Thursday, June 23, 2011
Tim Thomas wins Vezina, Chara doesn't win Norris
Tim Thomas put a cap on his legendary season at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas last night, as he won his second Vezina Trophy in three years.
Teammate and Bruins captain Zdeno Chara lost out on the Norris Trophy to Nicklas Lidstrom but still managed to take home the Mark Messier Award for leadership.
Thomas' journey to the NHL has been well documented, starting in his hometown of Flint, Michigan, going through Europe and finally finding an NHL home in Boston. His success here is a testament to his perseverance, dedication and effort between the pipes. Throughout the season, Thomas displayed the ability to bounce back from rough outings, such as Games 1 and 2 in both the Montreal and Vancouver series. His mental toughness was on full display against the Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals, especially when juxtaposed with another Vezina finalist, Roberto Luongo.
Thomas thanked Luongo and Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne, who was also a Vezina Finalist, and also gave credit to his defense for his success, saying he relied on them all season. I think the opposite is true but Thomas was grateful nonetheless. Even though Thomas has won the Vezina before, he realized just how special this was saying, “The first time is pretty special; because of how far I’d come, it looked like an unattainable award, but this is just as special, just special in a different way. Because of all I’ve been through, I could win this six times and it would be just as special.’’
Ironically, many members of the media questioned Chara's leadership throughout his career with the Bruins and hopefully he will serve as a leader for the future of this team.
Chara expressed disappointment with losing out to Lidstrom but was honored by the Messier Award, which was presented by Messier himself.
“I came here with a chance to win two more trophies, and leave with one, so I am absolutely happy,’’ he said. “It’s a privilege.’’
In related news, the Western Conference champion Canucks cleaned up as they took home various individual awards, most of which were predetermined.
Corey Perry from Anaheim took home the MVP Award and Carolina's Jeff Skinner was awarded the Calder Cup for Rookie of the Year.