With the passing of the All-Star game on Sunday the NHL enters the 2nd half of the season tonight. This marks a perfect time to give out the first half Saladdin awards.
The SAL-kee Award
Awarded to the player who least personifies a responsible defensive mindset
Winner: Eric Staal
A brutal -23 +/- for one of the elite players in the game. To his credit his game has started to turn around in the last month or so and I don’t see him winning this award at the end of the year.
The PIMs Cup
Awarded to the player who is the baddest mutha-futha in the league
Winner: Zenon Kenopka
Mr. Z leads the league in PIM’s with 154. It appears the glory days of the goon are over as the top 5 PIM guys currently Kenopka, Rinaldo, Dorsett, Downey, McLeod don’t really scare you like the days of Brashear, Domi, Laraque, McSorley, Probert, Kocur, etc.
Awarded to the goalie who’s play best represents this variation of tasty Swiss cheese
Winner: Dwayne Roloson
The first half was not kind to the 42 year old netminder. 3.65 GAA, .882 Save Percentage and just 7 wins. I’ve always been a big fan of Roloson and his competitiveness. Here’s hoping he has something left in the tank to turn it around in the 2nd half.
The Teen Choice Award
Awarded to the top young’n in the league
Winner: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
The 18 year old RNH leads all rookies with 35 points in 38 games. Even with missing games due to an injury he has still been able to maintain his point lead. He’ll have to look out for Adam Henrique and Cody Hodgson in the 2nd half if he wants to win the surfboard.
The Coach Beast Award
Awarded to the best drill sergeant in the league
Winner: John Tortorella
Did you pick the Rangers to be the best team in the East? Exactly. His abrasive style seems to be working on young and old. Oh…and it doesn’t hurt to have the best goalie in the league.
Awarded to the rightful king of the NHL player realm
Winner: Evgeni Malkin
Malkin has been a playing like a man possessed this season and is one of if not the main reason why the Penguins are still in a playoff position. I think he will continue his strong play and win the scoring title fending off a strong push from his countryman Pavel Datsyuk.
The Nyyyyeah Let it Happen Award
I have no idea what this is for…but it goes to…
The Vancouver Canucks
Because they’re going to win the cup this year…in my non-biased, objective opinion 😉