Previously on the Admirals Roundtable…
We handed out our first batch of the 2011-12 Paper Plate Awards. It was exciting. You laughed, you cried, you hurled. It was great.
And now….here’s the rest of them. Mind the “READER’S CHOICE” award, and leave your best nomination in the comments.
20 – Joel Champagne – I’m Glad He’s Okay Award – If memory serves me correctly, the ambulance crew only came out on the ice once during the Bradley Center home games, and it was after Champagne’s head had a collision with Jeremy Morin’s elbow. Scary scary moment. He missed some time, but so far it seems like it wasn’t one of those Crosby head injuries. So that’s good.
21 – Zack Stortini – More Than Just A Pretty Face Award – I think a lot of people expected him to drop the gloves more often than he did, but I’m okay with him being more selective. Plus, he wasn’t afraid to get dirty in front of the crease, battle for pucks in corners, and he was a good attitude in the locker room. The video that they released yesterday of him and Kyle Wilson in the background of a Chris Mueller interview? Great stuff. It was nice having him here this year.
22 – Scott Valentine – President of the Society For Hip-Check Advancement Award – Nobody on the Admirals did nearly as much for the art-form of the hip-check than Valentine did.
24 – Jani Lajunen – Spaling-In-Training Award – After adjusting to the North American game in the early part of the season Lajunen turned into a player that could be effective on the forecheck (his stick was like a magnet for the puck at times) and strong in the defensive end. He’s got a great work ethic, and coaches speak highly of him. I’m anxious to see how big of a step forward he takes next year.
28 – Kyle Wilson – Something About Rockford Award – Truth be told, Wilson had a solid season offensively. He had a really great stretch from the middle of January through all of February where he was about a point per game. But he had just two assists for the entire season series against Rockford. That’s a head scratcher.
29 – Mark Van Guilder – Most Likely To Have One Of His Goals Captured In A Bottle Opener Award – Yeah, the bobbleheads are nice giveaways…but I’ve gotten a whole lot more use out of that talking bottle opener they gave away on New Years Day…..”Bottom of the near circle…Thang a shot….save made…rebound Van Guilder. He scored! Mark Van Guilder! Game winner Mark Van Guilder! At 10:42 of overtime! And now…ENJOY THAT BEVERAGE!!!!” Of all of the moments to relive over and over again, a series clinching goal is pretty great. If you were there, you know what an amazing moment that was.
30 – Jeremy Smith – “You Don’t Tug On Superman’s Cape” Award – You don’t spit into the wind. You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you don’t mess around with Smith. Rob Flick learned the hard way. And he also was among the league leaders in all the counting stats. Good season for Smitty. As Coach has said many times, “He’s a gamer.”
35 – Atte Engren 1st half – Rex Grossman Award – You wouldn’t know until about 10 minutes through the first period whether you had Good Atte or Bad Atte. There were too many of his starts where he did not see the 2nd period.
35 – Atte Engren 2nd half – Stats Over Record Award – The win/loss record? Not great. But to be truthful, that’s more a reflection on his offensive support than anything else. His GAA and save percentage? Pretty damn good. Don’t know if he’ll be in North America or Europe next year.
36 – Brodie Dupont – The We Totally Won That Trade Award – Dupont for Andreas Thuresson? I would argue that even with half a season of Dupont, we won that trade. Down the stretch, he was doing some of the dirty work down low and got some blue collar goals, and wasn’t afraid to throw his weight around. Meanwhile, Thuresson went goal-less in his last 15 games….and had just one assist in that span. Invisible.
41 – Taylor Beck – Finished 3rd On The Team In Points This Season Award – Yeah. I’ve got nothing. He bounced around lines a lot early on, and seemed to settle down on a line with Mueller for most of the second half of the season. He didn’t dominate offensively like he did in juniors last year, but I think his role is a bit different at this level. We’ll see what happens next year.
64 – Victor Bartley – READER’S CHOICE. I was going to say something boring like “Unsung Hero” award…so let’s open this one up to nominations from the peanut gallery.
71 – Juuso Puustinen – The HOLY CRAP THAT’S HIS KNEECAP Award. Because holy crap, that’s his kneecap!!!
89 – Tyler Sloan – I Miss You, Ryan Ellis Award – Paired with the rookie early on, Sloan had a good start to the year. But after Ellis’ call-up, Sloan has been inconsistent, prone to mistakes, and too many of them have ended up in the Admiral goal.
And last and certainly least….
11 — Chris Cahill — The Jamie Lundmark Quitter Award — Because he quit. That’s why he gets that award. Imagine how things may have been different this year if the team had kept the other CC that was signed to an ATO contract at the end of last season…. AHL MVP Cory Conacher…Eh, that’s how it goes sometimes…