Saturday, January 07, 2006


Midseason Awards

Hockey Dirt hosted a weblogger midseason poll for the NHL Awards; you've probably seen the results, and/or Mirtle, Golbez, or McErlain talking about them.

I don't want to go through all my selections (partially since I can't remember them all), but I will touch on my three write-in votes:

1) MVP - Zdeno Chara. This was based on the "best player on the best team" criteria, and from the Senators v. Flames game. Redden didn't play in that game, but his play in other game-parts I've seen have left me less than awestruck. It looks now like maybe Alfie is the key to the whole mess rather than Big Zed, but hey, this was a week ago.

2) Coach of the Year - Andy Murray. Unlike Chara, this seems like an even better pick a week later. There are a lot of good coaches in the NHL, though - I don't mind any of the choices. And if you're picking it on "team that way exceeded preseason expectations", there's not much to distinguish Buffalo, Carolina, and L.A. I wrote in Murray mainly because he wasn't nominated, but deserved it as much as anyone else.

3) Tough Guy - Le Grand Georges. Virtually no one will fight him. Mirtle picked Derek Boogard; Booger took a canoe ride with LeGG earlier this season, and barely laid a finger on him while getting smacked right in the mouth, over and over. I'm sure Brian McGrattan is a tough fellow, but this isn't close.

(I see Sacamano must have voted in this too, since LeGG has two write-in votes, and someone picked Peca for the Selke. I'll give you points for determination, my friend.)


Of course I am a partisan, but the coach of the year has to go to Sutter, if only because he earned it last year.

The coach shouldn't be rewarded because his team is loaded with talented forwards.

A coach should be rewarded for devising and implementing a system that helps overcome the liabilities on the team.

The flames are the best-coached team in the league. Without question.

Incredibly, it wasn't me. I guess I was busy eating too much leftover turkey, because I totally missed the entire thing.

I will agree with the Le GG assessment though. He might be too tough. It is hard to give your team a lift if you can never get anyone to fight you.

Don't get too high on Laraque. He's indifferent about his job, to say the least, and it's not like he was all too interested in opening up with Eric Godard (for good reason, he's having a hell of a season).

No top tough guy is going to avoid him. He's having a good year, no doubt, but he's only fought two real heavies. The rook Boogaard, who he schoold, and Godard, who he pulled out a draw against.

Let's see who else he takes on, and if he even cracks the 10-mark in majors.

"No top tough guy is going to avoid him"? I guess if you believe the Godard fight was a draw, you'll believe anything. We've been watching guys with big reps in the East duck Big Georges for years.

These days MacT doesn't want BG to throw down 20 times a year, and BG has to concentrate on hanging on to what's left of his ice time. For these reasons he shouldn't be ranked with the top pure fighters anymore, but it's not for lack of ability.

Hysterical. That Godard fight was a draw, especially to those outside of Edmonton, not as though there's any surprise there.

You may have seen guys in the East duck Laraque, I'm sure a few have, but I've seen too many top guys egging him on to no avail.

His ability's just fine - I didn't criticize that - but what I did criticize is his willingness, and it's not just based on observation, but his own words. He's spoken a few times about how he simply doesn't want to fight. That's nice, he wants to move away from the role - so does every other tough guy in the league. But moving on from it and abandoning it are two different things. Coaching or not, he's not interested.

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