Assessing Mike Green's Norris Trophy Credentials

Six weeks or so ago Mike Green, while indisputably among the NHL's best defensemen, was not a serious contender for the Norris Trophy.  In fact, to suggest that he deserved serious consideration could easily get a Capitals fan labeled a homer.

How quickly things can change.

Green's recent run which, in addition to his six consecutive games with a goal, has seen him register ten points (five goals) in his last four games, nineteen points (nine goals) in his last twelve games, and twenty-six points (eleven goals) since Christmas Day, has solidified his place among the NHL's elite blueliners and has put his name on the Norris Trophy shortlist.  Green's hot streak has also attracted a good deal of attention around the league as Sports Illustrated, NHL.com, James Mirtle's From the Rink, Puck Daddy, Kukla's Korner, and The Bleacher Report have all run articles on Green's Norris qualifications in recent days.

Even for Capitals fans who have been watching him all season, the extent of Green's statistical achievements may be surprising:

Total Rank
Goals 19 1st
Assists 28 7th
Points 47 1st
+/- 21 5th
TOI Per Game
25:34 9th
Points Per Game 1.15 1st
Points Per 60 Min
1.78 1st
+/- on 60
1.87 1st
Corsi 17.1 t - 2nd

What may be even more impressive than Green's ranking in these categories is the difference between Green's numbers and those trailing him in the the statistics where he's setting the pace.  For example, Green's nineteen goals has him five ahead of Nashsville's Shea Weber, while eleven defensemen are within five goals of Weber's total of fourteen.  Additionally, Green has a five six point lead over Montreal's Andrei Markov, while seven blueliners are withing six points of Markov and Green's 1.12 1.15 points per game are 0.27 0.30 points per game more than second place Dan Boyle, while there are twenty-five defensemen within 0.30 points per game of Boyle.  Green's not just been the best offensive defenseman in the NHL this year, he's been in a class of his own.

Of course, the Norris Trophy doesn't necessarily go to the League's best offensive defenseman and Green, for all his talents, is not among the League's best in his own end.  Come June the question might be whether whether Green's dominance in terms of offensive production is enough to propel him past candidates who are better defensive players.

With that balance in mind, here's how Green compares statistically to other leading Norris candidates:


GP G A P +/- PIM PPG GWG Pts/GP +/-ON Corsi QCP QTM
M. Green, WSH 41 19 28 47 21 40 14 2 1.15 1.87 17.1 -0.01 0.11
J. Bouwmeester, FLA 52 12 16 28 4 56 7 1 0.54 0.39 -9.0 0.07 0.15
D. Boyle, SJ 46 13 26 39 10 32 6 3 0.86 0.39 17.1 -0.01 0.05
Z. Chara, BOS 54 12 20 32 24 58 7 2 0.59 1.23 2.8 0.07 0.08
D. Keith, CHI 47 6 23 29 25 30 2 1 0.62 1.45 10.0 0.07 0.00
N. Lidstrom, DET 49 9 27 36 21 16 6 3 0.73 1.39 8.0 0.11 0.41
A. Markov, MTL 53 7 34 41 6 26 3 3 0.77 0.08 0.3 0.04 0.10
B. Rafalski, DET 52 8 32 40 11 16 4 1 0.77 0.87 8.4 0.09 0.53
S. Weber, NSH 51 14 18 32 5 51 6 3 0.63 0.07 8.1 0.02 -0.12
D. Wideman, BOS 53 12 25 37 31 18 5 2 0.58 1.81 1.7 -0.00 0.02

Having seen the numbers, do you buy or sell Mike Green as a legitimate Norris Trophy contender?  If so, should he win?  If not, who would you vote for ahead of him and why?

[Ed. note: For explanations of +/-ON, Quality of Competition, and Quality of Teammates, please follow the links to behindthenet.ca.  For an explanation of the Corsi number please visit this Japers' Rink post from October.]

[Ed. note: Per J.P.'s comment on this post, Mike Green statistics have been updated to reflect his additional assist.]

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