan (Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award).

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Now, let’s jump into the remaining awards and honors.

Mark Messier Leadership Award

Deryk Engelland (see video above this post’s headline)

King Clancy

Daniel and Henrik Sedin

William Jennings

Jonathan Quick with Jack Campbell

Of course, Alex Ovechkin won the Maurice Richard Trophy and Connor McDavid took the Art Ross.

First NHL All-Star Team

Left Wing: Taylor Hall
Center: Connor McDavid
Right Wing: Nikita Kucherov
Defense: Drew Doughty and Victor Hedman
Goalie: Pekka Rinne

Second NHL All-Star Team

Left Wing: Claude Giroux
Center: Nathan MacKinnon
Right Wing: Blake Wheeler
Defense: Seth Jones and P.K. Subban
Goalie: Connor Hellebuyck

All-Rookie Team

Forwards: Clayton Keller, Brock Boeser, and Mathew Barzal
Defense: Charlie McAvoy and Will Butcher
Goalie: Juuse Saros

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

One reason for Dallas Stars’ struggles? Shaky drafting

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The narrative is becoming almost as much of a trope as the Capitals suffering playoff heartbreak or the Hurricanes not even getting to the postseason. Year after year, the Dallas Stars “win” the off-season, yet they frustrate as much as they titillate when the pucks drop.

For years, mediocre-to-putrid goaltending has been tabbed as the culprit. There’s no denying that there have been disappointments in that area, especially since they keep spending big bucks hoping to cure those ills.

[Once again, Stars’ hope hinge on Kari Lehtonen.]

Checking all the boxes

The thing with success in the NHL is that there is no “magic bullet.”

Sure, the Penguins lucked out in being putrid at the right times to land Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and other key players with lottery picks. Even so, they’ve also unearthed some gems later in drafts (Kris Letang, Jake Guentzel) and made shrewd trades (Phil Kessel is the gift that keeps giving). They’ve also had a keen eye when it comes to who to keep or not keep in free agency, generally speaking.

In other words, the best teams may stumble here or there, but they’re generally good-to-great in just about every area.

The Stars hit a grand slam in the Tyler Seguin trade, made a shrewd signing in Alex Radulov, and enjoyed some nice wins in other moves. You can nitpick the style elements of bringing back Ken Hitchcock, but there are pluses to adding the Hall of Famer’s beautiful hockey mind.

Beyond goaltending, the Stars’ struggles in drafting and/or developing players really seems to be holding them back.

Not feeling the draft

Now, that’s not to say that they never find nice players on draft weekend. After all, they unearthed Jamie Benn in the fifth round (129th overall) in 2007 and poached John Klingberg with a fifth-rounder, too (131st pick in 2010).

Still, first-round picks have not been friendly to this franchise. When they’ve managed to make contact, they’ve managed some base hits, but no real homers. (Sorry, Radek Faksa.)

The Athletic’s James Gordon (sub required) ranked the Stars at 28th of 30 NHL teams who’ve drafted from 2011-15, furthering the point:

Imagine how great the Stars would be — what with Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov — had they managed to get another core piece or two with one of their many mid-first and second-round picks. Instead, they’ve nabbed mostly role players who don’t move the needle much.

Actually, it’s quite staggering just how far back the Stars’ struggles with first-rounders really goes. Ignoring 2017 first-rounder Miro Heiskanen (third overall) and 2016 first-rounder Riley Tufte (25th) as they’re particularly early in their development curves, take a look at the Stars’ run of first-rounders:

2015: Denis Gurianov, 12th overall, 1 NHL game
2014: Julius Honka, 14th, 53 GP
2013: Valeri Nichushkin, 10th, 166 GP; Jason Dickinson, 29th, 35 GP
2012: Radek Faksa, 13th, 196 GP
2011: Jamie Oleksiak, 14th, 179 GP
2010: Jack Campbell, 11th, 6 GP
2009: Scott Glennie, 8th, 1 GP
2008: No first
2007: No first
2006: Ivan Vishnevskiy, 27th, 5 GP
2005: Matt Niskanen, 28th, 792 GP

Yikes. Even if Gurianov and Honka come along, that group leaves … a lot to be desired. (And those struggles go back past 2014 and beyond, honestly.)

Blame scouting, development, or both, but the Stars aren’t supplementing high-end talent with the depth that often separates great from merely good.

This isn’t a call for perfection, either. Even a team with some high-profile whiffs can also get big breaks. Sure, the Boston Bruins passed on Mathew Barzal three times, but they also got steals in Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak.

 

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If the Stars want to break through as more than a fringe playoff team, “winning the off-season” will need to start in late June instead of early July.

And, hey, what better time to do that than when they’re hosting the next draft?

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

The Buzzer: Big nights for Karlsson, Hall, Nash

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Players of the Night:

  • You don’t come across a ton of nights where multiple players enjoy five-point games, but there were some prolific performances on Tuesday. The Minnesota Wild beat the St. Louis Blues 8-3, with Eric Staal and Jason Zucker both managing the feat. Staal gets extra cool points because he combined a hat trick with two assists. More on that here.
  • Remarkably, there was another five-point night. Roman Josi collected five assists in helping the Predators beat the Jets 6-5. Josi tied Nashville’s single-game record with those five points. That game was just a lot, so read more.
  • Despite those five-point outputs, there actually were some strong goaltending performances. You can read about Jack Campbell making 41 saves for his first win – a long time coming – in this post. Perhaps you’re more impressed by a shutout, though. Ben Bishop stopped 38 shots to help the Stars beat the Flames 2-0.

Highlights

You know what? Rick Nash in a Bruins uniform feels right. Doesn’t it? Either way, pretty nice first goal with Boston:

Hey, cool milestone too:

Great moment of patience, and other stuff: Anze Kopitar.

Another great moment of patience, and other stuff: Jonathan Huberdeau

Erik Karlsson collected the 500th regular-season point of his career, and hey, he did it with the Ottawa Senators. Oh yeah, it also came on a patently ridiculous goal.

Factoids

Taylor Hall continues to be outrageous, helping the Devils beat the Penguins in regulation.

A great time for David Poile to reach a rare mark for GMs.

Scores

Bruins 4, Hurricanes 3 (OT)
Devils 3, Penguins 2
Capitals 3, Senators 2
Panthers 3, Maple Leafs 2 (OT)
Wild 8, Blues 3
Predators 6, Jets 5
Stars 2, Flames 0
Kings 4, Golden Knights 1
Sharks 5, Oilers 2

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Kings beat Vegas two nights in a row

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Physically and emotionally, things must have been exhausting for the Los Angeles Kings lately. They can take a breath and maybe let out a sigh of relief after Tuesday.

Just about any team will be trying to catch their breath after playing a home-and-home set with the hectic, shockingly effective Vegas Golden Knights. That’s especially true when you’re resting Jonathan Quick, thus throwing Jack Campbell into the fire because previous backup Darcy Kuemper is now in Arizona.

On Monday, they beat the Golden Knights in overtime in Los Angeles. On Tuesday, they warded off a torrent of activity to beat the Golden Knights 4-1.

Campbell and counter-punching

It wasn’t as easy as the 4-1 score would imply, even though there were no empty-netters.

The Golden Knights fired 42 shots on goal to 30 for the Kings, but Los Angeles was able to counter-punch, particularly on goals for Kyle Clifford and Tyler Toffoli.

Vegas’ hard-charging style might mean certain “live by the sword, die by the sword moments,” even if they’ve done a marvelous job of walking that razor’s edge. Jack Campbell simply outdueled them tonight.

Back during the 2010 NHL Draft, the Dallas Stars selected Campbell with the 11th overall pick. Campbell was selected shortly before Cam Fowler, Jaden Schwartz, and Vladimir Tarasenko. Being that Tuesday marked just the third NHL appearance of the 26-year-old’s career, it’s not outrageous to say that things haven’t exactly panned out as planned.

Campbell hasn’t given up on his hockey career, and Tuesday stands as a heartwarming reward. The Golden Knights fired a ton of shots on him, but only an early William Karlsson goal beat Campbell. That’s saying something, being that Vegas fired 30 SOG through the first two periods alone.

New faces

Tomas Tatar suited up wearing number 90 for Vegas. He fired plenty of shots, but it was Ryan Reaves who made more of an impression, heading to the penalty box on multiple occasions and drawing ire for hits on the likes of Anze Kopitar.

Jeff Carter isn’t technically a “new face,” but he probably almost feels that way considering how long he’s been out of commission for the Kings. After scoring his first goal of the season on the power play last night, he added another one on the man advantage to ice this win against the Golden Knights.

With Carter only at nine games played, he almost feels like a “trade deadline addition” for Los Angeles.

Promising road ahead?

There’s one other significant source of optimism for Los Angeles: the Kings’ early March schedule.

The Kings play their next five games at home, and beyond that, seven of eight contests take place at the Staples Center from March 1-17. This big win strengthens the Kings’ playoff positioning in the West’s playoff races. They moved to third in the Pacific Division with 75 points in 64 games, grabbing slim advantages over the Ducks (74 points) and Calgary Flames (73). They’re also not far behind second-ranked San Jose, who took care of business against Edmonton tonight.

While the Golden Knights face a harsh start to March, they remain in a strong position to win the Pacific, if not the West’s top seed.

Speaking of seeds … if Vegas faces Los Angeles in a first-round series, then games like Tuesday’s bout could already plant the seeds of disdain, even for a rivalry that’s just brimming.

And here we were thinking it would take a long time for this to be more fun than that weird Twitter tiff from September …

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings at Vegas Golden Knights

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

PROJECTED LINES

Los Angeles Kings

Alex IafalloAnze KopitarDustin Brown

Tanner PearsonJeff CarterTyler Toffoli

Tobias RiederAdrian KempeNate Thompson

Kyle CliffordMichael AmadioTorrey Mitchell

Derek ForbortDrew Doughty

Dion PhaneufAlec Martinez

Jake MuzzinChristian Folin

Starting goalie: Jack Campbell

[Kings – Golden Knights preview.]

Vegas Golden Knights

Jonathan MarchessaultWilliam KarlssonReilly Smith

David PerronErik HaulaJames Neal

Alex TuchCody EakinTomas Tatar

Ryan ReavesRyan CarpenterTomas Nosek

Luca SbisaNate Schmidt

Shea TheodoreDeryk Engelland

Colin MillerBrayden McNabb

Starting goalie: Maxime Lagace