Picking the 2019-20 Norris Trophy winner
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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our choices for the Norris Trophy.
Roman Josi and, for me, it’s not that close (sorry John Carlson).
Josi put up 65 points in 69 games while leading all defenders in points – and primary points – at 5v5. Nashville scored 74 goals with their captain on the ice, a number unmatched by any defenseman in the NHL. Exactly zero (0) bested his +29 goal differential at full-strength.
It was no fluke the Predators steamrolled opponents on the scoreboard with Josi out there. He helped the Preds control ~54% of the chances and expected goals, which is a much larger share than when they’re playing without him.
Josi’s average Game Score of 1.25 was tops amongst all defenders to play in at least 50 games. GS factors in point production, on-ice metrics, penalty differential, etc. so leading the way in that regard is no small feat.
Call me crazy but I don’t think he should lose out to a guy with a 51.32 CF% and +5 goal differential on a powerhouse team.
It has to be John Carlson for me. Again, the current health crisis and suspension of the NHL has potentially ruined the chance for fans to see something they haven't for decades.
Carlson currently has 75 points through 69 games and has a small chance to crack 100 points, something that hasn't been done since Brian Leetch did it in '92. Even if Carlson was to hit 90 points that would be a massive accomplishment. Last time a defender hit 90 points was when Ray Bourque did so in '94.
There are so many factors to consider what makes "The Best Defenseman" but the shear amount of points, and the fact that he has 10 more right now than the second most in Roman Josi, I would find it hard to choose anyone else for the Norris.
Numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com
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