No Love for the Toronto Maple Leafs at the NHL Awards

The Toronto Maple Leafs were not the recipients of any awards on Monday Night.

The NHL held its annual awards ceremony last night, which was weird because there was also a game going on. Neither of these events, however, featured the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Of course, due to the current world situation, the NHL didn’t give out their awards in person on a glitzily Las Vegas stage like they usually do.  One wonders what hilariously outdated musical guest they would have trotted out this year (Chumba Wumba? The Nelson Brothers?) but I guess we’ll never know.

The awards didn’t really feature any surprises, and I think it goes without saying that no member of the Toronto Maple Leafs cashed in.

The NHL Awards

The Hart Trophy went to Leon Draisaitl, a player who led the NHL in scoring but still barely made a positive impact for his team when he played.  Draisaitl traded goals all year long, and in the end, he won the Art Ross trophy while actually playing the kind of defense people think the Leafs play.

A better choice would have been Connor Hellebyuck, who did win the Vezina, but who should also won the Hart due to his team being acutely terrible, and him being the sole reason they won as many games as they did.

As for the Leafs, Auston Matthews got a couple of measly fifth place votes despite being the NHL’s best goal scorer (at 5v5 which is the same thing), on-ice stats just as good (or better) than anyone ahead of him on the voting, and being the best defensive player among the league’s offensive superstars.

I don’t think Matthews should have won, but he did more for his team than Draisaitl did. He could have at least been named to one of the all-star teams.  Oh well.

As for the other awards, I like that Roman Josi won the Norris, he’s a good player and super fun to watch.  Obviously no one on the Leafs got a vote, but someone did vote for Drew Doughty, so Morgan Rielly could have at least picked up a reputation vote or two, but he didn’t.  (Nor did he deserve to, but Doughty? Really?).

No Leafs deserved consideration for any awards, if we’re being honest.  Matthews was great, but not for the win.  Rielly was injured, and Andersen had an off year, while the Leafs did not have a rookie of note.

But really, that’s OK because when it comes right down to it, the Toronto Maple Leafs are stacked with talent and next year (this year?) should go a lot better.  All the indicators (team stats, individual talent, ages and growth of core players) are showing positive, and eventually they might even get some of the luck other teams get against them.

Next: The Case for Auston Matthews

Look for the Toronto Maple Leafs to have a much better showing at next year’s NHL Awards, ones that hopefully feature either a Faith No More cover band, or at least M.C Hammer.