Let's Go Pens… For Player of the Month!

The Pittsburgh Penguins continue their strong play, and it looks like they just might have some big time recognition, at least one individual might.

Going into tonights game against the Caps, Milan Kraft (5+10), Aleksey Morozov(6+9), and Dick Tarnstrom (4+11) all have 15 points in the month of March. These three guys are primarily the reason that the Penguins have gone 8-3-3 in the month of March and 10-4-3 in their last 17, and they are definitley the reason that the Pens have been close to making the biggest turnaround in history with regards to PP % (throw in Ric Jackman also). The Pens have scored a PP goal in 13 straight games and have had the best PP % of the month and since Dec 2. Back on the second of December, the Penguins ranked dead last in the league, and they have gotten as high as 6th since that time. They currently sit in 7th clicking at around 19%

When you look around the league, no one has had such a strong month as a team, and few have had more points individually than these three guys. Ilya Kovalchuk and Scott Walker each also have 15 points, and Joe Sakic heads everyone with 18. Considering the impact that these three guys have had on the Pens, I find it hard to give a player of the month award to Sakic when the Avs will have come away with such a poor March record. Morozov stands with the best chance going into tonight. He had back to back OT GW this month, and 3 GW for the whole month. Kraft has quiety risen to 4th on the team in points and is finally showing the offensive abilities we all knew he had on a consistent basis. Most of his assists are first assists, and even one of the three that is not was a great individual effort that made the goal happen. Tarnstrom has climbed to third in Dman point standings and was just one back of Gonchar at one point. He has astounding powerplay numbers, leading all Dmen in PP goals, assists, and points.

I am very torn as I sit here writing this. The Penguins play the Caps tonight, and I would love nothing more than these three guys to have another great night and solidify their chances at a POM honor, which would be great to see after this difficult year, but the Caps lay only on point ahead of the Pens for 29th place in the league thanks partly to their shameless promotion of ECHL goalie Stephen Yeats. As I said in my article last week, I have got to pull for these guys to win, and in this case, I hope one of the three above has another stand out performance, giving them the honor. The Player of the Month award is something I hardly pay attention to, and its not usually a big discussion piece anywhere, but after this long season, it would be great for anyone of the Pens to get such an award, they’ve earned it!

8 Responses to Let's Go Pens… For Player of the Month!

  1. Lint07 says:

    that’d be nice to see considering the hell these players been through all season long.

    However, with 2 games left against a team (Caps) ”competing” with them for the last spot, it could turn out that those 2 games could officially be the worst 2 games of NHL history…

    I’m affraid for you guys that the Pens will win both and WSH will finish last because of it… I wouldn’t be surprised though.

  2. garyroberts7 says:

    The bright side if they lose is they come closer to Ovechkin!

  3. IceColdSoda says:

    I hope they crush the Caps…I mean, annihilate them, make them cry…that sort of thing.

    Then, the Caps get the worst record, and either 2 things happen:

    1. The Pens still win the draft lottery (If you think about it, a 48% chance means that there’s a 52% chance the last place team won’t win it…I mean, if you want to put an optimistic spin on things)

    2. The Caps win the lottery, get Ovechkin, but they can’t sign and transfer him over because Russia is being all weird…meanwhile the Pens get some…guy…and they bring him over, and he’s all good and stuff. And then they rain blows upon the Capitals.

    They should give all 3 Penguins the player of the month award. Matter of fact, the whole freakin’ team. I’ve never seen a team work harder. It’s very encouraging, and entertaining.

  4. habsoverserver says:

    Who would have guessed that they would be up for an NHL award and not an AHL award? But before you start handing out trophies, each of these guys had a negative puls/minus for March.

    Better candidates for March POM are Stillman and Gomez. Corey Stillman 15 points and is +10. He led his team to first place in the conference.

    Scott Gomez has been on fire with 20 points in March. I give player of the month to Gomez who has turned around his season and maybe his career by moving to the league lead in assists.

    Congrats to the Pens on showing character and not playing out the string. The trick will be to re-sign Kraft during the offseason. I’m sure he will proke a lot of interest from other teams.

  5. kolezlaw says:

    We’ll win it. But at least we’ll have our pride. Right? ;p As for POTM I’d say Morozov is a safer bet than Kraft, just because he went goaless in a few until that first Sabres game. It seems some boys around here want some jobs! But you know what, I think all of this end-of-season attention will do us a lot of good. I know it’s gotten a lot of people purdy riled up. So if we don’t get the #1 pick, maybe the Russian teams will go “No, no contract, no play, no passport, waah!” and nobody’ll get him after all!

  6. MAniac29 says:

    Wow, good call with Gomez, that’s an oversight, I didn’t even think to check him, and I don’t know of anywhere that will list everyone just by month? Do you? In that case, Gomez should probably win it, unless the Pens light up the Caps and someone approaches that number.

    Kraft is restricted this offseason, and will most certainly resign with the Pens. I think all these guys will be anxious to be back next season, and its hard to imagine him fetching a huge offer before the CBA is decided.

  7. kidhenry1 says:

    Good for the Pens. It’s nice to see that they aren’t just rolling over and dying like the other teams in the chase for the lottery. This team is showing tremendous heart. Keep the Pens in Pittsburgh!

    But in reality, Scott Gomez should win the award. His numbers for the month are ridiculous, and he’s a + (but don’t quote me on that.)

  8. natural says:

    Doesn’t really matter, because in the last couple years, it’s been the 28th ranked team to get the first overall pick. But being dead last certainly increases their chances of getting it.

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