A Canadian, a German, and a Russian walk into a bar… Okay well maybe not, but they do get named as finalists for the Ted Lindsay award.
Tuesday morning Nathan MacKinnon, Leon Draisaitl, and Artemi Panarin were named the three finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, which goes to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted on by members of the PA.
It appears that there is no clear favourite right now and you can make a solid case for all three guys to be declared the winner of the award.
In Panarin’s first season with the Rangers, he posted 95 points in 69 games. He leads the team in scoring, and by a sizeable margin of 20 points. Had the season continued Panarin would have obliterated his previous career-high more than he already had. Panarin is one of the biggest reasons the Rangers were competitive this season. Bread man also was leading the charge when they started to pick up steam before the remainder of the regular season was halted due to COVID19. He was electric to watch in the big apple and Rangers fans are in for another six years of the breadman.
After the regular season, Draisaitl was the league leader in points and assists. He also was 4th in goals. Suppose he hadn’t silenced the doubters yet then his play this year sure as hell should have. In the six games when Connor McDavid was sidelined with an injury Draisaitl put up 12 points. And throughout the season when Draisaitl scored Edmonton was 24-5-2 and 13-20-7 when he didn’t. Draisaitl also has an advantage being the Art Ross winner. As seven of the last nine Art Ross winners also were awarded the Ted Lindsay Award.
In a season where his primary linemates got bit by the injury bug, MacKinnon didn’t skip a beat. He put up 93 points in 69 games playing with virtually any and every forward the Avalanche had to offer. He registered 29 multi-point games and scored points in 53 of 69 games. MacKinnon is probably the dark horse in this three-legged race. Based on what he’s done with what he had to deal with, I think his case is just as strong if not more substantial than the other two.