Photo Credit: © Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Auston Matthews finishes second in Lady Byng voting

“I guess Auston Matthews can’t even win at being soft.”
-Your inebriated uncle (probably)

While it wasn’t particularly close and Auston didn’t even receive the second most 1st place votes, there he is right in the mix. It’s also interesting that Nylander finished in 26th, and Marner 30th in voting, with Nylander receiving a 2nd and 3rd place vote, and Marner receiving two 4th and two 5th place votes. The reach of Darren Ferris is far in this league.

For the record Nathan MacKinnon won. Funny, we don’t hear Avs fans complaining about how soft MacKinnon plays, but I digress.

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The Official NHL Statement:

Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche won the Lady Byng Trophy as the NHL player who best combines sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability on Friday.

MacKinnon was fifth in the NHL with 93 points (35 goals, 58 assists) and was plus-13, leading Colorado forwards in average ice time per game (21:13) before the season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. The center was assessed five penalties totaling 12 minutes, each the fewest in his seven NHL seasons, and was tied for third in the NHL in net penalties at plus-18 (23 drawn, five taken).

MacKinnon, the third Avalanche player to win the award (Joe Sakic, 2000-01; Ryan O’Reilly 2013-14), led Colorado (42-20-8, .657 points percentage) to the Western Conference Second Round, where it was defeated by the Dallas Stars in seven games. He was leading the Stanley Cup Playoffs in scoring with 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) when the Avalanche were eliminated.

MacKinnon also is a finalist the Hart Trophy, which is awarded to the Most Valuable Player in the League, and the Ted Lindsay Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the NHL Players’ Association.

O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs were the other finalists for the award, which was voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association before the playoffs began.

O’Reilly, the Selke runner-up to Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov last season as the best defensive forward in the NHL, led the Blues in scoring with 61 points (12 goals, 49 assists) in 71 games; the center was assessed five minor penalties. Matthews was the Maple Leafs’ leading scorer with 80 points (47 goals, 33 assists) in 70 games; the center took four minor penalties.

The 2020 NHL Awards had been scheduled for June 18 in Las Vegas but were postponed March 25.

Maybe next year Auston. Or Nylander. Or Marner. Or honestly, why wasn’t Rielly in the mix? Or maybe you just don’t care about the Lady Byng, that’s fine too. Individual awards aren’t my thing either with the exception of trying to figure out who was voting for goaltenders this year.