“Bettman has only a marginal interest in the weaker teams. He only wants the NHL to make a bigger profit as a whole.” -- Dominik Hasek

April 24, 2007

The Roundies - Round 1 Awards

Well, ladies and gents, the first round of the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs is officially over. Eight teams advance, eight teams hit the links.

In an effort to begin a completely pointless tradition, we here at Dear Lord Stanley have created an award for those teams we feel really deserve recognition for their hard work and determination during the first round of the playoffs. That award is hereby called "The Roundie".

A Roundie will be given to the winner in each of six statistical categories and one special category for a very special kind of achievement. Each Roundie is named for a particular player, hockey theme or related concept that epitomizes the achievement necessary to win the award.

And, without further ado, we present to you the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round Roundies! The envelopes, please...

The Broken Stick Roundie
Awarded to the team with the fewest average goals per game.

Winner: Atlanta Thrashers (1.5 GPG)
Nobody was as painfully impotent as the Thrashers, who managed to score only six goals in four games. Their first-round opponents, the Rangers, averaged 4.25 per game.

The Empty Clip Roundie
Awarded to the team with the fewest average shots per game.

Winner: Calgary Flames (21.5 SPG)
Calgary's troubles getting pucks to the net were worst in Game 2 of their series against Detroit, when they managed only 15 shots on goal. In that same game, the Red Wings managed 51. The Red Wings led all teams with an average of 42.5 per game.

The Tiger Williams Roundie
Awarded to the team with the most penalty minutes per game.

Winner: Nashville Predators (29.6 PIM per game)
Considering their series with San Jose started dirty and ended dirty, it's no surprise the Preds topped the list in PIM. The least penalized team was the Sabres, who averaged only 8.8 PIM per game in their peaceful series against the Islanders.

The Scott Stevens Who? Roundie
Awarded to the team with the fewest number of hits per game.

Winner: New York Rangers (16 hits per game)
The Rangers didn't have to hit the Thrashers too much, since Atlanta rarely even had the puck and the Blueshirts were scoring at will. The hardest hitting team was the Red Wings, who averaged 30.67 hits against Calgary in six games.

The Kurt Sauer Roundie
Awarded to the team with the most giveaways per game.

Winner: New York Islanders (13 per game)
Nobody turned over the puck like the Islanders, who led all other teams in giveaways. The stingiest team was the Senators, who only gave up the puck to Pittsburgh an average of 5.2 times per game.

The You Keep It Roundie
Awarded to the team with the least takeaways per game.

Winner: Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins (Tied at 5.2 per game)
While the Senators didn't cough the puck up to the Pens very much in their series, they also didn't take the puck much either. By the stats, it appears neither team did a lot of fore/back/side or any other kind of checking at all. The Predators topped the list with 13.80 takes per game.

The Ulf Samuelson Roundie
Awarded to the team that played the dirtiest overall.

Winner: Calgary Flames
This was a very close race between the Flames and the Predators, with the Sharks Ducks* following behind in a respectable third. While the Predators played dirty, and totaled 64 PIM in Game 2 of their series, the Flames stellar performance in their own Game 5 took the cake by far. Slashing, butt-ending, elbowing, boarding, you name it, they did it. It was worth it, too, since they lost that game and the series. Congrats!

So that's all folks.

Hopefully in the coming seasons we will remember to continue this fine new tradition, and honor all truly great first-round performances with truly great awards: The Roundies. Hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.

*Good point made over at JibbleScribbits. Any team led by Brian Burke has to get points for playing dirty, especially since Brad May is on the team now.

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