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.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 75 34 40 -1 74
R. Strome 74 15 31 19 46
K. Okposo 53 15 31 -10 46
F. Nielsen 74 13 28 9 41
B. Nelson 75 18 22 9 40
A. Lee 69 23 16 14 39
J. Bailey 63 15 23 6 38
J. Boychuk 65 8 25 10 33
T. Hamonic 65 5 25 16 30
N. Leddy 71 10 19 16 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 16 2 .915 2.39
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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