Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Not So Live Blog: The NHL AWARDS

Look at All These Beautiful Trophies
For the last few weeks Wednesday has been the day to sit in front of the television, fire up the MacBook Pro, and write live blogs. The downside has been that I haven't played roller hockey and have been neglecting my team, my brothers, and my friends. Tonight was going to be the night that I left the computer behind, and instead of live blogging about the NHL Awards, I would play some roller hockey and be with the guys. I got home around 6:00, ate dinner, and laid down for what would be a quick nap before heading out for the 10:00 game. Inevitably, I rolled over at about 10:27 to realize that I had missed hockey and the chance to do a live blog as the NHL gave out all those pretty trophies in Las Vegas.

The hockey game is a total loss and there is nothing I can do about that but apologize to my brother Greg for not being there with him. The night doesn't have to be a complete loss. Thanks to DVR, the NHL Awards show is waiting for me to watch and blog about it. So without further introduction, here is my not so live blog; NHL Awards style.

11:25: Yes, its almost 11:30. After I woke up, I put a bread in the oven (no joke, picture later), cleaned up and wrote the little introduction above. Finally, it's time to press play and see what Jay Mohr, Garry Bettman, and the NHL has in store for us.

11:27: The awards show starts with a funny introduction that has Jay Mohr learning how to play hockey and finding himself in different scenes from the Penguins/Capitals 24/7 on HBO. I laughed a few times but got a little restless with the bit. Next, Jay Mohr entertains us some more with some stand-up. He cracks a bunch of jokes that I could have came up with about hockey, old players, and the riot in Vancouver. The funniest part of the whole monologue is when Mohr tries to get the crowd to give Mr. Bettman a standing ovation. FAIL. I heard plenty of boos, a few cheers, but it never came close to what Mohr expected. Who wants to cheer for Gary Bettman?

11:40: I am going to be honest, I liked it better when Ron MacLean hosted this show. Damn, the NHL had a hash tag going tonight on twitter (#NHLAWARDS) and they showed tweets on the bottom of the screen all night. I would have loved to flood my followers with tweets as I tried to get The Sports-Casters on the show.

11:45: The first award is the Norris Memorial Trophy. The other day I posted a 3 More Things blog and went on record with picks for the top seven trophies. On the podcast, I boldly predicted that I would get six of the seven correct, and I really want to be right about that. I watched well over 100 hockey games this season, and I want to think that I know who deserves these trophies. Kevin Smith and the chick from How I Met Your Mother present the award. Kevin Smith was awesome and I think he should have hosted the show. He said something that was not Versus appropriate and it got covered with silence. I figured Z was going to be the run away winner of this award. I got to watch him play in person four or five times this year and he just seemed to have the kind of season Sabres fans dream that Tyler Myers will have about fifteen of.

11:47: Shit. 0-1. Nick Lidstrom is the winner and I am regretting snickering about his chances to win on the podcast. Nick gives the standard perfect acceptance speech and given that it's his seventh Norris Trophy I suppose he has had plenty of experience.

11:50: Jay Mohr makes a joke that Lidstrom would be the perfect cell mate. Is there anything that Nick Lidstrom wouldn't be the perfect guy for? My bread is ready.

11:54: Henrik Sedin is presented with the Art Ross trophy given to the player with the most points in the regular season. Henrik is on the stage for three seconds and bails quicker than John Kruk facing Randy Johnson at the All-Star game.

11:57: Some hot chick and Mark Messier give Chara the NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone. Chara is a foot and a half taller than the hot chic in red and we go to our first commercial. I need some more iced tea and a slice of that bread anyway.

12:00: It's Thursday. Oh no, someone named Dierks Bentley (presented by Verizon) is singing a country music song and I have no choice but to go to the fast forward button for the first time tonight.

12:05: Chris Angel is awarding the Frank J. Selke award and tries to make a magic is just like hockey analogy. I have no room for error after missing the Norris so Pavel Datsyuk better win this award. Ryan Kessler and JT could easily win this so my heart is beating pretty fast.

12:06: Shit. 0-2. Ryan Kessler is announced as the winner, and I am questioning why I didn't pick him to win in the first place. He is the best American hockey player in the world. Does he thank the Canucks fans? NOPE. How could you thank a bunch of ungrateful rioters.

12:07: Wow, Ryan Getzlaf has no hair. He and Bobby Ryan are in the audience and Jay Mohr introduces a clip that does a good job of playing up the US vs. Canada rivalry.  Getzlaf has a personal assistant named Winslow that signs his autographs, pours him water, and helps him get his shoulder pads on. The big payoff is that Cory Perry sabotages Ryan the same way that Scott Niedermayer did last year. I enjoyed that bit.

12:10: Donny Osmond brags to the crowd about winning a trophy on Dancing with the Stars and calls Marie (???) a hockey puck. He is here to give out the Jack Adams Award for best coach. I have Dan Bylsma.

12:12: YESSSSSSS. 1-2. Dan Bylsma is as cool as the ice he coaches on. I could listen to this guy talk all night. How could you not get pumped up the battle for this guy?

12:14: I can't read the tweets. The font is way too small. That is a total bust.

12:15: Jeremy Roenick and George (please excuse me while I google how to spell his last name) Strombolopolous (he is a radio personality in Canada) are the next two presenters. They join us to give out the Calder Trophy for the leagues best rookie. This award is loaded with awesome talent. Micheal Grabner, Logan Couture, and Jeff Skinner. I picked Skinner but I am nervous that Couture might steal it.

12:16: 2-2. Skinner wins and he is visibly nervous. He is going on and on and someone is looking for a hook. Wow, he is one of six kids and he rambles on for 1:27.1 before he finally leaves us. He is awesome. I wish he was on my team.

12:20: The awards are delayed for a second for a very cool package put together by EA Sports that ends with the announcement that Steve Stamkos will be the cover boy for the 20th edition of the classic video game. Stamkos is on hand and admits he has been playing the game since age six.

12:25: Mohr is talking like a Canadian as he painfully explains that Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider have won the William M. Jennings Trophy for the team with the lowest goals allowed. Neither of the guys thank the Canuck fans so that is good, Cory thanks his beautiful girlfriend Jill. Google? Score, I found a nice picture of them

12:27: Craig Patrick is our next presenter. He is on hand to give out a relatively new award for the league's best general manager called, The General Manager Award. Poor Craig Patrick struggles with the teleprompter and falls all over almost ever word. I thought he might end the train-wreck with... and boom goes the dynamite. I didn't make a pick for this award, but I must say it the trophy is very impressive. Mike Gillis of the Vancouver Canucks beats out Steve Yzerman and David Poile. Wow, the Canucks seem to have won every trophy tonight. I bet they would trade them all for the Stanley Cup. Gillis thanks the fans. Shocking. Doesn't he recall this?

12:31: Cory Perry is the winner of this year's Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy. It comes as no surprise since the award is given to the player who scores the most goals during the season and Perry scored the most goals during the season. Quick facst about the Richard Trophy, Pavel Bure, Jerome Iginla and Alexander Ovechkin are the only multiple time winners of the award. 5 of the 15 winners have been Russian and 7 of the 15 have been from Europe. Pavel Bure is bad ass.

12:37: Jay Mohr cracks a joke that hints at his frustration that a large percentage of his jokes and his attempt to get people to cheer for the Commissioner have bombed. He introduces Ted Lindsay and Matthew Schneider who are on hand to give out the Ted Lindsay Award given to the league's most outstanding player as voted by the players. I didn't make a pick for this award, but I should have. Sedin, Stamkos, and Perry are the nominees and the way the night has gone this one should be won by Sedin.

12:41: Sure enough, Daniel Sedin is the winner of the Ted Lindsay Award. Yet another trophy for Vancouver and their rioting fans that isn't the Stanley Cup. This time around he thanks the fans in Vancouver. They just cut to a shot of his wife and she is beautiful. Props sir, props.

12:42: Luc Robatialle and some goon that I think she called David Henry join us to present the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. This award is given for perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication. The nominees are Ray Emery (really?) for coming back from the same injury that ended Bo Jackson's career, Ian Laperriere for taking a couple of pucks off the head and still making it back to play, and Daymond Langkow who suffered a devastating back injury. I didn't pick this award, but I have great respect for the toughness needed to win it. Check out this link to and see all the winners and all of the hardships that they have overcome. Hockey players are bad ass. Ian Laperriere is the winner and he is very emotional. Cool moment. Before we move on, Ray Emery was the losing goalie on this night (see video, below)

12:50: Gary Bettman is on hand to ask for a moment of silence in honor of Harley Hotchkiss a Hall of Famer who lost his battle with cancer today. Luckily, no one took this opportunity to boo the Commish. If you want to know more about Harley, check this out.

12:55: Jay Mohr wants to get rid of goalie fights? Johnny Cullen disagrees with Jay. Listen to the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) goaltender talk about goalie fights at the end of Episode 23 of The Sports-Casters.

12:57: Jerry Bruckheimer is on hand to give out the King Clancy Memorial Trophy presented by the United States Army to Doug Weight. The award is for leadership on and off the ice. Awesome, the US Army just fell from the ceiling. Huge standing ovation for the troops. Anytime you want to better the mood in a room just ask for people to cheer for troops, they eat it up. Doug Weight is a cool guy, a great American hockey player, and a deserving winner of the award. Former Sabres great Rob Ray is a former winner of this award.

1:03: The goal of the year presented by Verizon? Alright, I enjoy goals. Thomas Vanek falls just short to the fantastic goal that Jordan Eberle scored in his first NHL game. What goal dazzles you more?

1:08: The Slam Man introduces two stunning young ladies from the Real House Wives of Boise, Idaho. I should back up, neither of these girls appear to be stunning or young. There is more fake plastic on the stage right now than the bowling trophy I got in the first grade. They are here to give out the Lady Byng Trophy, and I picked Nick Lindstrom to win this award in a runaway. Martin St. Louis and Loui Erikkson stand no chance.

1:12: The girl who announced the winner showed her ignorance to hockey by calling him Martin St. Louis (exactly how you would say the city). I am so pissed Lidstrom didn't win. That puts me at 2-3 and  I have to win the Hart and the Vezina to finish above .500.

1:14: Awesome, we have some kind of Pawn Stars bit. I am a sucker for Pawn Stars. Rick is shown at his shop complaining that every few months people bring in trophies that are supposed to be the Stanley Cup. Eventually, the Hanson Brothers bring the real Cup into the shop and the Old Man, Big Hoss, and Chumlee all gather around. Rick wont make an offer until he brings in a friend who turns out to be the keeper of the cup, the same guy that the Hansons mugged to obtain the cup. Great bit.

1:18: Chara and Thomas bring out the Stanley Cup. It is glorious.

1:20: Dustin Brown is given the smallest, ugliest, trophy of the night. He is the winner of the NHL Foundation Award for his extensive charity work. The NHL makes up for the dinky plaque by donating 25k to the charity of his choice. What are the chances that the charity of his choice is The Sports-Casters?

1:23: The music choices tonight have been unbearable. I have no idea who is singing a dance music song called OMG (Oh My God) with all kinds of Lady Gaga like weirdness on stage. Where were The Tragically Hip tonight? They have songs about hockey for real.They don't need to chance the words to include puck.

1:25: The awesome Jon Hamm from the awesome Mad Men is a huge St. Louis Blues fan and the perfect guy to give out the Veznia trophy. He kicked it off with, "O-M-G I feel O-L-D." I have Thomas here and he better not fail me with that silly mustache. Pekka Rinne is a very tall man.

1:28: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. 3-3. Tim Thomas wins the award despite having an ugly mustache. "And last but not least I would like to thank, God. Thank you." -Tim Thomas

1:30: We have one award left and it's the Hart Memorial Trophy for the league's most valuable player. First, we get a video of the best plays of the year. You deserve a video. Here is my pick for best goal ever.

1:33: I have to rewind because by face I have no idea who the two people are that get to present the most prestigious individual award in all of Hockey. Jason Reitman and Jennifer Fields. Reitman I know. He is a big Kings fan and is married to a huge Canucks fan. Is this Jennifer Fields? Did I hear that wrong?

1:36: Cory Perry, Daniel Sedin, and Martin St. Louis are the finalist. Sedin seems like a slam dunk here and I can end this blog with my head held high and a respectable 4-3 record.

1:38: Instead, Cory Perry literally stole the Hart Trophy from Sedin in the final 25 games while Sedin was coasting to the Presidents Trophy. Cory Perry that was a terrible acceptance speech. Almost as terrible as my 3-4 record.

1:40: Jay Mohr says good night.

Would anyone else like to say goodnight?

Wait- before that, tomorrow I will be back with a live blog for the NBA Draft and Friday I will be doing some live blogging from HSBC Arena at the Sabres draft party.

Last thing, the guys on WGR did a Sabres version of the NHL Awards and I disagreed with everything they said. If we have time on the podcast this week, I want to see what Don and I come up with for the Sabres version of the NHL Awards Show, All Time Style. Hasek or Perreault for the Hart? Myers of Perreault for the Calder? Who wins the Norris? Lot's of questions to be answered.

Anyway, Would anyone else like to say goodnight? Brees says goodnight :)

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