In what was a shocker to absolutely no one, Kevin Porter was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award today. Also as I expected, Chad Kolarik was not. There were some surprises on the list, however.
The Finalists are:
-Kevin Porter, Michigan
-Nathan Gerbe, Boston College (But he had a misconduct, so he should be ineligible, right?)
-JP Lamoureaux, North Dakota
-Ryan Lasch, St. Cloud
-Ryan Jones, Miami
-Jeff Lerg, Michigan State (Uhhh....are we awarding the Hobey based on last year's tournament?)
-Kevin Regan, New Hampshire
-Lee Jubinville, Princeton (Ummmmmm)
-Simon Lambert, RIT
-TJ Oshie, North Dakota (What dude?)
I understand he had a great season last year, but how do you put Lerg on over Richard Bachman, who was the WCHA Player of the Year (and just the second player in history to win WCHA Player of the Year and WCHA Rookie of the Year)? Or over Jeff Zatkoff for that matter.
When you're picked to finish tops in the CCHA in one poll, second (by one point) in the other poll and finish third, get beat at home in the CCHA quarterfinals, are a whopping 3-3-2 out of conference despite playing one team worth a damn, are 17th in goals against and 11th in save percentage, I'm going to go out on a limb and say you weren't one of the top 3 goalies in the country this year. I think you could make a strong case that he was only the third best goalie in the conference this year.
How do you justify 25th-in-scoring (28th in points per game) TJ Oshie over Kolarik, who leads the nation in goals per game, is 6th in points per game, and is a top defensive player/penalty killer? I guess you have to have someone like Jubinville from the ECAC, but a forward with 12-26--38? C'mon.
Also, there was no defenseman named as a finalist. I figured they would find one to take, but I applaud them for not reaching just so they could have a finalist at that position. Too bad they didn't take the same strategy with the ECAC.
This honor could be the first of many tonight for members of the Wolverines. Porter is up for the CCHA Player of the Year award (the announcement of which is probably just a formality) as well as Best Defensive Forward. Red Berenson is up for CCHA Coach of the Year. Max Pacioretty is a nominee for CCHA Rookie of the Year. The awards will be announced in about an hour at the CCHA Awards Banquet at the Fox Theatre.