The Penguins have been golfing for almost two weeks now and tt sucks that the rest of the playoffs are still going on. But hey, as long as the Flyers don’t win the Cup, we’ll get over it. Hopefully this will help keep the Pens’ morale up over the summer.
With 82 games in the books, the Jags and their team of hockey experts (Pierre McGuire did not make the cut) have compiled the inaugural list of award recipients for the 2012 Penguins Regular Season Awards.
So without further adieu, here are your 2012 Penguins Regular Season Award winners:
Le Magnifique 66 - If you couldn’t figure out that this one goes to the world’s league’s team’s most valuable player, you’re not a Pens fan. Kindly get the hell out.
WINNER: Geno Malkin - Fleury was our midseason winner but Geno really turned things on during the stretch run, and he didn’t slow up even after Sid came back. Fleury still had a great year but Geno won the Art Ross and should win the Hart and Masterson as well. After our midseason awards, Geno had 18 multi-point games and scored three or more points six times, and finished the year with three hatties. No question this is Geno’s.
The Anti-Melichar – There have been a lot of great defensemen to roam the bowels of the Igloo and there have been a lot of bad defenseman to get BOOOOed out of town. But there may not have been one that was worse than Joe Melichar. The winner of this award is the exact opposite.
WINNER: Kris Letang - Niskanen was a close second to sweep this award for the midseason and regular season pick but even though Letang only player 51 games, he was still the best blue liner the Pens had during the regular season. Niskanen stepped up big time while Letang was hurt but 58 led the team in plus/minus (21), ice time (24:50), and led all Pens defensemen with 10 goals and 32 assists. His 42 points in 51 games was still good enough for seventh on the team in scoring.
The Ronnie M – There’s never been a Penguin forward to do more work on the backend than Ronald Michael Francis Jr. Oh, Ryan Malone and Max Talbot loved to work back ends but we’re talking ice not ass. And Ronnie M got **** done.
WINNER: Pascal Dupuis – Duper was the surprise of the century…seriously, 59 points (25 G, 34 A) for this guy?. And he ended the year on a 17-game point streak. We never thought Duper would win anything, and we definitely never thought we’d be the ones awarding him with something, but here he is. Staal was really the only competition Duper had in this category but Staal easily had his worst defensive season as a Pen while Duper got **** done at both ends, and that’s what this award is all about.
The Un-Cooked Award - Matt Cooke will be forever known for his elbow(s) heard round the world rather than his actual hockey ability. He’s been suspended more times than any other Penguin…EVER. He’s even got the NHL to change the rules on hits to the head. The winner of the Un-Cooked is a stand-up gentleman who plays the game that way its forefathers intended.
WINNER: Matt Cooke - That’s right. Who better to win the inaugural award than the man it’s named for, and he swept it this year – he won the midseason Un-Cooked too). Since becoming a Pen, the fewest penalty minutes Cooke has ever racked up was 101, and last year he set a career high of 129 PIM. This year he racked up all of 44 minutes of shame. It took him a while to find the perfect mix of Paul Martin and Arron Asham but he did it.
The Kid – Sid scored 102 points his rookie year. He should’ve won the Calder but thanks to the lockout Ovechkin, whose two years older, swiped it. Here, only a Penguin can win…and Capitals aren’t allowed on the premises – SUCK IT. Could have easily been called the Mario Lemieux but that was already taken.
WINNER: Simon Despres - Another sweep…not that Despres had any competition for this one. He only picked up five points (1 G, 4 A) and only played in 18 games but he showed that he is definitely ready to play in the NHL every night. Now all the Pens have to do is find somewhere for him to play.
The Lowell MacDonald – Awarded for perseverance and dedication to hockey. MacDonald blew his knee out but overcame it to score 75 points in 78 games in ’72-’73. Could have easily been called The Mario Lemieux but that was already taken.
WINNER: Geno Malkin - Well, make that four straight sweeps at this year’s awards. Has anyone ever came back from an ACL tear the way Geno did this year? It was insane. Sid was in the conversation and if he hadn’t gone back to shelf in December and had to wait until March, this race would’ve been closer (if Sid stays healthy next year though, he’s the early favorite). Geno should probably give this trophy to Mike Kadar because that guy transformed Geno from a potential Lazy Russian to Geno Machino.
The Lazy Russian – Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be from the Eastern Block to play like an overpaid commie. Not earning your keep: Lazy Russian. And yinzers hate Lazy Russians.
WINNER: Paul Martin - We admit, we jumped the gun a bit by labeling Sully the Lazy Russian back in January but we were still bitter about the whole Jags thing. He wa solid…Paul Martin was not. TK was just as awful but TK only makes $2 mil a year and his mistakes didn’t kill the Pens, just himself. Paul Martin was toast for most of the year, and when you’re making $5 mil a year, that can’t happen for an entire season.