Friday, June 23, 2006

Lidstrom and Datsyuk win NHL awards

Last night at the annual NHL Awards presentation in Vancouver, two Detroit Red Wings left with some impressive hardware as defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom walked away with his fourth Norris Trophy and forward Pavel Datsyuk was named the Lady Byng Trophy winner.

The Lady Byng Trophy is awarded annually "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability," as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

Datsyuk was named on 94 of 128 ballots and received 41 first-place votes for 669 points, finishing well ahead of 2004 Lady Byng winner Brad Richards of the Tampa Bay Lightning (442).

Datsyuk led the Red Wings in scoring in 2005-06 with a career-high 87 points (28 goals, 59 assists), the most by a Detroit player since Brendan Shanahan's 88 in 1996-97. Datsyuk became the first Red Wings player to tally 50 assists in a season since Steve Yzerman, also in 1996-97, and was the first player in franchise history to attempt and score a shootout goal, Dec. 20 vs. Columbus. He was assessed just 22 penalty minutes in 75 games.

For the fourth time in the past five seasons, Lidstrom has won the Norris, awarded to the defenseman demonstrating "the greatest all-around ability in the position," as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

Lidstrom was named on all 129 ballots and received 91 first-place votes for 1,152 points. He finished ahead of 2004 Norris Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer of the Anaheim Ducks (817).

Lidstrom, a Norris finalist in seven of the past eight seasons, led all defensemen in scoring with a career-high 80 points (16 goals, 64 assists) in 80 games. The Red Wings were a perfect 14-0-0 when he scored a goal. He ranked third in the NHL in ice time per game (28:06) and posted a +21 rating. Lidstrom was one of just two defensemen to average more than five minutes of power-play and six minutes of shorthanded time per game. He was also named to the NHL's First All-Star Team.


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