To celebrate the “half way to John Tavares” season, I would like to hand out a few awards.
The Islanders are a team that has had some bright spots, as well as some disappointments this year.
Stealing the names from the league awards (as well as making up a few of my own), here we go!
Hart Trophy – Richard Park
I know this is not an obvious choice, but no matter what role he is asked to play, he does it, and does it well. He has played mentor for the new kids, and leads the way on and off the ice. He does not get the credit he deserves but really is a catalyst for this team.
Norris Trophy – Mark Streit
There is no argument here, as Mark Streit has taken turns leading the NHL’s defensemen in scoring this year, and has a respectable minus-two rating on a team 15 games under .500. Also, he is the only current NHL defenseman to lead his team in scoring.
Vezina Trophy – Joey MacDonald
By default, the award goes to MacDonald. Not to say he hasn’t earned it. The games I Have watched, Joey has done a great job keeping the team in the game, and plays his heart out every game. He has proven that management was correct in giving a career minor leaguer a one-way contract.
Calder Trophy – Kyle Okposo
Okposo has certainly shown he belongs this year. Since returning from injury he has played more consistent hockey. He has great hands and an excellent release. Looking forward to seeing him continue to grow and mature as a hockey player.
Lady Byng – Josh Bailey
He seems like a pretty safe pick here. Not one to be in the box too much, he has also shown flashes of why he was a top 10 pick. A little more physical maturity from Mr. Bailey will mean a world of difference next year.
Selke Trophy – ???
Tough to choose a winner here. A team that has given up over 3.5 goals a game makes it a really tough choice, although I think Sean Bergenheim has the makings of a good defensive forward with his speed and puck pursuit. But at minus-13 (worst among the forwards), he is not there yet.
That is how it boils down as far as the “real” NHL awards. Now, some less than official awards:
Biggest Disappointment Award – Rick Dipietro
And it is not so much him but his health. He has not been 100% yet this year, and the year is half over. The franchise player sitting in sick bay is a major disappointment. If it needs to happen, pull the plug on this season so he is right for next year!
Biggest Surprise Award – Blake Comeau
Since coming up from Bridgeport, he has fit right in. The games I have watched this year, his line is by far the most dangerous, and he tends to be the catalyst. He is looking really good in the bigs. Not bad for a kid from Meadow Lake SK!
Weirdest thing to happen in a game – Flight of Fowl
A chicken flew into the Coliseum, flew around for 30 minutes, and left out the front door. The reason why no one heard of this, is there was no one at the game to witness it!!!
Let’s get some fans out to the games people. I live in Alberta, so I am out, but I am sure there are a few people in New York who can go. I watch the games through my cable provider, and the seats are empty.