As expected, Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith was named one of the three finalists for the Norris Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL’s best blue-liner.
Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty and Washington’s Mike Green were the other final selection for the award, which voted up on the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
The case for each of them from the NHL:
Keith played all 82 games this season for the third time in his five-year NHL career. In doing so, he logged a total of 2,180:24 of ice time, the most among all NHL players. Having steadily increased his production each year, he took his offense to another level this season, registering career highs in goals (14), assists (55) and points (69). Keith ranked second to Washington’s Mike Green among NHL defensemen in assists and points. He posted a plus-21 rating and is plus-84 over the last three seasons.
Doughty, who won’t turn 21 until Dec. 8, is vying to become the second-youngest Norris Trophy winner — Bobby Orr won his first of a record eight at 20 years, 3 months of age. With 59 points, Doughty ranked third in the NHL in scoring among defensemen, behind fellow finalists Mike Green and Duncan Keith. Doughty’s 16 goals — including five game-winners, tops among NHL defensemen — tied him with Nashville’s Shea Weber for second most among League blueliners behind Green’s 19. He logged 24:58 of ice time per game, which led the Kings and ranked 13th among all NHL players, and posted a plus-20 rating.
Runner-up to Zdeno Chara for the 2009 Norris Trophy, Green followed up his 31-goal 2008-09 season by leading NHL defensemen in both goals (19) and points (76) for the second straight year. He led the League’s blueliners in assists (57) and power-play goals (10), quarterbacking the NHL’s most lethal man-up unit — Washington’s 79 power-play goals were nine more than any other team and its 25.2-percent success rate easily outpaced the competition. Green also ranked among the League’s top 10 defensemen in plus/minus (second, plus-39), game-winning goals (second, four) and average ice time (ninth, 25:28).