12 June 2008

The 2008 NHL Awards - A Liveblog...sort of!

A good friend in Toronto invited me to hit up this year's NHL Awards with him - alas, the ever-escalating gas prices but the kibosh on that plan, and here I am in my living room with some green tea ginger ale and a tiny TV - and of course taking notes. I do, though, want to shout out a thank you for the offer, and I hope it's a great time!

  • The awards open with a whole lot of yapping most of which is not as funny as Ron McLean hopes it will be. Still, it's almost refreshing that year in and year out you never stop feeling embarrassed for him when listening to him talk. It's almost like listening to your dad make bad jokes at a family reunion - except at least you're not related. Anyway! I'm watching this alone in my living room because the bars we checked with didn't expect to be showing it - so of course I'm taking notes:
  • There's a shot of Henrik Zetterberg and girlfriend Emma Andersson, who looks cute as usual in her little yellow dress - I don't know why, but I've really grown to like her. For a couple that isn't in the spotlight very often, they just seem rather sweet. The camera also pans to Marian Illitch while McLean tells us all stories about Little Caesar's. I love my owners, but sometimes you have to wonder if they get sick of being known as "The pizza guys."
  • Martin St. Louis announces the Pearson award - he basically looks like he a robot, and I think if he lets himself get distracted by showing any sort of emotion, he'll forget the words to his very stilted, awkward speech. Alex Ovechkin, on the other hand, who takes the Pearson (yay!) has to unfold himself a little piece of paper full of notes, and then says he's nervous and apologizes. Ovie is always so adorable and personable that it's really hard to remotely dislike him.
  • Dominik Hasek takes the stage to talk about the Jennings, which he and Chris Osgood won this season - apparently Ozzie's still busy being sexy in Hollywood. I understood every single thing Hasek said (which included mention of yesterday's Czech Republic/Portugal Euro 2008 match - he says the Czechs looked better in the second half.) and I feel his English has gotten about a billion times better since the last time I heard him talk. A mysterious phenomenon indeed.
  • Craig Simpson makes a "The kids are all right" reference. Um. Please don't.
  • Guy Carbonneau presents the Selke, and Pavel Datsyuk's highlights video starts with a glorious slow-motion shot of him spitting. Come on guys, really? He wins it anyway. I was, I won't lie, sort of hoping Zetterberg would take it (he apparently only came in third!), but Pavel definitely deserves it as well. Mike Babcock gives him a pat as he walks up, but Zetterberg is nowhere to be found - oh well, they'll probably share it anyway. He also stammers as he speaks, which is super super cute. Then he says I love you to his family! Cute again! Followed by, "I want to speech longer but my English so..." Everyone laughs - I wonder what he'll say now when he wins the Lady Byng?
  • They honor the guy (I'm sorry I didn't catch his name fast enough) who basically saved Richard Zednik's life - that's really cool of them.
  • People (Cassie Campbell and Adam Graves) never realizes that back and forth speeches sound seriously silly. Check out that alliteration! Meanwhile, the King Clancy goes to Vincent Lecavalier, who thanks people for....recognizing that he gives to charity? He makes up for it by speaking French, but that hair is a serious knockback.
  • The Masterton, meanwhile, goes to, as predicted, Jason Blake. Not that I don't think he deserves it, but I really would have liked to see Fernando Pisani win. (Chris Chelios? He's just old. Come on! Everyone overcomes being old! Whether or not he's on my team!)
  • Red Kelly! He's the last to win the Lady Byng three years in a row - does this mean good things for Pavel Datsyuk? (Also, Kelly makes this award sound far more like a "real award" with his speech, slightly stilted and slow as it may be.) Kellly massacres Datsyuk's last name, but he wins again! As predicted, he admits to not knowing what to say this time and rushes off the stage.
  • In an act of ultimate irony, Charter Cable interrupts the NHL awards to thank me for using their service - their service that I have done nothing but damn since the Centre Ice fiasco earlier in the season. I hate you Charter, I hate you good - stop wrecking my hockey!
  • Ovechkin's talking about the last Caps game of the year - which I was at! I agree, Ovie, it was fun. Here's Scotty Bowman to present the award, with Cammi Granato who looks somehow very awkward in that dress. As of right this moment, I am officially annoyed with the little kids presentations. The way he just said "Things are looking gooooo~oood in Motown" horrified me. Bruce Boudreau wins the Jack Adams - and while I wouldn't have minded Mike Babcock taking it, obviously, like I said I was at that last Caps game, and I definitely think Boudreau deserves it for this past season. He gives a very sweet, likable speech, too. Yay Bruce Boudreau!
  • McLean wanted that Sean Avery joke to be way, way, way funnier than it was.
  • Mike Bossy and Wendel Clark tell me all about being a rookie and winning the Calder trophy. All I cared about from that clip was Martin Havlat looking adorably Zetterbergish. I love Nicklas Backstrom, but I hate Chicago, so we'll leave it at that Pat Kane takes it. (Okay no, I can't leave it alone - his speech annoys me. Stop already!)
  • NHL Lifetime Achievement award? Gary Bettman announces something he could never ever be the recipient of (you know, ignoring the fact that you probably have to play to pick it up) and then gives it to somehow I highly doubt, regardless of what he says, he knows anything about. But Gordie Howe! (One of the letter readers calls something "fierce" and all I can think of is that damn kid from Project Runway last season. Arghhhhh.)
  • The crowd shot before Gordie's speech features Nick Lidstrom! He looks very nice as usual - really, 38, Nick? I don't believe it. Hasek gets a highlight during the speech too, and he and Nick both still look at Gordie with the sort of awe you'd expect from a fresh faced rookie, not long-time Red Wings. It's kind of (really) cool that he still inspires that.
  • Jarome Iginla is adorable, talking to the little kids (who are less annoying in that brief moment). And wow, that little diabetes kid has some crazy memorization skills! Good job!
  • The kid in the Canucks jersey says his favorite player is Henrik Zetterberg! I like him already! Someone in the audience absolutely yelps - part of me wants to believe it's Pavel, loving on his Eurotwin partner.
  • NPI ex-Oiler favorite Jason Smith got a smiley two-second clip in the 'warrior' highlight package!
  • You can't imagine the Norris going to anybody but Nick Lidstrom, right? Right. His wife gives him a little kiss (cute!) and soft-spoken Nick goes up to accept his billion and fourth (okay sixth) Norris. His barely-there Swedish accent is strong tonight - but he doesn't feel like an encore singing performance, apparently.
  • ...really? Martin Brodeur? Again? Sure the guy's good but...really? Boring. Boring, Vezina award-givers.
  • Alex Ovechkin wins the Hart, surprise surprise! Who wants a t-shirt? (But no, I'm glad he took it - and even more glad he's "nervous again". Adorable! And he loves you!)
And we're done! I'm still bitter that (at least in the States) we got no Stompin' Tom Conners (and plenty of the annoying kids) and also there should have been far more shots of Zetterberg - though they're now focusing on Pavel who somehow isn't paying attention to the camera despite it being literally right in his face - and that's cute too. Oh there's Henrik, chatting up Gordie Howe - is he getting something signed?

Anyway, congratulations to the all of the winners - while the quality of the NHL Awards show might be uh, questionable, it was fun.


elise said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't hear/see/read the word "fierce" without thinking of Project Runway.

And agree about Vinny's hair. Not okay.

Steph said...

Seriously, I feel embarrassed to admit it, but all I can think of every time is Christian and his awesome hair. And I don't even regularly watch that show!

Speaking of awesome hair though.....yeah, not Vinny. Not Vinny at all.

Kirsten said...

Oh Vinny, why did you cut off all of your hair? Not cool, man.