April 26, 2012

Chara stacks up well against fellow Norris Trophy nominees

By Jesse Connolly

In the wake of a Game 7 loss on home ice, there’s simply no consolation prize great enough to lift any hockey player’s spirits.

But on Thursday morning, fresh off of his team’s elimination from the postseason, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara received a personal pat on the back from the NHL. The 6-foot-9 defenseman was named as one of the three nominees for this year’s Norris Trophy.

Chara led all d-men and tied for third in the league in plus-minus (+33) and notched a career-high 52 points in 2011-12, placing him fourth in that category at his position. This is the Slovakian blueliner’s fifth nomination for the award and fourth in the last five seasons. He was up for the Norris Trophy in 2008, won it in 2009 and finished third in the voting last season.

Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and Nashville’s Shea Weber are the other two candidates. Karlsson led all defensemen with 78 points (19 goals, 59 assists). The gifted 21-year-old’s point total tied with for 10th overall in the NHL with Patrik Elias of the Devils.

Weber, who placed second behind Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom in the voting last season, had 49 points and the fifth highest average in ice time per game (26:09) in the NHL.

Here’s a little statistical breakdown of the three nominees, featuring their rank among NHL defensemen in each category (bolded stat = tops among Norris nominees):










Zdeno Chara

12 (T-6th)

40 (T-4th)

52 (4th)

+33 (1st)

25:00 (11th)

166 (24th)

87 (120th)

2:43 (40th)

Erik Karlsson

19 (T-1st)

59 (1st)

78 (1st)

+16 (T-17th)

25:19 (9th)

60 (T-138th)

65 (T-166th)

0:33 (T-210th)

Shea Weber

19 (T-1st)

30 (23rd)

49 (T-6th)

+21 (T-7th)

26:09 (5th)

177 (T-16th)

140 (T-35th)

2:16 (80th)

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.