Friday, June 19, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2009 (award) Winner(s)...

So the NHL had their 500/seat awards show last night and whaddya know? Boston cleaned right up. First Manny and Timmy accepted the Jennings award for fewest goals against from Lemelin and Moog, the last Bruins goalies to get it. Here's them accepting it:

Highlight quote is about 24 seconds in, Tim Thomas drops the one-liner

"Want me to say hi to your wife, Manny?"

All together now: OH SNAP!

Of course, we all knew that award was coming. The other three coming up were Claude Julien for Coach of the Year, Zdeno Chara for Defenseman of the Year, and Tim Thomas for Goalie of the Year.

Next up is a bunch of other awards that no one cares about, like the Pavel Datsyuk award for public speaking.

Then the Vezina. Now, if you don't know Tim Thomas's backstory, this may have less significance. He was drafted back in 1994 by the Nordiques, and when he showed up to training camp with the Avalanche a couple years later, he outplayed everyone but didn't get the gig. He played a couple games in the ECHL (think AA in Baseball), then the IHL (think A in baseball) and then went off to play in the Finnish leagues. He kept bouncing around, playing for the US world championship teams as well as Finnish and Swedish league team, with occasional stints in the IHL. in 02-03 and 03-04 he played for the Providence Bruins pretty regularly (and got called up to the Boston Bruins in 02-03 for 4 games and posted a 3.00 GAA). Then the lockout happened and he played for Jokerit Helsinki, a Finnish league team. Coming out of the lockout, the Bruins were thinking of picking up either Niklas Backstrom or Tim Thomas. Both were up for the Vezina trophy this year, so the scouts had some idea of what to do. Anyhow, through all of that Thomas didn't give up and kept on playing. Recently he signed a contract that will pay him 20 million dollars over the next 4 years, and I couldn't be happier for the guy. Here's the guy from Armageddon presenting the award:

Second is the Jack Adams award for Coach of the Year, presented by former Bruins coach, Pat Burns. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Jack Adams Award goes to..."Mon Ami, Claude Julien."

Third comes the one we've all been waiting for ever since the Vezina was handed to Timmy Tank Tornado Thomas: The Norris. Perrenial Norris winner Nik Lidstrom is in the running, high-scoring defenseman Mike Green is too, and of course Zdeno "Big Z" Chara. Chara was another guy who may not have ever made it to the NHL, and to be honest he wasn't that great at the beginning of his career. He's gotten better, though. Much better. Let's watch:

Lord, that was awkward. At least he remembered to thank his wife before being played off.

Anyhow, a great night for everyone from Boston up for an award, and then I'm sure the afterparty was great too or whatever, but I didn't pay 500 to attend so I can't be sure.

Sigh...I wish there was some real hockey...

Draft in a week or two, but the Bruins have the 25th pick so it's tough to get THAT excited about it. I updated the hockey-reference pages for Thomas, Julien, and Chara, and they are just awaiting approval at this point.

Still Pretty Pumped for next year.


Pezell said...

You know, watching Zdeno give his speech was awful!

Also, I'm surprised that Manny Fernandez (or ManFran as I call him) has won the Jennings twice, but I guess he needs a stud in front of him to do so.

Good to see the Bruins get the recognition they FINALLY deserve.

The Puck Stops Here said...

Tim Thomas' one liner was the hi-light of the awards :) hence, the awards show is awfully put together.