Re: Let's Talk 7th Player Again.
posted at 3/20/2014 9:13 AM EDT
The key is exceeding expectation. Who has done that "most"?.
Rask was supposed to take over from a Vezina winning goalie, and do it seamlessly. That's huge expectation. He's done that, and he's paid to do that. Kudos to Rask, but that excludes him from this category. There's a bigger prize for him on the horizon.
Iginla has a great amount of expectation following him around too. How many were flipping out, when he kind of came out of the gate slow. One wouldn't have to dig too deep to find a pocket of knowledgable hockey people seeing the possibility of him scoring 25 with his linemates this year. Yeah, he's been better, but he's supposed to score. Scratch him too.
Soderberg had ridiculous expectation in many corners, simply because he's been talked about as a potential high-ender for years. That's not his fault, but it is reality, and the "expectation" card is fundamental on this one. Nope, he doesn't fit.
All 3 of these guys have had great seasons, but there's a lot of expectation following them. I won't ever argue they've over-performed, just the distance they've travelled from that expectation. I don't think this award is meant for the Iginlas or Rasks of the NHL either, regardless how well they do.
Krug's defense isn't where it needs to be, and considering his size, I doubt it'll ever be his forte. I don't think he's been worse than expected defensively, but he's been better than advertised offensively. I think he's a little further above expectation than Rask and Iginla, considering there should be a huge disparity in where each players baseline exists. He's also more fitting considering the spirit of the award. I think he's got to be scratched off the list too though.
I don't disagree that Smith has fallen off. Thing is though, where was that expectation last October? If he doesn't score again, IMO he's hands down.
I believe most fans, and Bruin brass, would've been ecstatic if someone said Reilly Smith will win a regular roster spot, score 6 or 7, and not kill the team defensively. I think Bruins nation would have been absolutely thrilled with that.
He's a long, long way past that. Played every game. Excelled within Juliens system, plus 20, scared 20 goals and 50 points, and in an instance or two, was condsidered one of the evenings best Bruins . That's as far beyond expectation as Iginla netting 50 or Rask putting up a 1.40 gaa
Finally, the spirit of the award is more aimed to the unsung hero, as opposed to the star that shone a little brighter than expected. I don't see this trophy belonging in Bobby Orr's house, and based on the logic of the OP, he or Esposito should have won it virtually every year they were here. Breaking league records is pretty much the pinnacle of over achievement. This award isn't meant to be another piece of hardware for the big dogs though. Rather, an award the everyday players can get a crack at.
Reilly Smith could still turn out to be a guy who scores 6 or 7 a year. He may still turn out to be a guy that struggles to find regular NHL employment. He may be a one shot flash in the pan. But that has nothing to do with this award. This year, his contribution, compared to expectation, is off the charts. Seems to perfectly fit the spirit of a 7th player.