Hall, Boyle bring hardware to New Jersey
The 2018 NHL Awards ceremony was held Wednesday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas Valley, Nevada, and they did not disappoint. The night was filled with magic, energy and emotion, especially when it came to the New Jersey Devils.
Two notable names from the club, forwards Taylor Hall and Brian Boyle, were both nominated for honorable awards. Hall, New Jersey’s most valuable player during the regular season, looked to take home the Hart memorial Trophy as league MVP, an award never before won by a Devils player. Boyle, on the other hand, was nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is given to the player that best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance and sportsmanship in the sport of hockey.
By nights end, both Hall and Boyle were awarded the trophies they were both nominated for.
Boyle had a tremendous up hill battle from the start of preseason. On September 19, 2017, Boyle issued a statement informing the hockey world that he had been diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Although it was treatable through medication, he did not know when or if he would play this year. After missing the entire preseason and the first few weeks of the regular season, the big bodied center returned to practice for New Jersey on October 23. It took a few more practices to get settled in, but Boyle made his Devils debut on November 1, against the Vancouver Canucks. Boyle is the type of player that personifies the term perseverance. Throughout the regular season, he was the emotional leader in that locker room. Boyle deserved this award.
Now, onto the biggest award of the night. Hall had some pretty stiff competition when it came to the race for the Hart Trophy. Colorado’s Nathan Mackinnon and Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar were two extremely worthy candidates for this award. Both players were incredibly valuable to their teams and one can make the case for either player to win the award. This season, however, it belonged to Taylor Strba Hall.
Hall led New Jersey in every offensive stat this season. He had a final stat line of 39 goals and 54 assists for 93 points with a final plus/minus rating of 14. Out of his 93 point total, 37 came on apower-play that ranked 10th in the league this season.
When Hall’s 2017-18 season is talked about, his 26-game point streak will be the most memorable topic. Hall recorded 18 goals and 38 points on a run that started on January 2nd an ended on March 8. All season long he was an unstoppable force. He scored in the clutch, won games in overtime and led the Devils to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in five seasons. Chants of “M-V-P!” echoed louder and louder with each passing game at the Prudential Center. Last night, those chants became reality. Taylor Hall became the first New Jersey Devil to win the Hart Memorial Trophy.
The Devils add another Bill Masterton winner while adding a Hart of their own. it was a historic night for Hall, Boyle, the Devils organization and its fan base.
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