David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron among NHL's midseason award contenders

David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron among NHL's midseason award contenders

The NHL regular season midpoint is a natural time to take a peek at the candidates for the NHL Awards, and that’s exactly what the PHWA (Professional Hockey Writers Association) does with their Midseason NHL Awards timed to come out at All-Star weekend.

The first-place Bruins are well-represented, as Boston’s lone All-Star player representative David Pastrnak has been named one of three finalists for the Hart Trophy at the halfway mark.

The 23-year-old Pastrnak leads all players with 37 goals scored in 51 games played for the Bruins at the break and is fourth in the NHL with 70 points while on pace for 60 goals and 114 points this season.

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While Patrice Bergeron has missed time with injuries and Brad Marchand went ice cold in much of December and January, Pastrnak has been the constant game-breaker and power play weapon who, at times, has been the one thing pulling the Bruins through some of the tough times. Pastrnak was one of three players on the midseason Hart Trophy list along with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon in some very select company.

The Bruins were also represented on the Selke trophy midseason ballot as Patrice Bergeron was one of three finalists for the award for best defensive player, an award that No. 37 has already won four times in his esteemed NHL career.

Bergeron is winning 58.3 percent of his faceoffs while ranking fourth in the NHL with 550 draw wins overall and has posted 21 goals and 41 points in 42 games along with a plus-15 rating. Bergeron was named a Selke Trophy midseason finalist along with Philadelphia’s Sean Couturier and St. Louis center Ryan O’Reilly, a trio of names who are no strangers to being considered for the league’s top defensive award.

Here are the full results for the PHWA Midseason NHL Awards with 117 writers from all 32 NHL chapters participating who will also be voting on the genuine NHL Awards ballot at the end of the season. So it's a pretty good indicator both Pastrnak and Bergeron could be finalists at the end of the season as well:

Hart Trophy — to the player adjudged to be most valuable to his team.

  • 1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
  • 2. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
  • 3. David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins

Norris Trophy — to the defenseman who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position.

  • 1. John Carlson, Washington Capitals
  • 2. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
  • 3. Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes

Selke Trophy — to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.

  • 1. Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
  • 2. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
  • 3. Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues

Calder Trophy — to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition.

  • 1. Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
  • 2. Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks
  • 3. Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres

Lady Byng Trophy — to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.

  • 1. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
  • 2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 3. Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues

Vezina Trophy — to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position.

  • 1. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
  • 2. Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars
  • 3. Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes

Jack Adams Award — to the coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success.

  • 1. Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 2. John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets
  • 3. Craig Berube, St. Louis Blues

Jim Gregory GM of the Year Award — to the General Manager adjusted to have contributed most to his team's success.

  • 1. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche
  • 2. John Chayka, Arizona Coyotes
  • 3. Doug Armstrong, St. Louis Blues

Rod Langway Award — to the defenseman who best excels in the defensive aspect of the game.

  • 1. Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes
  • 2. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
  • 3. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators

Comeback Player of the Year Award — to the player who returned to a previous high level of performance that was interrupted by subpar play, long-term injury or major illness.

  • 1. William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 2. Anthony Duclair, Ottawa Senators
  • 3. Max Pacioretty, Vegas Golden Knights

Bruins legend Bobby Orr's great feat from April 3, 1971 still hasn't been matched

Bruins legend Bobby Orr's great feat from April 3, 1971 still hasn't been matched

Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr hit a milestone on this date in 1971 that no defenseman in the NHL has been able to match.

Orr tallied his 100th assist of the 1970-71 season in an 8-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 3. It was the second-to-last game of the season, and Orr finished the year with 102 assists to lead the league. 

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Check out the graphic below for more information on Orr's record-breaking achievement.

Orr's offensive stats in 1970-71 set a few records.

Not only are his 102 assists the most every by a defenseman in a single season, his 139 points also are a single-season best for a blueliner. Edmonton Oilers defenseman Paul Coffey came close to breaking both records in the 1985-86 campaign, but he finished with 90 assists and 138 points. Like Orr and the Bruins in 1971, the 1986 Oilers suffered a disappointing defeat to a hated rival in the Stanley Cup playoffs. However, both the 1971 Bruins and 1986 Oilers bounced back from those defeats and won the Stanley Cup the following season.

The only other players in league history to reach 100 or more assists in one season are Hall of Fame centers Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. Gretzky accomplished the feat 11 times and Lemieux did it once. 

Orr's stats are incredible, and some of them might never be duplicated. This assist record easily could be one of them, especially when you consider the closest any defenseman has come to this Orr milestone in the last 20 years was Brent Burns with 83 assists in 2018-19.

Milan Lucic joined Instagram, and Bruins fans will love his first post

Milan Lucic joined Instagram, and Bruins fans will love his first post

Former Bruins forward Milan Lucic officially joined Instagram on Thursday, and Boston fans will absolutely love his first post. 

Although Lucic now plays for the Calgary Flames, he couldn't pass up the opportunity to reminisce on the B's 2011 Stanley Cup championship.

View this post on Instagram

First post. Let’s have some fun

A post shared by Milan Lucic (@milan.lucic.17) on

Lucic posing with the Stanley Cup is a huge flex, but the big guy definitely did his part during the 2011 playoff run. The Vancouver native tallied 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 25 playoff games playing alongside David Krejci and Nathan Horton, including two goals and an assist in the series against the Canucks.

During his day with the Stanley Cup, Lucic returned to Vancouver for a celebration with family and friends, so we can imagine his first Instagram post is from that day. 

Hopefully he plans on sharing some more photos from 2011 because that championship run was electric.