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04-20-2010, 12:36 PM
Bryzgalov's Blueline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lumberton, NJ
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Originally Posted by MojoJojo View Post
I think Staal and Richards are in a group of four players that are all very close: Toews, Bergeron, Staal, Richards. IMO. Any of these guys could have been nominated for the third spot, but probably none of them would have beaten out Datsyuk or Kesler.
Defensively I consider Richards, J. Staal, Bergeron, Toews, and Kesler all similar. It's not close enough when look at what Richards and Kesler do for their team in other aspects (i.e. production resulting in defensive plays/defensive awareness, killing penalties, forechecking to keep the play tied up in the offensive zone, getting pucks deep). Those may be "offensive stats" in a sense, but this award is more what you do without the puck; the player's entire defensive game.

Another thing to point out is that this award is largely a "stat" award when it shouldn't be. Richards was the clear winner based on stats last year and got the most first place votes.

In that light I see Richards and Kesler a step above Toews, Bergeron, and J. Staal.

Dastyuk is not far and away better than any of them, but he is a different style defensively, which benefits him quite a bit in terms of voting. I still believe Richards was snubbed of the award last year.

Richards did have a down year. I didn't expect him to get nominated, but Jordan Staal DOES NOT deserve to be on this list.

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