Thoughts on the NHL Awards show:
1) I like Rob Riggle, like his shtick, enjoyed his turn on the "Daily Show with John Stewart", in "The Hangover", and now on the Fox NFL pre-game show, but wouldn't this have been the best time to use George Strombolopoulos? He could effortlessly host this, he's steeped in the game, its history, and has built relationships in his first season as host of "Hockey Night in Canada."
I'm just not sure of Mr. Riggle's bona fides in the hockey department. He's a big booster of his local teams as a Kansas City native, loves his Royals, and his Chiefs, but I've never heard him pine for the days of the Kansas City Scouts.
2) Erik Karlsson takes a lot of flak by Montréal fans, playing on the putrid team that he does, but he was all class accepting his trophy, congratulating the other nominees, and giving acknowledgment to Assistant Coach Mark Reeds who passed away this season, as well as the health issues owner Eugene Melnyk and General Manager Bryan Murray are facing.
And dagnabbit, I love watching that kid skate. He can play.
3) Brassy of Patrice Bergeron (Selke Trophy) and Bob Hartley (Adams Trophy) to say a few words en français during their acceptance speech. Well done.
4) Gary Bettman cravenly, cynically shielding himself from the blitzkrieg booing he so richly deserves by presenting an award flanked with 11-year-old Jordyn Leopold. Shame. Stand up like a man and take your abuse, you weasel.
5) Very impressed with Henrik Zetterberg's targeted charity focus on the donation of smoke detectors, among other pursuits. Smoke detectors are dirt cheap, and save so many lives.
6) Matthew Modine presenting the King Clancy trophy. Any 'Private Joker' sighting is fine by me.
Except he called Trevor Linden "Captain Canook". Ugh...
7) That crazy skinny projecting stage is a death trap, surrounded by stairs as it is. No guarding, no handrails anywhere, I kept waiting for someone to pratfall off the stage like the Edge or Dave Grohl. I'm sure that's not up to Code.
Where's a building inspector when you need one? They should never have gotten occupancy.
8) The thing with Jamie Benn and the band starting to play before he got a chance to speak, was that to keep him from telling sophomoric jokes about fellow NHL players Henrik and Daniel?
9) To all you Gary Bettman apologists, who bleat that he is 'growing the game', how come the Awards show could only attract the admittedly attractive but low Q-rating Samantha Hoops? The Commissioner shouldn't rest until we land Kate Upton.
10) Costume changes for P.K.?
11) Well-deserved Calder Trophy for Aaron Ekblad, he was up against guys a couple years older than he was, and they were forwards. He had a great season as a defenceman immediately after getting drafted, he didn't get the benefit of a couple seasons more in college or the minors. Very impressive.
Can't wait until the Canadiens sign him as a UFA when he turns 27.
12) Jonathan Pitre. Wow. What a bright, sweet kid.
13) How does Devan Dubnyk win the Bill Masterton trophy over Kris Letang? Because he sucked last season and he didn't this season? It doesn't really add up.
14) Great job Carey Price, great season and a great night for you, your family and your fans.