Wednesday, June 25, 2014
For One Night At Least, The Bruins Run Las Vegas
Normally, I could be easily categorized as a cynic. I usually preach how individual awards don't mean that much, especially when you don't deliver a championship in that same season, but I feel like the slew of awards won by Bruins at last night's 2014 NHL Awards in Las Vegas are still something to celebrate and be proud of. Tuukka Rask won his first Vezina Trophy (top goaltender), Patrice Bergeron won his second Selke Trophy (best defensive forward) and also the NHL Player Foundation Award (enrich lives of people in the community).
In addition to that, defenseman Zdeno Chara (who came in second for the Norris Trophy-top defenseman) and Rask were named to the NHL First All-Star team. It's the third time that Boston's captain has earned that honor and another first for Rask. Also, rookie defenseman Torey Krug was part of the All-Rookie team.
For younger Bruins fans, probably the coolest part of the night was seeing Bergeron unveiled as the cover winner for the NHL 15 video game by EA Sports. The long drawn out voting process came down to him and Montreal defenseman PK Subban with Bergeron coming out on top of his Team Canada teammate.
None of this changes the fact that we were all very disappointed with the way this season ended-bowing out in seven games vs. the Canadiens in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Still, I think we have to appreciate all the hard work and incredibly consistent high level performances that went into these very legitimate awards. Plus, in Bergeron and Rask's case, they are both basically at the peak of their careers and I don't see that changing for at least the next few seasons. Obviously, Chara is theoretically on the down slope even though he's still playing at such a high level (he's 37!).
Remember that Bergeron and Rask were locked up with extensions last summer so I think we can be confident that they'll be in Bruins uniforms for the near future. That's something to give you confidence since with a nucleus like that, the B's should always be in the mix for the best trophy in all of sports-the Stanley Cup.