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Byng worthy

Islanders Sniper in Contention for Prestigious Award

Monday, 04.09.2012 / 10:28 PM / News
By Caela McLoughlin
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Byng worthy

Throughout the year, the hockey media makes their picks for the winners of the NHL’s legendary awards. From pre-season picks to midseason award winners and three-quarter pole champs, the debates around these trophies rage all year long.

Matt Moulson's 34 goal six-penalty minute season could be good enough for the Lady Byng.
Since February, discussions surrounding the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy have included Islanders winger Matt Moulson, who emerged as a favorite thanks to his high level of offensive firepower and low penalty minute totals. Even USA Today’s Hall of Fame hockey writer, Kevin Allen, called him with praise in a recent tweet: “Islanders W Matt Moulson may own the best Lady Byng numbers I’ve ever seen: 34 goals this season with six penalty minutes.”

“It’s an honor to be mentioned as a candidate for the award,” Moulson said. “If you go down the list, there are some pretty great players that have won it and been nominated. My brother used to call me Binger when I was younger, so I think it kind of fits perfectly.”

The Lady Byng annually rewards the player who best displays skillful and gentlemanly play in the NHL. There have been 51 different recipients since the award was first handed out in 1925, including Islanders legends Mike Bossy (1983, ‘84, ‘86) and Butch Goring (as an LA King in 1978).

“He plays the game the right way,” John Tavares, Moulson’s friend and full-time center, said. “He’s not going to be flashy out there, but he gets the job done and that’s what it’s all about. I’ll be rooting for him and hopefully he’s nominated.”

Over the course of a full 82-game season, Moulson stockpiled career highs in goals (36), assists (33) and points (69), while accumulating a mere six penalty minutes. He picked up a two-minute minor in November for high-sticking Colorado’s Kevin Porter and a four-minute double minor for roughing on December 29 inside the Coliseum. The latter came against Calgary when Moulson stepped in to protect a teammate.

“I told Okie (Kyle Okposo) he may have cost me the award because I tried to jump the guy that hit him one time and it got me four minutes,” Moulson joked. “I think it’s just putting yourself in a good position and trying not to take bad penalties.”

Moulson’s other primary linemate, PA Parenteau, couldn’t help but laugh when asked what he thought about Moulson’s potential nomination.

“He’s taken a little bit of heat about that, but it’s good,” Parenteau said. “I think anytime you can win an award it’s a big deal, especially at this level in the NHL. I’m hoping he gets it. I think he deserves it. He plays the game right and is an unbelievable goal-scorer, so if he can get any kind of reward, I’m happy for him.”

That reward could be a nomination would mean a trip to Las Vegas for the annual NHL Awards Show on June 20. Three nominees for the Lady Byng will be named in the coming weeks.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 63 29 35 4 64
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 63 14 26 21 40
B. Nelson 63 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 63 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 57 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 51 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 53 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 63 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 53 4 20 16 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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