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Byng worthy

Islanders Sniper in Contention for Prestigious Award

Monday, 04.9.2012 / 10:28 PM ET / 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.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Okposo 49 15 26 -7 41
J. Tavares 48 19 21 -4 40
F. Nielsen 51 15 18 0 33
B. Nelson 51 20 11 1 31
M. Grabovski 51 9 15 2 24
J. Bailey 50 9 15 5 24
N. Leddy 51 3 20 -8 23
A. Lee 51 7 15 1 22
R. Strome 40 5 14 -6 19
C. Clutterbuck 50 11 4 6 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 12 11 4 .917 2.28
T. Greiss 14 6 2 .929 2.26
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