Monday, November 29, 2010

Spacek For The Norris Trophy

Now that the Habs have clinched a playoff berth and got a virtual by to the Conference final, it's only natural that we Canadiens fans start talking trophies.

Between the obvious bids: Price for Vezina and Jennings, Plekanec for Selke, Martin for Jack Adams; I feel some deserving members of the team have fallen through the cracks.

Take Jaroslav Spacek.

He plays on the team that has allowed the least goals per game in the NHL. He is the #1 in all but name (and minutes played). He frequently lines up against the other team's top lines and makes them shoot from the outside. How else to explain Montreal's suddenly impervious net?

Against those top lines, Spacek is an impressive +4, and that doesn't account for his penalty killing excellence.

He has an incredible 15 takeaways already, easily outnumbering his 14 giveaways. that puts him 10th in the league. And only Lidstrom of those ahead of him can boast fewer giveaways. But Jaro has hit and blocked more shots than that pretender.

Realistically, the best defender in the league should come from one of the best defensive teams. And what better defensive team than the Habs? Sure, you could say the Bruins, but they are only riding two goalies who for consecutive years posted league best numbers, and following the orders of a coach who is afraid to attack.

Spacek, as a member of the top pair on the top team, and with better looking stats than Hamrlik deserves full consideration for the Norris trophy. And what better time to start lobbying than in November, now that most stats have been compiled?

Tom Pyatt, gentleman

While we're about it. How has Tom Pyatt been in the league so long without gaining recognition?

Here we are talking a bout a guy that has played in every game (well nearly) for the best defensive team in the East. He's played against the Bruins, the Flyers, the Leafs, the Panthers, his enormous brother and plenty of other goons and yet continually upholds the values of sportsmanship.

Even his obvious frustration built form the inability to direct shots within 45 degrees of his desired target hasn't come to the boil.

At this critical juncture in the deciding who will and won't win trophies this season, it shouldn't be forgotten that Tom Pyatt has only visited the penalty box a single time, and that was a misunderstanding (hooking) in the very first contest of the season.

He's a virtual lock for the Lady Byng trophy to anyone with a serious interest in that trophy.

"We used to wait for it.
We used to wait for it.
Now we're screaming sing the chorus again..."

Patience good fans, the awards will be awarded when they are awarded. The playoff teams will be known after Game 82. The Cup will be won in June.

24 games does not a season make.

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