Midway through the regular season, Kris Letang of the Penguins wasn't just being mentioned as a candidate for the Norris Trophy, which goes to the NHL's top defenseman.

He was being touted as the favorite in some circles.

Letang wasn't able to maintain his early level of play, however, and when the list of Norris finalists was announced Monday, he wasn't on it.

Instead, Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom , Zdeno Chara of Boston and Nashville's Shea Weber were the top three vote-getters in balloting among members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

And while Letang might have been a bit disappointed to be left out, he didn't seem terribly surprised.

"I had a good start, but I didn't finish the way I wanted," he said.