Welcome to week three of NHL FanPulse! This week I want to do something a little different since, uh, things did not go so well when I discussed the results last time. Instead of talking about why people voted the way they did, I’m going to present the results and then talk about which Flyers may potentially be in the conversation for these awards.
Let’s start with the Calder Trophy for “the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.”
Which Flyers are even eligible? Obviously Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost, but a one Phil Myers is still eligible as he only played 21 games for the orange and black last season and the cutoff for eligibility is 25 games (or six or more games in each of any two preceding seasons in any major professional league). This also means Mikhail Vorobyev is eligible as is Carsen Twarynski, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, and Mark Friedman. Of course not a single one of those latter four will get votes, having been unable to stick in the Flyers lineup.
So, Farabee, Frost, and Myers. Which of these three could gain the most traction in a Calder campaign? My first thought is Farabee, who has played in 22 games and has 9 points (2 goals, 7 assists). This puts him tied for fourth in points for rookies across the NHL this season. Then I thought about Frost, who has only played in 8 games and has 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) — while he made a more dramatic debut, the national buzz about Frost has worn off a bit and he would need a really strong few months to be considered. Last, Myers, who cannot seem to find a regular spot in the lineup. Myers has played 15 games this season and amassed 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists). It would have been a really fun experiment to see if he could gain national attention after playing in 2018-19, but it doesn’t look like that will be the case, especially with the turnstile on the third pair.
If we have to have a Flyer involved, and that is the game we’re playing today, it would be Joel Farabee.
Ah the Hart Trophy, league MVP award. I have time to listen to any arguments for Claude Giroux to win every single award there has ever been. I would even listen to arguments for Carter Hart. Travis Konecny is my personal MVP of the season, why not the whole league? Seriously though, it is Sean Couturier. The Couturier boost is real, please check out all of these very significant numbers from NaturalStatTrick.com which show that just about every single player on the Flyers has a better Corsi-for percentage with Couturier than without. He is still just 26 years old and we are blessed to have him.
The Flyers defense has not been a point of pride for the team this season, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad. Ivan Provorov and Matt Niskanen have been the stalwarts on the blue line, Justin Braun hasn’t been the nightmare everyone expected he would be, and Travis Sanheim has mostly sorted out his early season jitters. Kurt wrote about the third pairing yesterday so I don’t have to talk about them. Out of those four, who would be the most likely to attract enough national attention to get some votes for the Norris? It has to be one of Ivan Provorov or Matt Niskanen. 28 games into the season, Provorov has played nearly 502 minutes, averaging just under 19 minutes a game, while Niskanen has played 458 minutes. If we’re looking at points, they each have one goal with Niskanen just ahead with six total points to Provorov’s five. Would Provorov be having this bounce-back season without Niskanen? Probably not. Would Niskanen’s career be having a second wind without Provorov? Who knows. My bet would be on Provorov just based on minutes alone, but it could easily be either of them.
Carter Hart doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo. Yes Brian Elliott has been good, but he’s not getting any Vezina votes. Carter Hart might!
There’s only one person on the Flyers staff that could win this award, so what would it take for Alain Vigneault to bring home the Jack Adams? I think Craig Berube is damn near a lock to win this year, which the voters do not agree with. The Flyers would have to win the division to have some votes go in the direction of Big Al. That is not to say he doesn’t deserve attention, he absolutely does, and he has done a great job with this group. But it’s going to need to be a big improvement to make some waves in the votes.
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