It was definitely a good night for Boston Bruins fans, with Zdeno Chara winning the Norris for best defenseman, a choked-up Tim Thomas snagging the Vezina for best goaltender (HM was getting verklemped right there with him), and coach Claude Julien winning the Jack Adams award. A huge Hockey Mom high-five to Big Z and Pavel Datsyuk for the message they sent to youth hockey players to work hard and never give up!
Blue Jackets' goalie Steve Mason (who looks to be the same age as my boys) won the Calder award for his unbelievable rookie season and HM fave Jarome Iginla won the Mark Messier leadership award.
Our own Alex Ovechkin took home his second Lester B. Pearson award as voted on by his fellow players and was a class act, congratulating the rival Penguins on their Stanley Cup win. Ovie also drew some laughs from the star-studded crowd when he commented on Geno Malkin's English being better than Pavel Datsyuk's (who won the Selke Award for forward with best defensive prowess and his second consecutive Lady Byng for good manners and gentlemanly behavior on the ice).
AO also thanked the Caps' equipment manager Brock Myles as he accepted the Rocket Richard award for the second year in a row. As you would expect, the Great 8 goes through a lot of sticks in a season!
The highlight of the evening was Alex Ovechkin collecting his second Hart Trophy in as many years for MVP, beating out Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk! In addition to recognizing the other nominees, Ovie thanked all of the fabulous Caps fans out there! As HM predicted, there will be some major bling on display at Kettler Capitals' Iceplex this season.
So hope you all will join me in a toast to all of tonight's winners and a special clink of the glass to Alex Ovechkin!
Speaking of major awards, congrats to all of HockeyBarn's 2009 New Media Award winners (which include yours truly - thanks so much to all of the judges for such an honor!):
- Unsung Hero Award - Chris Botta of NYI Point Blank
- Leadership Award - Dobber Hockey
- Rookie Writer of the Year - Don of Litter Box Cats
- Writer of the Year - Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy
I'm hoping that my "major award" leg lamp clad in some sleek Bauer Vapor skates gets here soon - those boys better not break it playing house hockey either!