The St. Louis Blues were up for five awards last night but only won one. Ryan O’Reilly won the Selke Trophy for the best defensive forward in the league. O’Reilly is only one of two players in NHL history to win the Selke Trophy and the Conn Smythe in the same season. The other to do it was Bob Gainey in 1978-79. He now has quite a collection in that trophy case this off-season. The Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe, and now the Selke Trophy.
Ryan O’Reilly wins the Selke Trophy
Ryan O’Reilly Comes to St. Louis
General Manager Doug Armstrong made a lot of moves this off-season and one of them was trading for O’Reilly. The Blues traded Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka, Tage Thompson, and two draft picks to the Buffalo Sabres for Ryan O’Reilly.
The Blues held an event at Ballpark Village called Ice Breaker. This was an event to let the crowd get to know the new Blues and to get the crowd pumped up for the season. When Armstrong acquired O’Reilly, the fans were ecstatic. O’Reilly spoke to Armstrong and told him “Let’s go win a cup” and “I won’t let you down.” At the event, the crowd cheered out of their minds when the players came out. O’Reilly was excited to play for a contender and thought he finally had a chance to make a deep run and win the cup.
The Regular Season
The Blues started horribly the first three months of the season and were even the last place team on January 3rd. The Blues went from locker room drama to a coaching change and it didn’t look pretty at all. One constant throughout that whole stretch was Ryan O’Reilly. No matter how bad the team was, O’Reilly was performing at a high level. He was scoring goals, passing the puck, putting pressure on the opposition, and showing off his defensive skills as a forward. As the team started to turn it around, he kept up the great play. He was still providing what this team needed. Anybody who played on a line with him got instantly better.
He ended the year with 28 goals, 49 assists, and posted a plus-minus of plus 22. O’Reilly was also dominating in the face-off dot all season as he had a 56.9 percent success rate on face-offs. He won 1,086 face-offs which was good enough for first in the league and came up huge while shorthanded as he was fourth in short-handed face-off wins. He had an average ice-time of 20:46 and was fourth in takeaways with 94. O’Reilly was up for the Lady Byng award but just fell short to Aleksander Barkov. This shows you how much Ryan O’Reilly meant to this team’s success in 2018-19.
Ryan O’Reilly was the clear the favorite to win the Selke Trophy and he won it over Patrice Bergeron, and Mark Stone. He is a great two way player in this league and Armstrong made the right choice when he executed one of the best trades in franchise history. Even though Ryan O’Reilly and the Blues went one for five at the NHL Awards, all that matters is one trophy; the Stanley Cup.
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