Erik Karlsson’s torn Achilles tendon has changed the story line of the Norris Trophy race almost as dramatically as it altered the Ottawa Senators’ chances in the Eastern Conference.
With Karlsson out for the regular season, the Norris race is wide open.
In this week’s USA TODAY Sports NHL power rankings vote, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, a rambunctious puck-carrier, has moved from third to first. He went from no first-place votes two weeks ago to nine this week. With 55 points, Letang has more points than defending Norris Trophy winner Karlsson had in the last balloting.
The Penguins are 7-3 in their last 10 games, and Letang had two goals and nine assists in those games. He plays nearly 26 minutes a game and has not had a minus plus-minus game since the fourth game of the season.
The only other power ranking change is that Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby took over the top spot in MVP voting.