With three games left in the Flyers' 2013 campaign, now is a good time to hand out awards to some of the best (and worst) players this season.
Most Valuable Player: Claude Giroux (Other candidates: Voracek, Timonen, Simmonds)
-I was tempted to put Voracek in this spot, but in the end I had to go with the captain. Giroux was great on all ends one the ice: offensively, defensively, on the power play, and on the penalty kill. His numbers may be down this season, but without Captain Claude this team would be far worse than it is right now.
Least Valuable Player: Bruno Gervais (Other candidates: Briere, Mejzaros, Leighton/Boucher)
-The Flyers defense this season was bad. Very bad. But perhaps the worst player on that side of the ice was Bruno Gervais. He consistently gave up bad turnovers, missed on open shots, and was just a plain liability on the ice. The fact that he even had to be on the ice this year shows how beat up this team was with injuries.
Best Forward: Jake Voracek (Other candidates: Giroux, Simmonds, B. Schenn, Couturier)
-You may be asking why Giroux isn't the winner here. This award is for offensive production, which was Voracek's specialty this season. He had a breakout season this year, and although his goals dipped a little in the middle of the campaign, he still brought life to a generally slow offense.
Best Defenseman: Kimmo Timonen (Other candidates: L. Schenn, Grossman, Coburn)
-In a year where the defense was just plain terrible, Timonen was a steady presence on the ice, consistently playing good hockey and holding his own even when playing with linemates such as Gervais or Gustafsson (who also had a decent season). He may not be the player he once was, but Kimmo is still a great veteran presence on this team. This award was an easy one.
Most Improved Player: Zac Rinaldo (Other candidates: McGinn, L. Schenn, Gustafsson)
-For the young Rinaldo, the wild-child days of the past are gone, replaced by a player that has become a benefit to this team rather than a liability. He has proved his worth in drawing penalties and getting big hits, turning his great play into a 2-year contract.
Most Regressed Player: Danny Briere (Other candidates: Hartnell, Mejzaros)
-Briere came into Philadelphia as an offensive wonder-worker, and in his time on the team he has done just that. But this season, it is clear to see that his game as regressed terribly. He's not scoring goals, and his lack of defensive skills makes him a likely candidate to be amnestied at the end of the campaign.
Biggest Injury: Braydon Coburn (Other Candidates:Grossman, Talbot, Hartnell)
-This category goes to the player who's injury has brought down the team as a whole. In my opinion, Coburn getting the shoulder injury fits this category. He was a workhorse for the defense when he did play, and the effect of him not being on the ice shows. He may not be the best defenseman on the team, but he was a steady fixture for the club regardless.