Last night was the 2018 NHL Awards, and while it was every bit the glorious gong show we expected (how about those card tricks, huh?), there was something missing: the Blues.
Yes, the Blues were in several of the highlight-reel clips being scored on, but none of them were up for an award. The highest that any Blue ranked was Alex Pietrangelo coming in 9th in Norris voting.
So, to make up for the lack of Blues last night, Tyler and Adam have given you their picks for a very Blues-centric awards. Not every award applies (obviously the Jennings probably isn’t appropriate here), but regardless, Tyler and Adam have done their best to choose who on the team would win hardware if the Blues were the only team winning hardware to begin with.
HART: Jaden Schwartz
When Jaden Schwartz was humming, the Blues were great. When Jaden Schwartz was injured, the Blues barely existed. And when Jaden Schwartz was not himself down the stretch, the Blues were not good enough to make the playoffs. He was the straw that stirred the drink, and when the drink tasted like shit, it was because Schwartz was either absent or not at his best. And that is why he was most valuable to the Blues in 2017-18.
LADY BYNG: Colton Parayko
13 PIM’s in a full 82-game slate. That’s hard to do when you put up the defensive minutes Colton Parayko was trusted with in 2017-18. He struggled, but Still posted 35 points on the season and was a key to any special teams success the Blues had. A mean streak would be helpful from Colton, but staying out of the box also works.
VEZINA: Carter Hutton
Without a doubt. We likely will bid adieu to Carter Hutton this postseason, but that may be because he will be overpaid beyond his wildest dreams due to what he did for the Blues as a “backup”. He’s earned it.
CALDER: Vince Dunn
Another no-doubter. His minutes were sheltered as he still needs to develop some defensive awareness befitting of an NHL defenseman, but he led the team in games played as a rookie and provided plenty of spark for a team that needed a whole lot more of it.
ROSS: Brayden Schenn
This award defaults to the top point-getter, which—at 70—was Schenn. I don’t think very many folks miss Jori Lehtera around these parts.
NORRIS: Alex Pietrangelo
It’s a shame a season like the one Alex Pietrangelo posted was wasted like this one was. 54 points in 78 games does not even begin to tell the story of his ability to erase mistakes and be an elite-level defenseman on the other end. And he did it without Jay Bouwmeester—perhaps the most underrated defenseman on the franchise by the fanbase—patrolling with him as he usually does.
SMYTHE: TJ Oshie
As the Blues missed the playoffs, we go with the former Blue that was most valuable to his team over the course of the last two months. Teej, you’re the one.
Carter Hutton was the choice as team finalist, and it was a worthy one. Hutton spent a long time in the lower ranks of professional hockey, paying his dues, to get to where he is now. Perseverance is a huge key to his success.
This one is hard to predict as you never know how exactly one’s peers would vote. But players tend to gravitate toward what they know about an opponent. Pietrangelo is highly respected by his peers and played well enough this season that I think his peers would give him the nod.
SELKE: Paul Stastny
This will be controversial, as Stastny finished the season with the Western Conference Finalists, the Winnipeg Jets. But Stastny dominated the faceoff dot for the Blues and was regularly tasked with neutralizing the opponent’s top scoring lines, often successfully.
JENNINGS: Ville Husso
The Jennings Trophy is a team award, but since we’re focused on one team here, we’ll give the award to the guy who got called up several times and didn’t even so much as sniff a minute of on-ice action. Therefore, Ville Husso allowed the fewest goals by default. Husso is gonna be a good one, but he’s not quite ready yet. Maybe next season?
KING CLANCY: Pietrangelo
He was nominated by his team, and it was a worthy choice. He is no David Backes, but little doubt is in my mind that Petro is the leader of this team on and off the ice.
RICHARD: Vladimir Tarasenko
Again, an award based on pure numbers, and Vladimir Tarasenko led all Blues players with 33 goals. This is considered a down season, to some.
ADAMS: Craig Berube
This is a difficult decision. Sure, Mike Yeo had to try and make a decent chicken salad out of chicken shit at many points of the season, and for this he should be commended. But Berube turned out to be a solid right-hand man for Yeo, even if the team was not successful enough to make it worth either of their whiles.
Hart Memorial Trophy - Most Valuable Player
Gotta be Brayden Schenn
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy - Player who “exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability”
Carter Hutton 110%
Vezina Trophy - Top Goalie
Sadly this is also Hutton.
Calder Memorial Trophy - Rookie of the Year
Art Ross Trophy - Top Point Scorer
James Norris Memorial Trophy - Top Defenseman
Petro by a mile
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy - Qualities of Perseverance and Sportsmanship
Kyle Goddamned Brodziak
Ted Lindsay Award - Most Outstanding Player as Selected by the NHLPA; FKA Lester B. Pearson Award
Kyle Goddamned Brodziak
Frank J. Selke Trophy - Top Defensive Forward
Kyle Goddamned Brodziak
King Clancy Memorial Trophy - Leadership and Humanitarian Contribution