And the NHL Oscar goes to ...
Rob Pizzo hands out a different kind of hockey award
It's Oscar week, and even if you're not a hardcore movie fan, you probably have your opinions on at least a few of the awards. Especially since there seems to be some apparent "locks" this year (Brad Pitt, I'm looking at you).
As with most everything else in my life, it got me thinking about the Oscars in terms of hockey. What if NHL players could be nominated? Who would take home the gold statuettes? You'd hope that the players who did win would have someone else write their acceptance speeches, but I digress.
Here are my picks.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
NOMINEES: Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers), Brad Marchand (Boston Bruins), John Carlsson (Washington Capitals)
AND THE OSCAR GOES TO: Leon Draisaitl
While the numbers (especially of late) might indicate that Draisaitl could have been in the Best Actor conversation, we all know that McDavid gets top billing in Edmonton.
That being said, McDavid has scored 29 goals this year going into Wednesday, with Draisaitl assisting on 16 of them. While McDavid is the face of this team (and let's face it, the league), Draisaitl is making himself impossible to miss while at the same time making the best player in the world even better. Every time we see Draisaitl moved down to second-line centre, Oiler production drops and they are put back together again.
NOMINEES: John Tortorella (Columbus Blue Jackets), Mike Sullivan (Pittsburgh Penguins), Craig Berube (St Louis Blues)
AND THE OSCAR GOES TO: John Tortorella
Nothing against Martin Scorsese, but if he ends up winning this award for The Irishman he will have done it with the help of an all-star cast.
John Tortorella is doing the complete opposite. He lost Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky in the offseason to free agency, has been hammered by the injury bug all year, and his top scorer (Pierre-Luc Dubois) is 56th in the league.
However his team somehow is sitting in third in the Metropolitan Division.
How he is doing this is beyond me. Would Marty be nominated if Robert De Niro and Al Pacino left right before shooting began and Joe Pesci tore his ACL?
NOMINEES: Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers), Nathan Mackinnon (Colorado Avalanche), David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins)
AND THE OSCAR GOES TO: Connor McDavid
McDavid is the Leonardo DiCaprio of the NHL, you can just pencil him in to be at least nominated for this award every year.
He is slightly ahead of his 2018-19 pace that saw him put up a career high 116 points (which should surprise no one), but the main difference is his team is battling for a playoff spot (which does surprise people).
What doesn't show up on the scoresheet is how well he is playing defensively.
NOMINESS: Battle of Alberta, Blues title defence, Ovechkin chasing 700
AND THE OSCAR GOES TO: Battle of Alberta
Once Upon a Time in Alberta, two teams remembered that they absolutely hated each other, and the fans loved it. After a bit of a hiatus, this year's edition of the almost 40-year old rivalry has seen a little bit of everything. Tkachuk vs Kassian, players forced to get along during the all-star game, and even Cam Talbot and Mike Smith going toe-to-toe at centre ice.
The one ingredient that makes every rivalry great is hatred, and we have seen it in spades this year.
This may not be The Godfather Part II, but it's an award-winning sequel nonetheless.
And now for the awards that serve as the best time to take a bathroom break…
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Gritty.
You know you love it.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Andrei Svechkinkov lacrosse goal(s)
Others did it first, but the man has done it twice this year.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Carolina Hurricanes Storm Surge.
I hope this never goes away.
Who are your picks?