While it’s been another season of failing to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Detroit Red Wings, one amazing part of their season has been the emergence of rookie defenseman Moritz Seider, whom GM Steve Yzerman took with the 6th overall selection in the 2019 NHL Draft. And while fans and pundits were a bit confused at the time, any doubts were immediately put to rest thanks to his impressive 1st season in the world’s best league.
And while he’s almost certainly going to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie, that’s not what’s at the forefront of his mind as the regular season schedule winds down with only two games remaining.
“It’s exciting,” Seider said ahead of tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. “It’s exhausting, but you always like to play against the best guys in the league and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Being the humble player that he is, Seider explained that he doesn’t pay attention to such things, as they’re a distraction from the more immediate task at hand.
“It’s more about finishing the season strong,” Seider said. “It’s definitely an honor (to be considered) but I don’t even think about that at all. Not a lot of defensemen (have won it) but I have to be honest, I don’t pay attention to that just because it’s a distraction, an unnecessary distraction from your game, and not what I need now.”
Should Seider ultimately win the award, he’d be Detroit’s first to do so since goaltender Roger Crozier in 1964-65. The likes of Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, and Henrik Zetterberg were all denied the honor in favor of other players, which caused plenty of debate at the time of the announcements.
– – Quotes via The Detroit News Link – –
Calgary Flames vs. Nashville Predators
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It’s been a pretty solid year for both the Calgary Flames and the Nashville Predators. They were both considered outsiders to make the playoffs before the season, yet Calgary has won the Pacific Division, and Nashville is on the verge of clinching a playoff spot.
Calgary is a Stanley Cup contender largely because of their defensive play. They rank in the top five in nearly every defensive shot metric on a per 60-minute basis, including shot attempts, expected goals, and high-danger chances. This stellar play has led to them allowing the fewest five-on-five goals in the league this season.