Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Tavares Vs. Duchene Debate Rages On, Is Either Player Calder Worthy?

After seemingly getting left in the dust in rookie scoring by Matt Duchene, John Tavares ended the season on a tear with 18 points (6-12-18) in his last 13 games. Unfortunately for the 1st overall pick from the 2009 draft, he came up 1 point short of tying Duchene for the rookie scoring lead. Maybe even more significant is the fact that with his lights out scoring pace to end the year he took over the teams scoring lead from Kyle Okposo another promising young forward.

With all of this being said, outside of +/- (+1 vs. -14) in favor of Duchene and the fact that Tavares played in 1 more game than Duchene, their stats are eerily similar. 81gp. 24-31-55 180sog. 11PPG and 11PPA for Duchene and 82gp. 24-30-54 186sog. 11PPG 14PPA for Tavares. It is rather amazing how similar their rookie seasons were in black and white even though beyond that they were very dissimilar. Tavares has a great stretch to start the season and to end it while having a very lengthy dry spell in the middle while Duchene started out very slowly but then hit his stride as the year went on.

Now that we've got that out of the way, it's time for me to reveal who my Calder winner would be, none other than the 6'8" defensive rookie who had a whopping 48 points, an impressive +13, and a guy that straight up was a dominant force at times for the Buffalo Sabres, Tyler Myers. As a top pairing defenseman he was just 7 points back of Duchene and 6 points back of Tavares in terms of rookie scoring. Myers was 11th in the NHL in defense scoring and less than 1/3 of his points came on the PP. He had a whopping 31 ES points this season.

Some may argue that Jimmy Howard should win the Calder based on his very impressive save % and GAA, IMO this was as much a product of his team as it was him being spectacular. Chris Osgood is clearly over the hill and quite frankly wouldn't be a 3rd string goalie on a number of NHL teams. Detroit has a recent history of propping up their goaltenders with their team play. Myers on the other hand was fed to the wolves and was 5th in team scoring, tied for 2nd in team +/-, and led his team in TOI by an astonishing 3 minutes and 8 seconds over the 2nd place finisher. In terms of Calder voting I would vote Myers, Howard, and Duchene as 1, 2, and 3 in that order.

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