LAS VEGAS – Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky won the 2017 Vezina Trophy Wednesday night, becoming the first two-time winner of the award since Tim Thomas did it with the Boston Bruins.
The award is voted on by the league’s 30 general managers.
During the regular season, Bobrovsky posted NHL leading numbers: 2.06 goal-against average and a .931 save-percentage. He was third in the NHL in shutouts (7) and third in wins at 41, which is a career high for the Blue Jackets’ goaltender.
In addition to his Vezina win, Bobrovsky nabbed a Hart Trophy nomination this season where he finished third behind Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid, who won the award.
It’s no secret that Bobrovsky has struggled with confidence and health throughout his career. This season was a bounce-back he desperately needed. With his resurgence, Bobrovsky helped lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to their best season in franchise history, which included a 16-game win streak.
LAS VEGAS – Brent Burns. Fashion icon. Man-bun enthusiast. Descendant of Chewbacca. And now James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s best defenseman.
This season Burns set a San Jose Sharks franchise high in goals (29) and points (76) by a defensemen. Burns was the only nominee that received points on every single ballot received from the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
On stage, Burns went out his way to thank the other nominees, Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman. He pointed out Karlsson’s incredible saucer pass during the playoffs, and laughed saying his coaches probably wouldn’t be too happy if he did the same thing.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — With Patrick Eaves injured and Corey Perry continuing to be a shell of his former goal-scoring self, someone not named Ryan Getzlaf would have to start scoring if the Anaheim Ducks had any chance at beating the Nashville Predators.
Sure veterans Sami Vatanen and Jakob Silfverberg chipped in a goal each, but it was two of the youngest Ducks who’d have the biggest impact in Anaheim’s Game 2 victory.
As seems to be the norm now, the Ducks don’t start playing hockey until at least 15 minutes have past in the first period. The Predators were leading 2-0 when Ondrej Kase, one of three 21-year-old Anaheim players in the lineup, drew a tripping penalty on Matt Irwin.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — They may not admit it, but the Anaheim Ducks are tired. It showed in the first period of the Western Conference Final against the Nashville Predators.
“We weren’t ready to start the game,” said defenseman Hampus Lindholm after the Ducks overtime loss. “We lost the game in the first period. They were on us the whole period. We didn’t really get to breathe.”
Over the past 15 days, the Ducks have played seven hockey games; in addition to trekking back and forth between Southern California and Edmonton a couple times. Dead legs aren’t unexpected, but they’re coming at the worst time of the year.
Anaheim Ducks fans have waited for this moment for over a decade. No, not finally winning in Game 7.
It was the return of Paul Kariya.
Sixteen numbers line pillars at the top of Honda Center signifying the sixteen wins it takes to win a Stanley Cup. Each time the Ducks get a win, a notable former (Mighty) Duck paints an ‘X’ through the number.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — PRAISE BE THE HOCKEY GODS! THEM DEMONS HATH BEEN RUN OUT OF HONDA CENTER.
After four straight years of Games 7 losses at home, the Anaheim Ducks finally won a Game 7 in front of their home crowd. The Ducks narrowly defeated the Edmonton Oilers 2-1, and now move on to the Western Conference Final to face the Nashville Predators.
The victory on Wednesday night was the Ducks’ first Game 7 win since 2006 when the then-Mighty Ducks beat the Calgary Flames in the same round.
To be honest, the bar was set pretty low for the Ducks coming into the game.
Just drop the puck already.
The Anaheim Ducks know the history, and don’t really want to talk about it anymore.
In the last four seasons they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs at home in Game 7. Now they face the same win-or-go golf scenario Wednesday night against the Edmonton Oilers.
Only four players remain from the start of the streak in 2013: Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Cam Fowler and Andrew Cogliano. What was thought to be the key problem for the choking, Bruce Boudreau, is now gone, and replaced by Randy Carlyle.
Carlyle, Getzlaf, and Perry were on hand for the team’s last Game 7 win. It was 2006 in Calgary. The then-Mighty Ducks beat the Flames, 3-0. After sweeping the Colorado Avalanche the next round, Anaheim met up with the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Final. The Oilers beat the Mighty Ducks, only to lose in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. That was the last time the Oilers were in the playoffs.
When Sidney Crosby did a header at full speed into the end boards, the collective hockey universe gasped as the superstar appeared slow to gather himself.
Crosby went to the bench, and stayed there briefly. He came back out to finish the period.
It was clear to anyone with functioning eyeballs that the concussion spotters did not do their intended job here, despite their expanded protocols established by the NHL.
Crosby returned to play the rest of the game. It’s not like the Pittsburgh Penguins would risk the health of their most valuable resource; one who missed Game 4 due to a concussion. Right?
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: the Anaheim Ducks have a chance to close out a series in six games. Instead of doing so, they gag on the opportunity and are forced to play a Game 7 on home ice.
The miracle comeback win in Game 5 did not weigh on the Edmonton Oilers at all. Instead, the Ducks couldn’t get out of their own way to change history as they were annihilated by the Oilers, 7-1.
“Everything,” replied a red-faced Randy Carlyle when asked what went wrong with his team in the Oilers’ five goal first period. “[The Oilers scored] on basically their first three chance to score … We weren’t able to recover.”
ANAHEIM, Calif. — No doubt about it: Corey Perry had a horrible regular season (by Corey Perry standards) and was off to a relatively lackluster start in the playoffs.
He was as invisible as the flesh colored beard on his face.
The one-time 50 goal scorer has two goals in the playoffs (7 points all together). Yes, that doesn’t seem like much, but considering the magnitude of the goals, they’re kind of a big deal.
The first was scored in overtime against the Calgary Flames when the Ducks overcame a three goal deficit to win in overtime.
The second came after the Ducks record setting three goals in 3:01 to tie the game. Pushed into double-overtime, Perry netted the game winner.