Price Has Record-Setting Night at NHL Awards Show
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price continued to dominate NHL shooters on Wednesday night, this time beating them with a record-setting haul at the annual NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas.
Price became the first goaltender in NHL history to take home the Hart Trophy as the League MVP, the Vezina Trophy as the best goalie, the Ted Lindsay Award for the most outstanding player as voted by players, and the William M. Jennings Trophy, which he shared with Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks.
(Price shared the Jennings, which is given to the goalies on the teams that allowed the fewest goals in the regular season (189), but would have won outright if the NHL didn’t count shootout goals against him.)
In addition to becoming the first to sweep those awards, Price is also the first goalie to win the Hart Trophy since Jose Theodore did it with Montreal in 2001-02 and the first to win the Ted Lindsay Award since Hall of Famer Dominik Hasek did it with the Buffalo Sabres in 1997-98. Price is also the second Canadiens players to win four awards, joining Guy Lafleur, who won the Hart, Lindsay, Art Ross Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy in 1977.
As impressive as Price’s performance was on the ice this season, the 27-year-old also delivered on the stage, showing his character by reflecting on his roots from tiny Anahim Lake in rural British Columbia and encouraging other First Nation youth to believe in themselves as they chase their dreams:
It was reminiscent of Price’s emotional meeting with a boy from his hometown earlier this season, and a reminder Price, who sponsors two breakfast programs in his hometown, is more than just a great goaltender. He’s a great person. As for the reminders of how good he was on the ice this season, there were plenty Wednesday.
After backstopping Canada to a gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in February, Price led the NHL in wins (44), goals-against average (1.96) and save percentage (.933) this season, becoming the first goalie to finish first in all three categories since Ed Belfour with the Blackhawks in 1990-91. Price’s dominance, which included setting a new franchise record for wins, was reflected in the lopsided Vezina Voting:
2014-2015 Vezina Trophy Voting
|5.||Henrik Lundqvist||NY Rangers||6||1-0-1|
|Jonathan Quick||Los Angeles||1||0-0-1|
|Cam Talbot||NY Rangers||1||0-0-1|
In addition to Price’s lopsided win, with 27 of 30 first-place votes, it’s interesting to note Braden Holtby was close to cracking the top-three as a finalist after his remarkable workhorse season in Washington. It’s also worth noting, amid a lot of complaints about how the media voted for other awards, that the NHL General Managers who chose the Vezina winner also cast some curious votes. Neither Cory Schneider and Steve Mason, who were each top-5 in save percentage and top-10 in goals-against average, received a single vote, but Jonathan Quick, who was 20th in save percentage, joined Andrew Hammond and Cam Talbot in receiving one third place vote.
Getting back to Price, the Hart Trophy voting was closer, but Price still won by a comfortable margin:
2014-15 Hart Trophy Voting
Much like the Vezina voting, it’s interesting to note some of the results outside the top-three finalists, including the fact Dubnyk, who won the Masterton Trophy, finished fourth in voting. Pekka Rinne was eighth, Ottawa’s Andrew Hammond, who was also a finalist for the Masterton, finished 15th, and Holtby and Marc-Andre Fleury each got one fifth-place vote as well. Hey, we’d argue the goalie is the MVP of every team so why not.
As for which award meant the most, Price indicated it was the Pearson, which is voted on his peers.
“I’m very humbled,” Price told NHL.com after receiving the awards. “Especially the players, no offense to everybody else, but I’m very humbled by that because I compete against these guys. We go to war out there, and for them to vote for me is really special.”
Votes for the Pearson, however, are not made public by the NHL Player’s Association so there’s no way to compare how those peers voted. But InGoal will give Price one more vote in closing. His skit with hockey fans in Las Vegas who didn’t recognize him was one of the mot entertaining parts of the NHL Awards Show Wednesday: