It’s that time of year again! Time for when we get to see how close Bruins fans have been paying attention to the season when voting for the NESN/Boston Bruins 7th Player Award.
For those who need a refresher, the 7th Player Award is supposed to go to the Bruins player who went above and beyond expectations. So who’ll get the award and car this year? Here are our finalists.
Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla
Not often that you can say a first round draft pick has exceeded expectations, but that’s what happens when you’re getting up there in hockey years.
Iggy has always been a super-star player, but he’s getting up there in years and didn’t quite meet expectations in Pittsburgh when he decided to try his hand on the Pens instead of the Bruins. He then signed with Boston for a one-year deal, full of bonuses and he’s hit pretty much every one of those this season.
Iginla has 61 points this season (30 goals, 31 assists) which puts him second on the Bruins in scoring. His 14 PPP has boosted a formerly sterile Bruins power play, and his 30 goals and 8 GWG is a team lead.
He also became just the 21st player in NHL history to score 30 or more goals at the age of 36+. Not bad for an “old guy” eh?
Alas, some fans are dumb are held a grudge that he chose a red hot Penguins over a stumbling Bruins at the trade deadline. Is 61 points in 76 games enough to redeem himself in those fans eyes and win 7th Player? And can a first line player ever exceed expectations?
Smith was a throwaway name in the Seguin-Eriksson deal. Few people knew who he was and even fewer probably thought Smith would make the Bruins roster to start the season. But he had a great camp and a red hot start for the Bruins. When Eriksson went down with a concussion, Smith got boosted from the third line to the Bergeron-Marchand duo and was rewarded instantly. Smith went on a scoring tear in the early half of the season and has 19 goals and 30 assists in 77 games for Boston.
Alas, Smith has cooled off in the second half of the season to the point he’s been dropped down from Bergeron’s line to Soderberg’s line and some are calling for Smith to get a night or two off as a healthy scratch. Ouch.
Still, Smith’s 49 points and 13 PPP is well beyond what most fans probably projected for a no-name in the Seguin deal. It might be enough to get him 7th Player.
Torey Krug has been a huge boost to the Bruins Power Play this year. We saw it last year when he owned Henrik Lundqvist in the playoffs and that game has carried over.
Krug has 14 goals and 23 assists in his rookie season, putting him ahead of Bobby Orr in Bruins goals scored by a rookie defenseman. And when you can beat the greatest hockey player that ever lived in something, that’s worth of note. Krug also has 18 PPP, a team high tied with David Krejci. Working against him is a few games scratches, but that’s probably not going to hurt him that much in fans voting eyes.
But because Krug was such an offensive juggernaut for the Bruins blue line last playoffs, did Krug beat expectations this season or just meet them this season?
Bruins fans have waited for years to see what Carl Soderberg could do, and got only a whiff of him last season before the playoffs started and Soderberg was buried in the healthy scratch list. This year, however, they got a mouth full of Carl (phrasing).
He has 16 goals and 30 assists for Boston, and has been on an offensive tear since being moved over to his natural position of centerman. Soberberg also has 14 PPP points.
But will the Swedish Hockey stuff the ballot box against Carl because he wouldn’t play for Team Sweden in the World’s last year? Seriously guys, maybe you would’ve won gold if you had Yeti on the team.
Hi, My name is Chad Johnson
Everyone shat on Chad Johnson when the Bruins signed him last summer, including us. Fucking Chad Johnson. Who was that guy? And why wasn’t he playing football anymore?
But Chad “Hi, My Name is Chad Johnson” Johnson has done nothing but win for the Bruins. He’s 17-3-2 as a backup with a 2.12 GAA and .923 SV%. He also has 2 shutouts.
In short, all Johnson does is win. And win. And win some more.
And when you put up those sort of numbers when everyone was crapping on you before you got here, it’s not hard to exceed expectations.
Because he won the last two 7th Player Awards when he probably shouldn’t have (especially last season). And we just think there are enough dumb Bruins fans out there to write his name in this year.
At least this year it would be kinda funny.
So who do you got?