So the first month of hockey has almost come to an end and there is plenty of chatter going on in Oil City (I speak of the Oilers in general, not the bar). There have been players who have surpassed expectations, those about where we thought they would be, and those failing our expectations. For all of these reasons and more from now on, at the end of every month (doing this one now while the idea is still in my head) I will be giving out awards in different categories to the Oiler players, fans, coaches, hell maybe even posters on this site. On a side note, yes I did get this idea from Richard Cloutier's last blog. The link is below. Thus I present to you...The Oily's.
The Most Controversial Call
This award goes to Ryan Nugent Hopkins for his questionable hat-trick. From the replay it appears that it was actually Taylor Hall who pushed the puck the extra centimeter it needed. Still according to the official record now, the goal belongs to the Nuge.
MVP (Most valuable player)
Surprise surprise, Nugent Hopkins. He's the leading the team for points right now and has laughed in the faces of all those who said he wasn't ready to handle the NHL. Bravo kid.
MTP (Most terrible player)
This is a tough one but I'm going to have to go with Teddy Peckham. He is one of the few defensemen having trouble adapting to the new style Renney is enforcing. When Peckham has been on the ice he is a player who can be a liability and will more than likely take penalties that he shouldn't.
Best Between The Pipes
This one will probably go back and forth for the rest of the Oiler's season but the obvious choice now is Nikolai Khabibulin with a league leading .72 GA and a .969 SV%. Say it's because our defense has improved but there is no denying that Khabi is playing with some fire and though he probably won't be winning the Veniza, he'll still put up solid numbers all season.
Accomplishment in the Field of Mediocrity
This award goes to the former 3rd overall pick Cam Barker. Barker was brought in as an experiment to see if he could return to anything resembling the 40 point season he once had. He hasn't been terrible defensively yet but he also hasn't wowed me with any of his play.
The Glass Award
And of course the winner of this goes to Ales Hemsky for injuring himself by...does anybody actually know what happened was it from passing it, a shot, getting hit, does a former Hemsky lover having a voodoo doll of him and wants revenge? I will note a close second place goes to Darcy Hordichuk for managing to injure himself 5 seconds from getting onto the ice.
Most Likely To Never Be Heard From Again
This award goes to Linus Omark for his eventual journey out of the NHL. Omark is in a tough spot right now, doesn't appear good enough for top 6 ice time, too skilled for bottom 6. With Gagner possibly playing the wing for the season Omark could find his way out of here just by the numbers. If we can't make a trade for him the next move would be to send him to OK to which he would likely respond returning to his former league.
Nugent Hopkins: Leads the team in points, great defensively and offensively, what more can I say.
Taylor Hall. Even though the Nuge has put up more points right now, Hall is still the most dynamic player on this team. It was obvious to see how the top line fell apart in the game he missed due to illness. Hall's reckless style of play has proven to be more than a match for the top paired d of other teams and while a playermaker like Hopkins definitely improves his game; he can still make his own chances.
Best Defenseman (Or the Holy Crap Where Did You Come From Award)
Corey Potter. Most people thought seeing him come in that he could maybe make the team as a 7th, possible 6th defenseman. Over the last few games Potter has shown us he can play like a top paired defenseman, has a cannon (and accurate) shot and has not looked out of place yet this season.
Freelancer's Favorite Player.
Each month I will pick a favorite player. It won't necessarily be on skill, it could be because of leadership, what they're bringing to the team, or hell something funny they said in an interview. The month I pick Eric Belanger. One of the Oil's biggest weaknesses in previous years was our faceoffs. Gagner wasn't great, Cogliano was just terrible which left Horcoff to take most of the weight on this issue. With the addition of Belanger, we have a second faceoff expert which allows both to take a break every once in a while. On top of all of this Belanger is another veteran that can pass his knowldge to players like Lander, Nuge, and Gagner to improve the team as a whole. My favorite signing of the summer
Hope someone actually decides to read this, tell me any other awards you would like me to give or anything I should change. Have a great day!