The 2011-12 season reaches its mid-point upon the completion of Monday night's game between the Washington Capitals and the Los Angeles Kings. But NHL.com is going to take all week to look at the significant stories as the League makes the turn and heads toward the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We'll look at the races for the League's individual awards, while profiling some of the most surprising players and teams as we look ahead to the final three months of the season.
As the NHL hits its midway point, many players have established themselves as scoring threats who consistently find their way onto the stat sheet without finding their way to the penalty box. It's often one of these men who takes home the Lady Byng Trophy at the end of the season, the NHL's annual award for "skillful and gentlemanly play."
Martin St. Louis
has taken Byng home two years in a row, and he's done little this year to rule himself out of a hat trick, tallying 10 goals and 21 assists in 33 games while picking up just 8 penalty minutes. But at the season's quarter mark in November our nod went to Dallas' Loui Eriksson
, a first-time nominee for the award in 2011, and halfway through the season that hasn't changed.
Eriksson, 26, has continued to impress, but he's joined by a host of young players impressing on the ice while incurring minimal infractions. Look no further than the Atlantic Division, where New Jersey's Adam Henrique
(28 points, plus-7, 2 PIMs) and Philadelphia's Matt Read
(22 points, plus-6, 2 PIMs) have had solid rookie campaigns. Brian Campbell
, in his first season in Florida is taking a run at being the first blueliner to win the Lady Byng in nearly six decades, tallying 31 points and a plus-4 with just 4 PIMs for the surprising first-place Panthers.