NHL Awards in Vegas: Predictions and possible shockers

(Ed. Note: Alright, off to the Puck Daddy/Japers' Rink shindig. Looking forward to seeing some of you there. Follow the fun on Twitter. Leahy'll have an awards wrap up tonight.)

Hey, no pre-awards show T-shirt leaks this year (so far). Lesson learned for the NHL.

While the NHL Awards Show from Las Vegas promises to have some surprises -- if Andre Mika's producing, as Scott Burnside reported, then the broadcast has some real potential -- Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals leaving empty-handed isn't going to be one of them. One assumes he'll sweep the Pearson ("most outstanding player" via the NHLPA) and the Hart Trophy for MVP. It'd be a stunner if he lost either of them.

Other awards picks for tonight:

Vezina: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins. The best numbers in hockey all season, and an absolute difference-maker for the Bruins. We'd love to see him get up and lobby for the starting goaltender job for the 2010 U.S. Olympic team.

Jack Adams: Claude Julien, Boston Bruins. Andy Murray could win this for guiding the St. Louis Blues through injury hell and into the playoffs; we'd be fine with it. But Todd McLellan winning for the San Jose Sharks would be a pisser. Shouldn't even be nominated.

Lady Byng: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings. See Selke.

Selke: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings. Because he's the most gentlemanly and solid defensively amongst the nominees for both awards. And because we want to hear him give two speeches.

Calder: Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets. C'mon Bobby Ryan fans, you know he deserves it, too.

Norris: Mike Green, Washington Capitals. As has been said plenty this week: If they voted for the awards after the postseason, Green wouldn't get it. This award could still be the most unpredictable of the night, with Zdeno Chara and Nicklas Lidstrom both having legitimate claims and their supporters. But Green garnered the biggest headlines, and sometimes that's enough.

Post your predictions for the awards and the show (what will Chaka Khan sing?) in the comments. Meanwhile, please do read the alternative NHL Awards from Jeff Klein of the New York Times and a Red Wings-centric one from Snipe Snipe Dangle Dangle. (H/T to reader Amy S. and A2Y.)

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