Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Puck Stops Here: Award Ceremony


Welcome back to another exciting edition of The Puck Stops Here. For most, the season has ended, if you are still in it, keep working at it, there are plenty of games this weekend that could make the difference between winning and losing. This article is my first of two wrapping up SportsJudge.com’s fantasy hockey coverage. Today, I am handing out the fantasy hockey awards. There are some close calls so I would love to hear you thoughts.

Most Valuable Player: Evgeni Malkin, C/W, Pittsburgh: This was a very tough decision and I know many will call me a homer for the pick, but the numbers do favor him. Ovechkin is a very close second, but I am going with Malkin because of his advantage in the PIM category. As of last night, Malkin had 38 more PIM while only having 4 less points. Ovechkin has a clear advantage in +/- and goals, however Malkin has a clear advantage in assists and a large advantage in PIM. It is also worth noting that Malkin has both center and wing eligibility, while Ovechkin only has wing eligibility. This decision was so difficult I almost named co-mvp’s, however I could not live with that kind of cop-out. For what it is worth, I think Ovechkin will win the league MVP.
Runners Up: Alexander Ovechkin, W, Washington
Jarome Iginla, W, Calgary

Most Valuable Defenseman: Dion Phaneuf, D, Calgary: This decision was much easier than MVP, Phaneuf is 4th in scoring, 3rd in power play scoring and 1st in PIM, by nearly 20 minutes, among defenseman. Phaneuf was able to carry the PIM category all on his own while providing great offensive numbers for a defenseman. Phaneuf has been so dominant that he almost warrants fantasy MVP consideration. Lidstrom may walk away with the James Norris trophy, however Phaneuf was much more valuable for fantasy owners.
Runners Up: Nicklas Lidstrom, D, Detroit
Sergei Gonchar, D, Pittsburgh

Most Valuable Goaltender: Evgeni Nabokov, G, San Jose: Martin Brodeur had another great season and is arguably the best goaltender ever, however this year’s top fantasy net-minder is Nabokov. He led all goalies in wins, was 4th in GAA and tied for 3rd in shutouts. There were a lot of top end goaltenders, however Nabokov was better than the rest. Simply put, he had the best overall stats.
Runners Up: Martin Brodeur, G, New Jersey
Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers

Best Value: Ryan Getzlaf, C, Anaheim: This was a close call between Getzlaf and Brenden Morrow but Getzlaf was more valuable offensively than Morrow. They both were, on average, being drafted right around the 90th pick, but each turned in top 15 seasons. However, I have Getzlaf rated top ten for the year and without much of a difference in draft position, Getzlaf gets the nod. Pascal Leclaire went mostly undrafted but was a top 5 goaltender this season. Leclaire would have been the hands down winner, however he has been injured multiple times this season and has sat out most of the fantasy playoffs.
Runners Up: Brenden Morrow, W, Dallas
Pascal Leclaire, G, Columbus

Biggest Disappointment: Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh: I was first inclined to give this to Jaromir Jagr because I didn’t want to punish Crosby for getting hurt, but in the end Jagr’s numbers were better and that is what matters. Crosby’s play doesn’t warrant this award, but tell that to everyone who drafted him first overall. Crosby was valuable while playing, but he missed over a quarter of the season, including most of the playoffs, and this can’t be ignored. Chances are if you drafted Crosby first overall, you didn’t win a championship and struggled heading into the playoffs. Jagr escapes this dubious distinction simply because of Crosby’s injury; however, his play certainly is worthy of this award.
Runners Up: Jaromir Jagr, W, New York Rangers
Maxim Afinogenov, W, Buffalo

Most Valuable Rookie: Patrick Kane, W, Chicago: This was another close decision however, Kane had one distinct advantage over his competition. Kane has 2 more points and nearly 30 more PIM. With such close offensive numbers, the difference in PIM makes this decision more clear than MVP. Backstrom comes in a very close second but Kane's distinct advantage in an important category can't be ignored.
Runners Up: Nicklas Backstrom, C, Washington
Jonathon Toews, C, Chicago

That is it for the awards, as I mentioned earlier, I would love to hear your thoughts. Next week I will look ahead to the off-season and players worth watching for next season. Until then, The Puck Stops Here.




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2 comments:

McPuck22 said...

Joe, I agree with all of your picks with the exception of Getzlaf as the best value pick. With no real definition for this award, it could obviously go to a handful of players but between your choices of Getzlaf and Morrow I would definitely take Morrow. You began to touch on it with the MVP award, but position eligibility means a ton. With LW historically the weakest of the forward positions, I would take Morrow over Getzlaf in a heartbeat. Getlaf had a surprisingly great season and has shown he can carry a team for years to come, but at center that's just too common in fantasy hockey.

Lastly, you brought up good points with the Crosby bust award, but as far as healthy players go, what about Jonathan Cheechoo?? Some might have justified him as a top 2 round pick this year and his 10 points the first half of the year were embarassing. Playing with possibly the best playmaker in the game, Cheechoo has steadily declined since scoring 56 goals a couple seasons ago...total bust.

Joe Romano said...

Even with the position eligibility taken into account I still give Getzlaf the edge. He was also more of a force on the power play which gives him an edge on both power play points and pim.

You know what, Cheechoo slipped my mind. But part of that may be because I didn't like him to start the season. I never thought he was as good as that 56 goal performance and I was vocal about this as well. Cheechoo was available to me in the 4th round in one draft and I still passed. But you are right, Cheechoo was miserable this year.