Clayton Keller, on what he noticed playing against Drew Doughty in his first full year:
I think he’s one of the best defensemen in the league. He’s so smart, he’s skilled. There’s nothing bad about his game. That’s why he is where he is, and he’s obviously really tough to play against. Good stick. He’s not afraid to use the body. It’s tough, because pretty much every time I was out there, he was out there, too. You’ve really got to work on your chances and just capitalize on the bounces that you get.
Sean Couturier, on what he noticed playing against Anze Kopitar:
He’s a big, strong centerman, responsible both ways up the ice. There’s not really any flaws in his game, so he’s tough to play against. Like you said, I haven’t played a lot against him, but coming into the league, he was one of the guys I was impressed with how big and smart he was and how skilled he was and how he could impact the game. It’s pretty impressive. He’s a great player.
Couturier, on whether his dad, Sylvain, kept Kings paraphernalia at home when he was a kid:
When I was young, there used to be a few pucks and t-shirts hanging around, but I was too young to live it.
Roberto Luongo, on having Willie Mitchell as a teammate:
As a goalie, he was one of your favorite guys to have on the team. He prided himself in playing defense and being strong in front of the net and making sure that nothing gets by him. As a goalie, that’s what you look for as a defenseman. We spoke a lot during the season to make sure we played well defensively, that our penalty killing was on point. I really enjoyed playing with him not only in Florida, but also in Vancouver. [Reporter: And also as a teammate in the room as well, his loquaciousness, too?] Of course. Willie’s Willie. That’s the best way I could put it. He’s a great guy and he cares a lot, and I think that’s what made him a great teammate.
Victor Hedman, on Drew Doughty:
He’s a guy that I really look up to. Even though it’s just a year difference in age, just the way he plays the game, his stamina on the ice, he plays 30 minutes and is up and down the ice all the time. Kills penalties, plays on the power play, and he’s just a complete player. That’s what I’m striving towards becoming, and I think I made some good steps in the past four or five years, and he’s been a big inspiration for me, so it’s an honor being nominates alongside him.
Nathan MacKinnon, on what he has to reinforce when he takes the ice against Anze Kopitar:
He’s tough. He’s probably the toughest guy I have to play against in this league. I don’t see Bergeron very often. I’m sure he’s tough. But I see Kopi three, four times every year. It’s hard. You’ve just got to remind yourself to be patient because you’re not going to get very much. You might get one or two chances a night, five-on-five. He’s not going to cheat, and he still produces like one of the top scorers in the league. So, it’s amazing. I’ve got a lot of respect for Kopi. He’s one of the best players in the league, and he’s been doing it for like 12 years now. That said, probably the hardest guy I have to play against in the league.
P.K. Subban, on the experience of being on the ice at the same time as Drew Doughty:
Drew and I have played against each other our whole lives. It’s nothing new playing against each other, but obviously we try to do what we can for our respective teams and try to bring what a lot of players can’t bring, and that’s an all-around game, being impactful in all three zones and doing that consistently, and I think when you look at the numbers, we’ve done it fairly consistently amongst the best players in the game at our position.
Subban, on whether there’s a fraternity among the league’s top defensemen:
I think there’s a mutual respect, but it’s competitive. Everybody wants to win. I’ve been up for [the Norris Trophy] three or four times – I’m not sure – but I think I should have three already. That’s just the way it is. But, I think in regards to these awards, I also keep it in mind that they’re very subjective in terms of the opinions of the media and the people that are selecting them, so as long as my team, my coaching staff and myself are happy with my game and where I’m at, then I can sleep at night.
Via Bovada, NHL Awards Odds:
2018 NHL Awards – Who will win the Hart Memorial Trophy for most valuable player to his team?
Taylor Hall (NJ) 5/6
Nathan MacKinnon (COL) 10/11
Anze Kopitar (LA) 9/1
2018 NHL Awards – Who will win the Vezina Trophy for most outstanding goaltender?
Pekka Rinner (NAS) 2/13
Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) 9/2
Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB) 8/1
2018 NHL Awards – Who will win the James Norris Memorial Trophy for most outstanding defenseman?
Victor Hedman (TB) 1/3
P.K. Subban (NAS) 3/1
Drew Doughty (LA) 11/2
2018 NHL Awards – Who will win the Calder Memorial Trophy for rookie of the year?
Mathew Brazal (NYI) 1/100
Brock Boeser (VAN) 9/1
Clayton Keller (ARI) 15/1
2018 NHL Awards – Who will win the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year?
Gerard Gallant (LV) 1/100
Jared Bednar (COL) 11/1
Bruce Cassidy (BOS) 11/1
2018 NHL Awards – Who will win the Lady Byng Trophy for best sportsmanship?
William Karlsson (LV) 1/7
Ryan O’Reilly (BUF) 9/2
Aleksander Barkov (FLA) 19/2
2018 NHL Awards – Who will win the Bill Masterton Trophy for the most perseverance?
Brian Boyle (NJ) 1/25
Jordan Stall (CAR) 15/2
Roberto Luongo (FLA) 12/1
2018 NHL Awards – Who will win the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the best defensive forward?
Anze Kopitar (LA) 10/11
Patrice Bergeron (BOS) 1/1
Sean Couturier (PHI) 6/1
-Lead photo via Bruce Bennet/Getty Images