Auston Matthews would could become the first Maple Leaf to win the Hart since 1955 but Michael Bunting is likely to miss out on the Calder Trophy.
OMAR: The NHL Awards are here. And there are two Leafs who can walk away with a trophy. Auston Matthews is nominated for both the Hart and the Ted Lindsay, whereas my boy Michael J. Bunting is nominated for the Calder, which a lot of Detroit fans are still angry about, which makes me laugh.
All kidding aside, it doesn't matter. It's fine. You have Seider, he's awesome. He's great.
How many awards are the Leafs actually going to walk away from, three, two, or one? For the most part, a lot of us think that it's only going to be the one. Now, if I can use my whole Maple Leafs Nation, passion, hive mind thing, I think a lot of us agree that Matthews is likely going to win the Hart. Hart Trophy goes to the player most valuable to their team by definition.
Auston Matthews scored 60 goals this year. I mean, that's pretty sick. Yes, scoring was up throughout the entire league. There were a lot of players who hit the 50-goal mark. But Matthews is the only one who hit 60. And that is no easy thing to do in today's NHL, where goalies are as best as they've ever been.
Now, I think besides the goal scoring as well, his play away from the puck-- the way that he chases down plays and he's determined to get the puck back actually led to a lot more scoring chances that he was able to finish on. So I think there are a lot of things that go in Matthews' favor.
And another thing to keep in mind, the Hart Trophy is a regular season award. So yes, Connor McDavid was sick in the playoffs. But the Hart Trophy is a regular season award.
Now, does Igor Shesterkin walk away from it? He has, actually, a pretty solid case as well, considering what he was able to do on the Rangers. But I do think that Matthews takes this one.
Now, the Ted Lindsay, which goes to the best player as voted by the rest of the players in the NHL, that one might be a little tricky. I could see that one going to McDavid because it's Connor McDavid. And I think it's tough to argue about a lot of the things that other players do come second to what McDavid is doing. So I think the Hart works out pretty well.
As far as the Calder, I just wanted Bunting to get nominated. I didn't think he would actually win. Now, there was a moment, there was a time in the season where I was watching him play. And it's like, wow, he's actually playing pretty well. He could win. But no, I think the nomination is good enough.
And again, Seider on Detroit, he's playing top 20 minutes as a rookie. I think it's something solid. But being recognized for the award is pretty solid on Bunting's part.
I think Matthews gets the Hart. I think it would be extremely, extremely frustrating if the entire time we've been saying Matthews for Hart when he's on the ice, we're chanting MVP, he broke all of these records, and doesn't get the Hart Trophy, it would kind of suck. Maybe it might be understandable, but it would suck. And considering what us as Leafs fans have gone through again, I think we do need this one victory.