It was suggested to Andrew Ference the other day that Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara, playing as well as they ever have, are perhaps on their way to once more winning their respective NHL trophies.

"Which trophy?" said Ference with a mischievous smile. "Conn Smythe?"

Well, first things first. On the playoff MVP, we'll have to wait and see.

But when it comes to the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender and the Norris as the best defenseman, Thomas and Chara approach Christmas as the respective front-runners.