Archive for Awards
As expected, Mats Zuccarello won the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award tonight. Zucc came back from a career threatening injury suffered in the playoffs last year to win the award for the second time in three years. He has a line of 26-35-61 this year.
Per Steve Zipay, Henrik Lundqvist has been named Team MVP, as voted on by the media. This comes as no surprise, as without Lundqvist this team might not even be in the playoffs this season. This was honestly a no-brainer.
Jesper Fast was named the Player’s Player, voted on by his teammates. I think this means a lot more than people realize. It shows Fast is respected on the ice for the roles he’s been given, and he’s likely a positive influence in the locker room. Not bad for a sixth round pick, acquired by the Rangers for a busted first round pick in Bobby Sanguinetti.
Mats Zuccarello is the nominee from the Rangers this year for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. The nominees come from the PWHA.
Zuccarello was the likely nominee for the Rangers, as he came all the way back from a cracked skull and brain contusion to a career year and cementing himself as an integral part of the Rangers’ core. He is clearly beloved by his teammates, and showed true guts to come back from that type of injury.
Rangers prospect Ryan Graves has been elected to the AHL All Star Game, the lone representative from the Hartford Wolf Pack. Graves, in his rookie season with the Pack, has a line of 3-11-14 in 34 games with the Pack. The 6’4″, 220-lb defenseman was selected in the 4th round of the 2013 NHL Draft, and has made excellent strides the past few seasons.
Brady Skjei did not make the All Star team, but has the same number of points (2-12-14) in fewer games.
Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh has been selected to represent the Rangers in this year’s All Star Game. McDonagh will be the lone Rangers’ representative on the Metropolitan Division team. This year’s All Star Game will be a divisional 3-on-3 tournament. Full rosters can be seen here.
Oscar Lindberg was announced as the 2015 Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award winner this year, awarded to the top rookie at camp in the preseason. The award hasn’t been awarded since 2010, when Derek Stepan won the award. Pretty safe to assume Lindberg has made the team. Above is Lindberg receiving the award from some unknown fan.
Two former Rangers will be members of the US Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2015: center Chris Drury and defenseman Mathieu Schneider. Drury spent four seasons in New York before retiring, putting up a pair of 20-goal, 50-point seasons before injuries and age slowed him down. In his four years, Drury put up a line of 62-89-151 in 264 games while serving as captain of the team for three of those seasons.
Drury’s signing during the 2007 offseason, along with Scott Gomez, was thought to solidify the center position, but never seemed to fit that billing. His signing was deemed a failure, which I think is a bit harsh. Age caught up to him, but he had a pair of productive seasons in New York.
Schneider played two seasons with the Rangers, putting up a pair of 10-goal, 30-point years. In his 155 games, Schneider finished with a line of 20-44-64.
Rick Nash was named the Rangers team MVP and Player’s Player Award winner this morning. Nash has 42 goals and 27 assists (69 points) in 79 games thus far this season. He almost single-handedly carried the offense while the rest of the lines were being finalized.
The Presidents’ Trophy is a nice feather in Alain Vigneault’s cap and deserved recognition for the remarkable regular season the Rangers are about to complete. But is it really worth anything?
All the trophy does is extend the home-ice advantage earned by winning the conference for one more round, and of course that only matters if the team actually reaches the Stanley Cup Final.
The power of home-ice advantage in the postseason has dwindled in recent years. Its value is considered to be greatest in pivotal Game Sevens, but since the 2004-2005 lockout the road team is actually 21-19 in those deciding games.
In what should be no surprise, forward Dominic Moore was the winner of the Bill Masterton trophy. The Masterton is awarded to “the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” Moore took a year off from the game following the death of his wife, and returned to help the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final this season.