Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Dreaded Two-Goal Lead, Vol. 1: NHL Awards Review

This feature is titled "The Dreaded Two-Goal Lead" because everybody knows that having a two-goal lead at any point in a hockey game is a guaranteed loss. Two-goal leads are impossibly easy to come back from. In this case, I haven't written much on PiTB since the Canucks were ousted from the playoffs, and there's a lot to catch up on. Much like an ice hockey team coming from two goals down, I'm going to catch up effortlessly, starting right now.

This feature is numbered Volume 1 because I imagine this won't be the last time I fall a bit behind in my coverage. I'm a writer who loves the Vancouver Canucks, and my urge to give away my writing for free wanes when my team isn't winning. But enough is enough. Things have been happening, and my opinion on these things must be known, even if I have to... self-motivate.

Henrik Sedin won the Hart

Did you hear about this? Yeah. It was pretty big news. Faced with some pretty stiff competition in Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Sedin went all HenKik on them, dispatching the NHL's two best players like they were twin Blankas. The most interesting thing about his speech, I think, was when he thanked every player that had mentored he and Daniel over the years. It was neat hearing him name Trent Klatt alongside Trevor Linden, Matthias Ohlund, Markus Naslund, and it's a validation of media reports that these guys really went out of their way to acclimatize, educate and develop Daniel and Henrik. Hats off to the entire Canucks organization for this trophy win, as growing a player, over a decade, from the draft to the Hart is no easy feat and it's not done alone. Henrik's speech hinted at this beautifully and it was a great moment for Canucks fans everywhere. I'm still not convinced he deserved to win, but why gripe now that we have the league's most valuable player for 4 million less per year than Ilya Kovalchuk (allegedly) wants?

I'll gripe briefly. The Ted Lindsay Award and the Hart trophy rarely sync up. Is that not strange? Is the disparity between "league's best player" and "team's most valuable player" really that large? Apparently, yes. Let's be honest. The vague wording of the Hart trophy means that I could argue for anybody from Henrik Sedin to Miikka Kiprusoff as its winner. In relative terms, Kiprusoff could have more individual impact on the Flames than Henrik had on the Canucks. Obviously, the Canucks were the better team, and Henrik's impact is far more statisically measurable, but still, the wording for the award leaves this wide open. That the argument for Henrik rested primarily on this phrasing proves that the phrasing isn't the greatest, not that Henrik is. Semantics aside, I am over the moon for Hank. And speaking of wording, will somebody please tell Jacques Lemaire that Sedin doesn't rhyme with redden?

Ryan Kesler did not win the Selke

Let's be honest: in some sense, this was the best season of Ryan Kesler's career, but in another sense, 2010 has probably been the worst year of his life, what with all the heartbreaking losses he's suffered after coming so frigging close. The Selke, the playoffs, the Olympic gold medal game... this is a guy that hates to lose, and did nothing but losing, humiliatingly, all season long. And nobody wanted it more. As an avid Settlers of Catan player, I understand this all too well. It's like having no wheat, or having the thief on your only source of wheat, when all you need to win the game is one effing wheat. Could Keith Ballard be that wheat?

I might be more unhappy about the Selke voting than I am about the Hart. I don't know that Kesler deserved this award, but I do think that Pavel Datsyuk won this award on reputation. Granted, his takeaway numbers are the highest, but that's because he's a shifty bugger, not because he's the best defensive forward in the NHL. I'd give this more explanation, but why don't you read this post at Kukla's Korner instead.

Also, this Video Was Pretty Funny

Yes, yes it was. Ryan Getzlaf's deadpan delivery was hilarious. Bobby Ryan's petulance was also quite amusing. I think my favourite moment was when Getzlaf uses Ryan's medal as a coaster, and then says to him, "Sorry, I didn't' recognize it, it wasn't gold." Good on these two to agree to do this, as it was the highlight of an NHL awards show that should have been hosted by Aziz Ansari and not Jay Mohr. Just saying.

Here's hoping that this isn't the last awards show to prominently feature some Canucks. Next year, I'd like to see Luongo return to Vezina form, Hodgson or Schroeder get some Calder consideration, and Shane O'Brien tone up so much he gets a nod for the Masterton. And come on, if he's back wearing the Orca, it's about time that Welly got some love for the Lady Byng. He;s so soft, when he goes into the corners, he serves his opponents glasses of water fresh from a mountain stream, like in that Van Morrison song.


  1. Yeah, Aziz Ansari did a good job with the MTV Movie Awards.

  2. Jacques Lemaire? I believe you mean Guy Lafleur...

  3. gotta love the animal house gag


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...