The St. Louis Blues bearded centerman was the team’s only hope for any postseason awards. The NHL’s voters did not oblige him with any wins.
The way the 2019-20 season ended and the way the playoffs went for the St. Louis Blues, we should not have expected much to go right afterward. That has now fully played out.
While the NHL Awards are all supposed to be based on regular season accomplishments, Ryan O’Reilly has not been recognized by the voters. Technically he was recognized since he was top three in votes for two awards, but he still got the cold shoulder.
O’Reilly was snubbed in the Selke Trophy voting, finishing third when he should have finished top two or won it. Now, it became official that O’Reilly would go empty handed for 2020.
The only other award the Blues center was up for was the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. The winner was announced during Game 3 of the Tampa Bay Lightning vs. the New York Islanders.
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At least this decision made more sense. MacKinnon was fifth in the league with 93 points, a plus-13 and only had five minor penalties.
O’Reilly also only had five minor penalties taken. Auston Matthews only had four minor penalties against him.
So, the major difference maker seemed to come down to points. At least the voting went in order of the number of points scored.
MacKinnon won and he had 93 points. Matthews was second with 80 points and O’Rielly had 61 points and was third.
Similar to the Selke Trophy, the points were not that close. MacKinnon had 64 first-place votes and a total of 984 points. O’Reilly only got 10 first-place votes and 561 points, which was 55 points behind Matthews.
Ultimately, the Selke was the most likely for O’Reilly to take home. When he did not get that one, it was always likely he would come up empty for 2020 awards.
The Lady Byng is awarded to the player who best exemplifies sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. Often it goes to the player with the fewest penalty minutes, but as was the case this year, sometimes points can be the differential when you have several players with few penalties.
MacKinnon is still up for the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP. O’Reilly’s award season is done. He was nominated for the King Clancy Award, but did not make the final three and the award went to Matt Dumba.