The Stanley Cup Playoffs are winding down and that means it’s almost time for the annual NHL awards to be handed out. While there will be no Ottawa Senators’ players receiving any awards in Las Vegas on June 24, here is my edition of the Ottawa Senators 2014 Awards.
Calder Memorial Trophy
Cody Ceci is my pick for the Sens’ top rookie of the year. Ceci led Sens’ rookies in games played (49), points (9), time on ice per game (17:12), and shots (82). Ceci had two game-winning goals, including one in overtime. A first-round draft pick in 2012, Ceci also solidified the Sens’ defense after he was called up on December 12.
Hart Memorial Trophy
Maybe this is a bold call, but I’m naming Kyle Turris as the MVP for the Sens. Turris was first in goals (26) and third in assists (32) and points (58). Those are good numbers, but they’re not the most important ones.
For a team that ranked twentieth in the NHL with a -18 plus/minus, Turris was one of the only exceptions. He finished the season with a +22 rating, one of only three regular forwards on the team with a plus/minus above zero. The team’s best scorers, Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson, had a -26 and -15 respectively.
But that’s not all Turris excelled in. Turris proved he is a clutch player by scoring six powerplay goals (third on the team), two short-handed goals (first on the team), five game-winning goals (tied for first on the team) and four shootout goals (tied for first on the team).
I could go on, but I’ll stop. Turris was the best all-around player on this team in 2013-2014.
Four different goalies suited up for the Senators this past season, but Craig Anderson was the best. Anderson had a career year last season and most people considered the Sens’ goaltending as a strength, but it didn’t turn out that way.
Anderson didn’t turn any heads this season with a 25-16-8 record coupled with a unimpressive .911 save percentage and a 3.00 goals-against-average. Anderson did post four shutouts, which was his best mark since the 2009-2010 season with the Colorado Avalanche. His 3,000 minutes played were the third-most of his career.
Despite the below-average numbers, Anderson was still better than young backup Robin Lehner, who is thought of as the goaltender of the future. Anderson got better as the season went on, putting up a 6-4-0 record in the last two months of the season with a .921 save percentage and a 2.65 GAA.
James Norris Memorial Trophy
The best all-around defenseman on the team was Marc Methot. I would love to give this honour to Karlsson, because if he improves defensively, he’s easily the best defenseman in the NHL, but I can’t do that with a good conscience.
Methot contributed 23 points offensively, which was second-best on the team by a defenseman behind Karlsson’s 74. More importantly, Methot was a rock defensively. He led the Sens in blocked shots (110) and ranked second on the team in hits (181). That put him seventeenth among NHL defensemen.
Methot had a +/- of 0, which isn’t bad and racked up only 28 penalty minutes. All things considered, he was the Sen’s best defenseman.
Frank J. Selke Trophy
The best defensive forward award also goes to Turris. On top of his previously mentioned +22 rating, Turris also led the Sens with 51 takeaways and was second in blocked shots with 33.
What else can I say? This guy had a good season, even better than the basic stats will tell you.
Maurice Richard Trophy
Turris takes another award by leading the team with 26 goals. That more than doubled his previous high of 12, which he scored the last two seasons.
Art Ross Trophy
The Sens’ scoring title goes to Karlsson with 74. Karlsson had an outstanding offensive season, setting a new Senators record for goals by a defenseman with 20. Among all NHL defensemen, Karlsson was second in goals, second in assists (54) and first in points. Karlsson led all three categories in the 2011-2012 season, so there’s no doubt he is a top offensive defenseman. That defense, though.
It’s hard to pick just one great save, but this was one of my favourites. Anderson makes a great stick save on the Philadelphia Flyers’ Claude Giroux in a 5-0 loss on November 12, 2013.
Turris makes an amazing play deking out Washington Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer in a 3-1 Senators win on December 30, 2013.