Ah yes. The glamour, the sparkle, the shine! ‘Tis the time of year when our favorite boys across the league convene in the one place they probably shouldn’t (What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas), exchange pleasantries, drink a lot, and try not to stumble over themselves as they introduce other nominees they probably beat up on the ice more than once and try to grumble out acceptance speeches you just know they came up with on the walk up to the stage.
The entertainment one sucks out of it is absolutely limitless.
This year, we had some pretty interesting characters join our hockey stars up on the sparkling stage, some pretty unnecessary tribute clips, Crosby taking his sister as his date, and an unforgettable dig on our very own Looch that left many – including myself – rolling over on my couch wheezing (In the words of Ryan Miller: “I’d just like to say what a piece of shit I think Lucic is”.).
So let’s get to our first order of business on our gossip filled over-view:
Cuba. Gooding. Jr. Is that man even real? Let’s just sit and mull over every single thing he said and/or did that made the entire audience uncomfortable; never mind the TV viewers like you and I. God bless Mark Messier and Adam Graves. God. Fricken. Bless. Do you know what they were put through? Do you know? They were part of a “Double-Stuffed Reverse Oreo” as was put so wonderfully by our fan-girl of a presenter. For Lord Stanley’s sake! Not to mention the fact that the man didn’t scream Bergy’s name – that wouldn’t be nearly as exciting. He screeched it to the high heavens. Gooding didn’t just scare one of the young guests Bergy brought on stage, he absolutely terrified him. May the Lord be with you, Cuba.
Sidney Crosby. *Insert exaggerated eye-roll and heavy sigh here* Truly, I am sorry to any Crosby fan in Bahstan that I had to do that. This guy. I’m not even sure where I should begin on this on. At least him and his sister color-coordinated for their big date; that much can be said. First off, let’s put it out there that the NHL’s “superstar” had his own tribute video. Wait. Hold up. Re-fricken-wind. Captain Canada did next to nothing in the Olympics not to mention the playoffs and he gets a tribute video? I couldn’t have been the only Boston fan throwing my remote at my television the second it started playing, let’s be real here. Oh, but we aren’t done yet. Cros-baby took home the Hart Trophy, the Ted Lindsey Award, and the Art Ross (Attempts stabbing self in the eye). The poor guy looked like he had something shoved up his backside all night, and that may be putting it pretty lightly. Watch out bud, I think I saw Pierre lurking around (I mean, look at the absolute fear shining in his eyes).
Patrice Bergeron. Oh my Lord! Our boy Bergy nearly stole the show (and looked absolutely stunning doing so, if I may be so bold). When it came to winning the Selke, nearly no other nominee had a chance compared to our hefty center. Bergeron blasted the competition by snagging 1,283 voting points; almost 500 more than Kopitar and close to 700 more than Toews (fist bumps to the Hockey Heavens). As was well deserved! Our boy in the Black and Gold won more than 1,000 face-offs throughout the season which is more than any other player in the NHL over the past seven seasons. Let’s be real here folks, Bergeron should’ve been given a tribute video. As wonderful as having won the Selke may have been, Bergy also took home the NHL Foundation Player Award. They showed off his “Patrice’s Pals” before he was presented the award and they even had one of his own pals – a surviving cancer patient – present it to him (ugly sobbing). You’re still the MVP in our hearts, Bergy.
Tuukka Rask. Lord Stanley has indeed blessed Boston with a gift when it comes to this Finnish goaltender. Before we get to the complete gushing of how absolutely incredible winning a Veznia in only his second season being a starter for the Bruins, let’s do a stats recap. Rask lead the league in 7 shutouts. Did you understand that? Tuukka lead the entire league (waves to haters). Not to mention his 2.04 GAA, .930 save percentage, and 36 total wins (all within the top five spots for the NHL, too). Rask is an absolute Finnish superstar! The best part of his winning? His acceptance speech that will go down in NHL history. Between remembering to thank his girlfriend at the very end to blurting out how absolutely nervous he was to stand in front of a hefty portion of the league with fear written all over his face, Tuukka continues to be one of Boston’s most glamorous – not to mention sassy – gems. Never change Tuuks, never change.
Andrew Ference. (DISCLOSURE: I will admit that I am nearly sobbing as I write this portion; For Ference still has a huge chunk of my Black and Gold heart I will never get back). This former Bruin continues to shine and shine again. After being sent to the Edmonton Oilers last July, Ference has done so much for the organization after being named Captain before the beginning of the 2013-14 season. He stood atop the sparkling stage with former bromance, Patrice Bergeron, and absolutely beamed as he was named winner of the King Clancy Trophy. Boston’s pride for you and all you’ve done reaches all the way to Edmonton, Ference. Once a Bruin, always a Bruin.
Nathan MacKinnon. This little firework on the ice snagged himself the Calder Memorial Trophy for best rookie of the year – and well deserved, too. MacKinnon scored himself 24 goals and hopped on 39 assists with a +20 throughout the 2013-14 season; not to mention 2 goals and 8 assists with a +2 during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not too shabby, Rookie. Not too shabby.
Dominic Moore. Mr. Moore needs to be tacked on to the tail end of our re-cap. After losing his wife this past season, Moore was nothing more than dedicated to his team. It warmed the hearts of many to see him step onto the stage and win the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (I may have even clapped but who wants to know).
There it is folks, a hearty summary of a more than entertaining NHL Awards; complete with some of the players that deserve as much recognition as humanly possible.
However, now that it’s all said and done, Boston needs to buckle down and figure out their game plan for this upcoming season. If there are to be trades and free agents leaving, who does Boston want to claim as their next Big Bad Bruin? The question remains to be answered.