One thing that I think everyone can agree upon is that non-NHL fans are completely justified in scoffing at the fact that the NHL puts on a faux-Oscars at the end of its season. If I asked some random guy on the street what he thought of the 2010 NHL Awards in Vegas on Versus featuring music from Shinedown, his responses in order would be:
- What is the NHL?
- What is Versus?
- Why does an awards ceremony start at 7:30 when it is nearly impossible that Versus has some more important programming that it has to rush to get started at 9pm?
- I'm a suicide-prevention specialist and I tell all my patients to avoid listening to Shinedown.
- Jay Mohr has gained so much weight since Jerry McGuire that he could be in an AT&T Wireless commercial.
- Pavel Datsyuk is a strange looking guy (although I concede that he is a great player). Not only does his chin stick out way too far from his face, it sticks down almost to his mid chest. And the thing is, I don't think his chin is even that big. He's just very very oddly shaped.
- I've never seen Crosby laugh as hard as he did after Jay Mohr's joke along the lines of "If a woman in Vegas offers you time in the box, it doesn't mean what you think it does." Sid was dying. I'm not sure what that tells us, but it probably tells us something.
- I know he plays for the Caps, but it's hard not to feel bad for Jose Theodore and what happened with his son passing away a year ago. But a terrible job by the crowd not giving him a standing ovation when he was accepting the Masterton Award. That had the potential to be one of those memorable "moments" that occur at these types of shows, but instead they played some terrible song and seemed to be muting the crowd.
- Speaking of terrible songs, that Goo Goo Dolls song was epically horrocious (horrendous + atrocious). It sounded like a Nickelback song played at half-speed. As Ron Cook would say, "Honest to goodness."
- I was surprised that Sedin took home the MVP, although I can't say that it isn't deserved. Maybe it is because the NHL constantly promotes Sid and Ovechkin that I figured it had to be one of those two. I'm obviously biased toward the Pens but Sid carried the team this season (possibly leading to him running out of gas in the playoffs against the Habs??). Ovehckin is what he is at this point - 50 goals scored exactly the same way, 2 hat tricks against the Pens, a couple boarding penalties, and poor leadership. I'm not saying that Ovechkin isn't a tremendous player, but unless he does something different from his ordinary excellence I think there may be voter fatigue toward him. Think of it this way: If Ovechkin gets 55 goals and 60 assists (115 points) next season and the Caps win the President's Trophy again, why would voters choose him next season but not this past season? And why did they not pick him this past season when his numbers and team results were similar to prior years? There isn't necessarily a rhyme or reason to it other than voters want to see someone else win. BUT...let's say that next season Ovechkin gets 115 points but instead of 55/60, he gets 40 goals and 75 assists and the Caps win the President's Trophy. Now, the storyline has changed...he's picking his spots, he's a leader, he's lifting his team, etc. Arguably this latter season is the same as (if not worse than) the 55/60 season, but the narrative is different. Mark it down that if Ovechkin gets over 100 points next season and has 70+ assists, he wins the Hart.
- Counter-point to my "change the story line, win the MVP" argument: Crosby. That's exactly what he did in morphing into a goal scorer, but it wasn't quite enough. I don't think Sid was far off though - 1 more goal (or one less by Stamkos) and 4 more assists and Sid wins hands down. Yes, that's a lazy way to vote but we are talking about people like Dave Molinari here.
- The Geico caveman schtick with Green consisted of Green getting pushed out of the way for the caveman to get to where he was going. Art imitates life.
- What are the chances that Snoop Dog stayed for the whole awards show after his opening performance? And why wasn't he in the Gin-and-Juice Pens jersey?
- There is only one way in which I wish Sid was more like Patrick Kane. Kane did an interview with his arm around a woman who had "I'm only stripping to support my kid when ironically I only had that kid because I had sex with someone I met while stripping" written all over her. Crosby would have been too uptight to do that, but it was pretty funny. He should let his guard down a little.
All in all, Kudos to the NHL for a solid ceremony on a night when nothing else was on TV.