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Thinking Out Loud: Calder’s, Contracts, and Call Ups

Hell of a week if I do say so myself.

Peaks and valleys, as we saw the team fall flat late against the Rags, but to then bounce back and stomp out both the league’s worst, and the league’s best.

Tavares is back in the points race, as his 60 points on the year has him just 3 behind the league’s leader Patrick Kane, Halak has tied yet another franchise record by picking up his 32nd win(tied for 2nd in the league with Carey Price, nbd), and Leddy is coming off one of the best offensive games he’s ever played, sooo I’d say it’s pretty easy to be in a good mood today.

Shall we being?

Johnny Boychuk+Career Year+Contract Year=$$$$

The season prior to being an Unrestricted Free Agent always comes with its expectations.

You’re supposed to be giving a little bit more of a damn about your game and the work you put into it, as you are marketing your #brand to teams who potentially want to throw a bunch of #money, and #cars, and #riches, your way. The more you work, the better you play, the better you play, the more you get paid. It’s simple dynamics that I wish were synonymous with how bloggers get paid but hey, people always need t-shirts, right?

Johnny Boychuk has found him in a quite powerful spot this season, and is playing it pretty damn cool in the same respect. Boychuk has found himself on a brand new team, who has just hit their stride(him being an obvious catalyst), and is going to be a UFA this summer.

It is obvious the team wants to keep him long term, and wants a deal done sooner rather than later, but Snow knows how to play it cool with negotiations, and how to push without pushing.  just has to sit back, play hockey and let the lawyers handle everything as far as negotiations and whomever it may be with…. But, to add the sweetest cherry on top of the proverbial sundae made out of $100 bills? This season, as he heads into Free Agency is turning out to be the best season of his NHL career.

His 28 points in 49 games is already 5 more than his previous total of 23 in 75 last year, all while setting new career highs in both goals and assists. With both his Even Strength and Powerplay minutes increasing this year, JB55 has hit the ground running in his new role with the Islanders and breaking into one of the Eastern Conference’s best defensemen.

If you’re Garth Snow there’s no way you look at a Johnny Boychuk and don’t immediately start drawing up a future for him within the organization. The rugged Western Canadian Defensemen who can play big minutes for you and go on to mentor your young, rugged, Western Canadian Defensemen coming up in the league?

It’s a match made in heaven, with one wealthy Albertan at the end.

*You Can’t Spell Calder Without Anders

*You Can But It Made A Good Title So Screw It

Due to semantics and some under usage in previous seasons, Anders Lee is making a strong case for one of the league’s best rookie scorers, and is beginning to set himself up to have a real run at this year’s Calder Trophy, for the league’s best rookie.

With 12 points (6g, 6a) in his last 10 games, Lee has gotten a head up on all of his teammates by finding success alongside John Tavares on the 1st line, a spot that has served as a revolving door for much of the season. As Tavares has even gone on to compare Lee’s game to that of longtime linemate Matt Moulson.

Lee’s 19 goals has him sitting 2nd to rookie co-leaders Filip Forsberg and Mike Hoffman, both of whom have 20 on the year, and his shooting percentages have gravitated around the top-10 spot for all rookies, while showing signs of progression since being matched up with Tavares.

Lee is proving to be a real one, and with 23 games remaining, and the 1st line able to find a way of sustaining their current production, Lee’s name may continue to rise to the top of the rookie conversation.

You Get A Call Up! And You Get A Call Up! And Your Get A Call Up!

Seasons are long and injuries always occur, they are one of the many obstacles that come with the sport as a whole, and with injuries come the many fresh call-ups from the A.

From CMac, to Zolnierczyk, to Moullierat, Isles fans have been getting a look at some names both familiar and unfamiliar over the past few weeks. As the likes of Clutterbuck, Cizikas, Grabner, Grabovski, and even de Haan (for some reason) missing action, the tram to and from Bridgeport has been running double shifts.

A little outdated, but I did like what I saw out of Zolnierczyk in his short stint with the team. He did his job, but doing his job did not help his linemates, if anything, it hurt them.

The way he played didn’t mesh well with linemates Kulemin and Nelson, and in the two games he dressed we didn’t see much of that line thrive, a simple stop gap for a week, but nothing too impressive out of #16[As always].

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have Colin McDonald who, in his first 9 games of the year, hasn’t missed a beat alongside former linemates Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin.

6 points in 9 games, after tearing it up in the AHL is well worth a 2nd consideration if I’m Capuano, and with Grabner returning to the lineup and Capuano still finding a way to work #13 in as well, he is doing just that.

Recent call-up Kael Moullierat is expected to be replacing Mikhail Grabovski who hit the IR this morning after getting knocked out cold… for the 2nd time this year.

Moullierat has 40 points in 59 games with the Sound Tigers and has been a career AHL goal scorer, with Saturday expected to be his NHL debut at the age of 27.

Interested in seeing how his game will translate to the NHL after being a career AHL journeyman. After McDonald’s sudden success who know’s which call-up can bring a spark to the game.

Any comments, tips, topics, or questions? Leave them in the comments section below.

All stats gathered from NHL.com and TheAHL.com.

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