In one of the more heavily-debated awards amongst media and fans, it turns out that Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers really didn’t have much in the way of competition on the way to winning the NHL’s Calder Trophy as the top rookie. Here’s how the voting breakdown went.
1. Tyler Myers, BUF 1178 (94-29-5-3-1)
2. Jimmy Howard, DET 778 (24-45-34-16-5)
3. Matt Duchene, COL 755 (12-42-53-25-1)
4. Tuukka Rask, BOS 339 (2-14-19-31-33)
5. John Tavares, NYI 303 (0-2-18-50-49)
6. Niclas Bergfors, ATL 30 (0-0-2-2-14)
7. Jamie Benn, DAL 20 (0-0-1-2-9)
8. Michael Del Zotto, NYR 15 (0-1-0-0-8)
9. Victor Hedman, T.B. 6 (0-0-1-0-1)
10. Evander Kane, ATL 6 (0-0-0-1-3)
11. Johnny Boychuk, BOS 3 (0-0-0-1-0)
Cody Franson, NSH 3 (0-0-0-1-0)
13. T.J. Galiardi, COL 3 (0-0-0-0-3)
James van Riemsdyk, PHI 3 (0-0-0-0-3)
15. Tyler Bozak, TOR 2 (0-0-0-0-2)
Myers taking home the award by 400 points and having 70 more first place votes than Jimmy Howard, the voters enthusiastically said that Myers was their man and who can argue with what the 20 year-old defenseman did this year and sound logical.
The 6’8″, 222-lb. defenseman led the Sabres in ice time per game (23:44), three minutes more than blueline partner Henrik Tallinder who ranked second. He shared second place on the club in plus-minus (+13) and was fifth in scoring (11-37–48). Myers ranked at or near the top in several rookie categories, including average ice time (first), shorthanded time (first, 3:04), assists (first), blocked shots (first, 137), plus-minus (T-second) and points (third). He also was one of four rookies to play all 82 games.
Those are mammoth stats but, as always, there’s a hint of controversy as Detroit’s Jimmy Howard put up stellar numbers of his own this season but folks wondered aloud if a 26 year-old should win the rookie of the year award. You have to wonder if that age discrepancy played into the voters minds, but it’s not as if Myers is undeserving. Sometimes it’s nice to have that many great finalists, especially ones that are that young.
The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.
In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).
Here’s his first goal of the night:
While this is his overtime game-winner:
It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.
The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.
October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.
November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.
Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.
More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.
Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.
Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:
… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.
(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)
Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.
You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.
Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.
Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.
You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.
It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.
Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.
Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.
Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.
Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:
Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.
If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.
Check out this incredible shot of that moment:
Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.