The Penguins took a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference final with a convincing Game 3 victory on Wednesday night, and that means GM Jim Rutherford’s bunch is only two wins shy of winning the Eastern Conference and six victories away from taking home the Stanley Cup. As the architect of this team, though, Rutherford could be in line for some additional hardware at season’s end.
It was announced Wednesday that Rutherford has been named one of three finalists for the GM of the Year Award along with Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan and Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill. Unlike other awards, the GM of the Year was voted on by GMs, executives and media members at the conclusion of the second round of the post-season, which helps take into account the impact deadline deals may have had on a club.
But even though that’s the case, it’s hard to imagine Rutherford doesn’t take home the hardware given what he managed ahead of the deadline. Read more
The Stanley Cup playoffs are only half over but that doesn’t mean we can’t look ahead to the final night of the season.
Before Gary Bettman hands the Cup to the captain of the winning team, he hands out the Conn Smythe Trophy to the playoff MVP.
As the conference finals begin, these are our favorites to win the Conn Smythe.
The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies ran roughshod through the post-season after a dominant end to the regular season, and now the Huskies have captured the first President Cup championship in the 20 years the franchise has spent in Rouyn-Noranda. Making it that much sweeter, they captured the title in front of the home crowd at the IAMGOLD Arena.
Thursday night in Rouyn-Noranda, the Huskies dominated the visiting Shawinigan Cataractes in Game 5 to take a 4-1 series victory. The Huskies got out to an early lead when Anthony-John Greer scored less than two minutes into the contest on a power play, and before the first period was out Rouyn-Noranda had added goals from Timo Meier, Martins Dzierkals and Philippe Myers to take a 4-1 lead into first intermission. It didn’t stop there, as the Huskies added three more tallies to lock up the QMJHL title and skate away with a 7-2 victory in the series-deciding game.
It’s not exactly a shocking victory for Rouyn-Noranda given that the team finished with a league-best 113 points during the regular season, but the way the Huskies got to their first title was incredibly impressive. Beginning Feb. 19, the Huskies won 14 straight regular season contests before sweeping their first-round series against the Drummondville Voltigeurs. It wasn’t until Game 1 of the second round, almost two months from their last loss, that the Huskies finally had their 18-game winning streak broken. Read more
After finessing himself into a spot among the nominees for a Sports Emmy, Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick has waffleboarded aside the competition to take home the Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-By-Play.
The win was the third consecutive for Emrick, 69, and the fourth time he’s taken home the award in the past six years. The veteran broadcaster took home the award for his work with NBC and NBCSN as their lead play-by-play broadcaster, and he did so swaggering on by fellow nominees Al Michaels, Kenny Albert, Kevin Burkhardt and Marv Albert. The 2015 nomination was the ninth-consecutive year Emrick was up for the honor.
Emrick found out about his win in spectacular fashion, too. On play-by-play duty for Tuesday’s Game 6 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, Emrick’s frequent color analyst, Eddie Olczyk, informed ‘Doc’ that he had taken home the honor. Emrick looked genuinely shocked by the announcement, but immediately wanted to get back to calling Game 6: Read more
Patrick Kane and Jamie Benn have a chance to double up on major trophies at the NHL Awards in June, but Sidney Crosby will be standing in the way of either becoming first-time Hart Trophy winners as the league’s most valuable player.
It was announced Saturday afternoon that Kane, Benn and Crosby have been selected by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association as the finalists for the Hart Trophy. For both Kane and Benn, this is unfamiliar territory as neither has been named a finalist for the award before, but Crosby is a finalist for the fourth time and is looking to add a third Hart to his ever-growing trophy case.
Kane, 26, has the greatest offensive season of the three players. He led the league in scoring with 106 points, finished second in goals with 46, third in assists with 60 and led the NHL in power play points. It was the best offensive season of Kane’s career, too, surpassing his previous career-high of 88 points. His fantastic scoring season was bolstered by a 26-game point streak that began on Oct. 17 and continued through until Dec. 16 when Kane and the Blackhawks were shutout by the Colorado Avalanche. Read more
Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn and Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby have been selected by their peers as finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, formerly known as the Lester B. Pearson Award, which recognizes the league’s most outstanding player as voted by the members of the NHLPA, the players.
The three finalists make it a certainty that this season will see a first-time winner, though there’s no clearcut favorite for the award. For both Kane and Holtby, this is their first nomination for the award, while Benn receives his second nod as a finalist. Benn was a finalist in 2014-15 for leading the league in scoring, but he was one of the runners up to Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.
None of the finalists are necessarily surprising, but Kane’s nod as one of the top-three vote-getters was almost a given. Kane, 27, led the NHL in scoring by 17 points, finished second in goal scoring behind Alex Ovechkin with 46 markers and Kane’s 60 assists put him in third place behind Erik Karlsson and Joe Thornton. In many ways, his season was a continuation of the previous campaign, where he was at or near the top of the league’s scoring leaders before he fell injured in late February. Read more
Three bench bosses who led their teams to first place divisional finishes have a shot at taking home coach of the year honors. Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant, Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz and Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff have been named finalists for the Jack Adams Award.
Realistically, though, it’s a two-horse race between Gallant and Trotz. Both coaches, neither of whom has won the award before, had remarkable seasons behind the bench. Read more
The 2015-16 season yielded an outstanding and deep rookie class, one of the best in recent memory. Obvious can’t-miss stars like Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, the top two picks of the 2015 draft, delivered, but they weren’t alone by any means. We saw an intriguing blend of stars in the making doing what they were supposed to do; late bloomers bursting onto the scene; and a wild-card rookie flourishing after arriving from the KHL.
The rookie crop included a 30-goal scorer, five 20-goal scorers and 12 players with at least 15 goals. Eight rookies topped 40 points. Two played in the All-Star Game. Eight started at least 20 games in net, and three had multiple shutouts.