The New York Islanders turned more than a few heads this season, as John Tavares helped lead the team back to the playoffs and seven games deep into the first round. Right alongside Tavares all season was Matt Moulson, one of the Islanders’ unsung heroes and a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy. Given the competition he is up against (Martin St. Louis and Patrick Kane), Moulson may have little shot of actually winning the award. Being nominated for a second straight season does show that his efforts in “gentlemanly play” are being noticed, and his time may come soon.
Moulson scored 15 goals and had 44 points for the Islanders, while spending most of the season on the top line with Tavares and Brad Boyes. Somehow, he received only four penalty minutes all season, making him one of two forwards in the top 50 (scoring) to achieve such a feat. Moulson played nearly 19 minutes per game, and was one of the top power play scorers in the league with eight goals. He had scored 30 or more goals in each of his first three seasons with the Islanders, and had this been a full season and his pace held steady, he would likely have hit that mark for the fourth time.
Seeing the Islanders return to the playoffs for the first time in six years was a bright moment for the entire league. Now, with Tavares up for the Hart and Moulson up for the Lady Byng the top performers on the team are getting the recognition they deserve for a stellar season.