With the long 3 day break before hockey again this would be a great time to discuss something for the sake of discussion. 25 games have been played I think it would be fun to take a look at who is leading the race for the Flyer's Annual Team Awards. The stat geeks have enough games to use the fancy numbers so this should be a fun and interesting conversation. For The Record this is all opinion and there is no right or wrong answer.
Let's get started after the jump.
Barry Ashbee Trophy
The Barry Ashbee Trophy is given out to the "team's most outstanding defensmen" as determined by a panel of voters consisting of local sportscasters and sportswriters
This is probably the most difficult to determine at this point in the season as everyone has been solid.
Pronger is leading the blueline in scoring with 12 pts and goal scoring with 3 goals yet is only a +3. By Pronger standards he isn't having as great or dominate of a season as last year but he is getting a better nursing that surgically repaired knee back to health.
Kimmo is leading in TOI/G with 22:44 minutes per game. But that is only 20 seconds more that Pronger and he is only 1 point behind Prongs with 11 pts. Kimmo leads the team in shot blocking with 57 so far a lot of those pretty clutch blocks. Kimmo has been also been on the ice for the most team goals scored and the most goals scored against and is a +5 on the season so far.
And then I would nominate Meszaros.
Meszaros leads the blueline in hits with 51, 9 more that Coburn of all people who is second with 42 he is second on the team in plus minus with a +15 and is even in terms Giveaways (GvA) and Takeaways (TkA). Pronger is the only defender who is positive with 9 GvA versus 12 TkA and Kimmo is only a minus 1 with 13 GvA and 12 TkA. Meszaros also put up 7 pts on the season.
And the winner @ 25 games in a tight race right now I would give it to Kimmo he has been the most consistent from game to game and makes so few mistakes, he is just so fun to watch.
Yanick Dupre Award
Is given to the "Flyer who best illustrates character, dignity and respect for the sport both on and off the ice" as decided by the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.
Hard for fans to really decide or debate this one but what the hell let's give it a try.
Lappy won this award last year. And he could win it again this year without ever stepping on the ice he is just that kind of guy. I could also see Boucher getting this award this year or maybe Kimmo with the race for Barry Ashbee is going to be so close this could be considered a consolation prize.
And the winner @ 25 games in Brian Boucher. He has played well when he has gotten the chance and has been a stellar team-mate putting ego aside with BOB playing so many games. Boosh deserves something for that and this is certainly fitting for award for by all accounts is probably is last season in the Orange and Black.
Bob Clarke Trophy
Is given to the "team's most valuable player" as determined by a panel vote consisting of local sportscasters and sportswriters.
Team MVP, I consider this one a 3 player race at the moment. Between Giroux, Richards and BOB. Richards and Giroux do so many things for the team playing on the PP and PK. And being 1 - 2 in terms of point scoring for the team. And then there is BOB coming out of no where and putting up a 0.926 SV PCT and 2.16 GAA. Stellar top 5 goalie type numbers.
And the winner @ 25 games is Claude Giroux.
Giroux has been extremely consistent game in and game compared to Richie who has been more of an up and down this season. And no offense to BOB but his stellar play is not really needed with the way the Flyers have been scoring goals. The Flyers are scoring 3.44 G/G 3rd highest in the league and best in the East above the offensive juggernaut that is the Washington Capitals. With that type of offensive production I have to give the MVP award to a forward and the best forward on the team @ 25 games has been Giroux, 12G 13A for 25 pts in 25 games.
Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy
Is awarded to the Flyer who has most improved from the previous season, as voted by his teammates.
The most improved player is usually pretty easy and a no brainer. I tend to fell the same way with Andreas Nodl being the favorite. But Leino has a shot as well. Since the previous award didn't consider last season's playoffs if that is counted Leino has been a monster. Leino has 5G and 14A for 19pts picking up right where he left off last in the playoffs. He has already surpassed his rookie regular season numbers 6 G and 5 A in 52 games be quite a health margin. He has gone from healthy scratch to stud and is on pace for a 60+ point season.
Nodl is putting up stellar numbers has well in his newly solidified role as Mike Richards RW and continues his always strong two way play. Nodl has 6G and 4A in only 17 GP he is also a +7 and shooting at an insane 30% clip.
And the Winner @ 25 games is Andreas Nodl.
Leino is a victim of his playoff performance. He came into the season with high expectations and has pretty much met those expectations. Nodl came into the season exiled to Glen Falls and has now finally solidified himself as a top 9 forward. That is a lot of spots in the depth chart to jump and he deserves this award.
The Gene Hart Memorial Award
Is given to the Flyer who has the best rapport with the fans" as decided by the Philadelphia Flyers Fan Club Board of Directors, making it the only Flyers team award chosen by the fans.
The only award where the fans opinion actually matters. This one is tough previous award winners include Lappy, Hartnell and Richards. Who has the best rapport with the fans is a really tough thing to judge especially at 25 games. I could see Lappy winning this award again he is still on the team and is one of a only a few players on this team that is universally like by everyone. Giroux and Richards also fit in that category with BOB but since BOB can't have an rapport with anyone but his interpreter that makes him winning this one a little tough. Despite how funny it would be to vote the winner I can't say he deserves the award. Outside shot is Kimmo again his comments are always great he is also very honest and forth coming but I am not sure he gets enough of the spotlight with Pronger and Richie to win it this one.
And the Winner @ 25 games is Mike Richards.
I am going to give this one to Richie. He has grown show much as a leader of this team and has been more than candid with the media. The fact that he pounder Matt Cooke in that fight, something Flyers Fans have been clamoring for, makes him the winner so far.
So in summary here are team award winners @ 25 games.
Barry Ashbee - Kimmo
Yanick Dupre - Boucher
Pelle Lindbergh - Nodl
Bobby Clarke - GIroux
Gene Hart - Mike Richards
I would love to hear what everyone else thinks especially in some of those close races.