Thursday, June 21, 2012
Lundqvist Wins First Career Vezina Trophy
The yearly NHL Awards were unveiled tonight in their annual awards ceremony from Las Vegas, and Henrik Lundqvist took home his first career Vezina Trophy (awarded to the NHL's best goaltender), beating out the Kings' Jonathan Quick and Predators' Pekka Rinne for the award. Lundqvist collected an overwhelming 17 first-place votes from NHL general managers, while Quick had six votes and Rinne had four.
I didn't see the speech live, but Lundqvist apparently dropped an F-bomb during his acceptance speech. It seemed like he was really surprised by winning the Vezina, and also genuinely excited. It's good to see Lundqvist finally get the recognition he deserves for the work he's done to carry the Rangers as a whole year after year since he came into the league.
Beyond that, there were no other awards taken home by anyone from the Rangers, nor did I really expect there to be. I thought Lundqvist had a legitimate at the Vezina and possibly the Hart, but even with the Hart I ultimately felt that it would go to Evgeni Malkin. Ryan Callahan lost out on the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award to Shane Doan, and John Tortorella lost out on the Jack Adams Award to Ken Hitchcock. Considering these awards are voted on by the same collective group of writers that Torts routinely pisses off in his press conferences, though, it would've been a real shock if he would've won.
For those who didn't see the awards show, you didn't miss much. I checked it out in the beginning for a bit, but I didn't stay tuned into the channel for very long. Everybody who went up there to present the awards felt the need to make corny jokes that were cheesy beyond belief. I will say, though, that the Tracy Morgan 24/7 Rangers-Flyers spoof and Will Arnett's impression of Brendan Shanahan were very funny and are worth checking out if you get the chance, though. I commend the NHL for trying to get creative with the awards show, but to be honest I just don't think enough people care to sit down and watch for two hours when there's really only three or four awards the majority of fans care about.
So, congrats to Henrik Lundqvist on winning his first career Vezina. I, like most Rangers fans, have felt for years that Hank is the best goalie in hockey, and he absolutely deserved winning the Vezina this year after coming up short the previous three times he's been nominated in his career. Lundqvist told the audience while accepting the award that his wife wasn't in attendance because she's due to give birth with their first child in a few weeks. In case you didn't already believe it - it truly is good to be the King.