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5 MINUTE GUIDE

Oct. 06, 2014
Oct. 06, 2014

Table of Contents
Oct. 6, 2014

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MATT FORTE
  • Deceptively fast. Smoother than you'd think.... You can tag Matt Forte with all of the backhanded compliments you want, but the facts remain: He's the brain and the heart of Chicago's (maddeningly) lethal offense, and he's more important to his team than any other back in the NFL

  • Poor starts? We've seen a few—and we're not even counting the suspended likes of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson

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5 MINUTE GUIDE

ROSS TROPHY

This is an article from the Oct. 6, 2014 issue

SIDNEY CROSBY

Penguins

The 80 games he played last year (when he won the Ross) were his most in a full season since 2009--10. But he doesn't need a full season—if Crosby plays 65 to 70 games, he can score at a pace nobody else can match.

HART TROPHY

PATRICK KANE

Blackhawks

His defensive play has improved significantly, and however Chicago chooses to compose its lines, the team has enough skilled forwards to help Kane score more goals and chip in more assists. (He had 29 and 49, respectively, last season.)

NORRIS TROPHY

SHEA WEBER

Predators

He has never been named the league's top defenseman, though he's been the NHL's unofficial gold standard for much of the last decade. He's a physical force with one of the game's best slap shots—he was second on the team with 23 goals last year. He's due.

VEZINA TROPHY

TUUKKA RASK

Bruins

Boston should be as strong defensively as last year, when Rask played a career-high 58 games and won his first Vezina. Jonathan Quick's Kings aren't a regular-season team; Henrik Lundqvist's Rangers will struggle. Rask is the pick to repeat.

CALDER TROPHY

JOHN GIBSON

DUCKS

Gibson, 21, has already demonstrated he can excel in the NHL: He played seven games for Anaheim in 2013--14, allowing only 13 goals (with a .934 save percentage), and had shutouts in both his regular-season and playoff debuts.

PHOTOANNE-MARIE SORVIN/USA TODAY SPORTS (CROSBY)FIVE ILLUSTRATIONS