Early favorites for NHL hardware

We are at the midway point of the NHL season. Not only are teams starting to discover if they have playoff potential, but the races for individual honors are heating up.

Read through the five candidates below for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league's top goalie, and cast your vote in the poll on the left-hand side of the page. Then click on other four awards on the right side of the page. Continue through the five awards and see how your votes compare to the rest of SportsNation.

Ed Belfour
Belfour has taken nicely to the hockey capital of the world, despite a slow start that had fans questioning his worth. He has changed all that, and fans are now chanting "Eddie, Eddie!" as the Eagle has the Leafs back into a fight for home-ice advantage in the playoffs.

Marty Turco
The question at the start of the season was if Turco was ready to be the No. 1 goalie in Dallas. Guess so. He has flourished as the Stars' go-to goalie, leading the league in GAA and helping Dallas to the top of the Western Conference.

Martin Brodeur
Brodeur might not have the lowest GAA in the league or the best save percentage, but when the Devils have needed him the most, he has come through. His knack for holding opponents at bay has allowed the offesively challenged Devils to win close games and stay in the hunt in the East.

Jocelyn Thibault
In the past, it was Thibault's inconsistency that hurt the Blackhawks. This season, with a respectable defense, and good penalty killing, Thiabult has emerged as a top-flight netminder, putting up the best numbers of his career.

Dan Cloutier
Cloutier already has 21 wins under his belt, well on his way to surpassing his career best of 31. The 26-year-old is among the league's top three in shots against, but maintains a sub-2.1 GAA. He is also among the league leaders with five shutouts.