Now at this season’s midpoint, let’s hand out some awards for some noteworthy players.
The Almighty award - Evgeni Malkin
This guy has absolutely delivered the goods we knew he was capable of
Simply put, this guy is on fire with 65 points in 43 games. We knew he had the talent, and obviously playing alongside Crosby we knew he was going to get the points, I’m just not sure we knew he would get this many.
At this pace, he could amass 130 points by the season’s end. He’s a clear MVP candidate, and it’s no coincidence the letters “milk” appear in his name, because this guy does a fantasy team GOOD.
The Draft Gem award - Ryan Getzlaf
Guy who was probably picked about the third or fourth round of your draft, but he’s performing like a top-five pick
I love this guy. I traded for him early in the season and it was the best decision I could have made.
His career high for points was set last year when he had 82. He has 50 already this year, and will easily eclipse his point total and have 90-100 by season’s end.
The Ducks are a contender because of this guy’s all-around game play and leadership.
The Left Field award - Tim Thomas
This guy has come out of nowhere to be one of the leagues best
The Bruins are good this year. Let me re-phrase that—the Bruins are really good this year, and Thomas is a huge part of that. He’s the last line of defense for Boston, and after showing some talent last season, he’s now proving he can do the job along with the league's top netminders.
He’s in the top three of the league for both GAA and save-percentage, and he’s got the B’s in line for a strong run at the Cup. This guy should be played with the utmost confidence, each and every time he’s between the pipes
The Youngster award - Steve Mason
This is for the league’s best rookie
I’ve had the privilege of actually seeing this guy play, and it was stunning. Playing for the Blue Jackets, he’s had his work cut out for him, and so far he gets the A+.
He’s taking a team that has been struggling for years and turning them into a Central Division force. He leads the league in both GAA and save-percentage, and did I mention he has a league-best six shutouts?
The Draft Flop award - Jason Spezza
This guy was drafted high, but isn’t living up to his hype
After 92 points last season, he was set up to have another career year with linemates Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson.
And here he is with a wimpy 33 points.
This guy has WAY more potential than this, and I pray he has a better second half, because he’s in line to be this year’s top fantasy dud.
The Big Name/Small game award - Eric Staal
Simply put, this guy is a big name, but he’s playing like a rookie again
This guy has been stepping up his game each year since coming into the league four years ago. And we know he’s capable of a giant season after his 100-point year in ‘05-06.
But this season it looks like he’s taking a step back. He’s on a pace to have just over 60 points, and fantasy owners have to be kicking themselves.
He has the skills to be an elite in this league—but if he doesn’t take his struggling game to the next level, we may have to rethink that.
The MVP award - Alexander Ovechkin
Best Overall Player
How can you write a hockey related article without mentioning this guy? He’s arguably the best two-way player in the league, and he’s a huge threat each and every night.
He hasn’t has been as huge so far as I thought he might have been, but look for this guy to be an absolute nut in the second half. He’ll end with 100-110 points.