This week was the final installment of the The Instigators. The Sully’s Crew has watched every minute of every episode and while our opinion is slightly biased on the subject, we think it was the best season yet. We want to take a second to personally thank everyone at NESN involved with producing the show. Can’t forget the on air talent: Coach Milbury, Jack, Brick, LB, others we are forgetting, GREAT JOB!
The last episode centered on the end of the year awards. With three seemingly evenly matched candidates (Logan Couture - Sharks, Jeff Skinner – Hurricanes, Michael Grabner - Islanders), the most hotly contested award this year might be the Calder trophy for rookie of the year.
All-Star and eighteen year-old Skinner led all rookies with sixty-three points despite being the league's youngest player. A top draft pick, much was expected of Skinner, but probably not this quickly. Grabner burst on the scene out of no where, claimed off waivers by the Islanders from Florida in Octoebr. Grabner’s ample speed and team leading thirty-four goals were very impressive, but he did it on Long Island where there was little pressure and less interest. If the Sully’s Crew had a vote, the Calder would go to Couture. I know Couture had more help around him in San Jose, but early in the season when the Sharks were not firing on all cylinders Couture snapped the Sharks out of it by scoring almost nightly. And he continues to get it done in the playoffs. Honorable mentions go out to rookies Marchand, Suban, and Crawford who might have been finalists if this year’s rookie class had not been as deep.