Posts Tagged ‘Hart Trophy’

Hardware Hopeful

March 29, 2011

tim thomas vezina 2011

Now that the regular season is actually nearing the end, (rather than one week old when some people started handing out trophies) talk and predictions of post-season awards seems to be the Soup Du Jour on a lot of news sites and blogs today. Far be it from me to ignore a passing bandwagon.

From a Bruins perspective, the news centers around Tim Thomas, the current leader in GAA and Saves Percentage amongst NHL goaltenders, and his hopes for a second Vezina Trophy. Jesse Connolly at the Black and Gold Blog makes a great case as to why Thomas should win it. I agree completely. Aside from a brief dip in numbers due, likely, to fatigue, The Tank has lead the race from wire to wire and is most deserving.

The best line on the subject, however, comes from Down Goes Brown is an article entitled Handicapping The NHL Awards Race. On Timmy’s Vezina chances:

Tim Thomas – Has a fantastic goals against average thanks to not actually facing a shot on net ever since Zdeno Chara started standing at the blue line during pregame warm ups, pointing to the stanchion and cracking his knuckles.

DGB may be locked into some repetetive fare of late but you have to admit that one is spit your coffee on the keyboard level funny.

Meanwhile, TSN has an excellent article on rookie impact and you realize what a great year it’s been for freshmen in the NHL and just how tight a race the Calder might be this season. Three worthy goaltenders, Corey Crawford, Sergei Bobrovsky and James Reimer, and three potential 30-goal scorers, Michael Grabner, Logan Couture and Jeff Skinner (if he can pot a couple more) amongst eligible rookies is quite the bumber crop.

Hart Trophy talk seems to center around the usual candidates at the top of the scoring stats column, and another Sedin twin. I tend to dislike the notion of just handing the award to the gent with the most points. I prefer the classic definition of the award being an MVP award, most valuable to your team’s success. A player on a winning, playoff-bound team without whom the club would not be anywhere near as good. A player they could not live without. In the case of the Canucks, not only are there other players who have contributed mightily like Roberto Luongo and Ryan Kesler, but one them is an exact duplicate of Daniel Sedin.

To me, the one player who exemplifies that definition most clearly is the man we started this post talking about: Tim Thomas. Without him the Boston Bruins might be barely hanging on to an eighth place playoff spot if any. Anyone who has watched the team game in and game out will understand my thinking on this. Thomas has literally, at times, saved the Bruins’ season. In fact, the same might be said for Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers, to a slightly lesser extent.

So, there you go. Call me a homer but Tim Thomas for the Vezina and the Hart.

For your consideration.


Worst Blogger of the Year So Far

November 2, 2010

You know, I’ve always enjoyed Kukla’s Korner. A good place to find a wide variety of up to date hockey info, links to relevant stories in out of town papers and various blogs. But I’ve become annoyed with it lately.

Mostly because of this guy: The Puck Stops Here.

It’s not just that his idea of sports blogging is to click on the stats leaders pages of whatever major site he uses for info and then proclaim the top guys as early favorites for NHL awards, a good example being how, one week into the season, he announced Brad Richards as his Early Season MVP and, about a week later, after a hot few games from Steven Stamkos, he switched his pick in an article that should have been titled Steven Stamkos: Good Player.

How about yesterday’s article which, in an astonishing change of direction, he decides to tell us which AHL team has been the best one so far, according to the standings. A click on the AHL’s website tells us it’s the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. I’ll let our man explain why:

They have played eight games and won them all. This makes them the only undefeated team in the league.

Really? You play eight games an win them all and that makes you undefeated?

It’s just bad writing folks. Like reading a particularly mediocre high school essay. Decent blogging should be more than looking at stat pages and stating the obvious. It has to be more interesting than that and Kukla’s Korner has stained their reputation a bit allowing this guy into the fold. Sorry, but it’s true. The relentless articles like Early Norris Leader and Rookie of the Year So Far are so mindless it’s hardly worth a look. I almost feel guilty drawing attention to his stuff.

Of course, the gentleman insists, as folks in the comment sections mock his work, that these sort of picks are interesting because they “generate statistical data on the public record, which can be looked into to learn about hockey”.

I’m sorry but the only statistical data I can think of produced by this sort of writing would be how many bloggers picked Brad Richards as an Hart contender six games into the season and then switched it up to the leagues leading goalscorer as soon as he got hot.

Results: One.

The puck, indeed, needs to stop right there.