At this years NHL awards ceremony the Boston Bruins had three players in the running for major awards. Chara was a finalist for the Norris Trophy for the leagues best defenseman Rask was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for the leagues best goaltender and Bergeron was a finalist for the Selke Trophy for the leagues best defensive forward.
Let's start off with the bad news which is that Chara finished second to Duncan Keith who won the Norris for the second time previously winning in 2010. Chara finished the season with 17 goals and 40 points with a plus 25 rating but as this award becomes more and more an offensive award Keith's 61 could not be overlooked. To me Keith deserved to win but when a player like Erik Karlsson was considered in the running just based on his 74 points not his minus 15 rating I think it's time to add a best offensive defenseman award. Much like the Selke for forwards this would reward defensemen who posses offensive talent. The Norris is for the best defenseman in the NHL and there is no way a player with a minus 15 should be even in a conversation about defense. Even Shea Webber finished minus 2 but the Predators lost Rinne for almost the whole season so that is an acceptable nomination based on what he was able to accomplish give the circumstances his team went through. Now to the good news.
Tuukka Rask won the Vezina Trophy ahead of other finalists Varlamov and Bishop. This was really the first full season Rask was able to be the number one goalie for the Bruins and he delivered. I remember everyone and their sister was questioning if Rask was ready to lead the Bruins and it seemed every single one of the forgot he was the only reason the team made the second round of the playoffs in the 09-10 season. The Bruins lost Thomas to an injury about half way through the season and Rask carried the team putting up similar numbers to Thomas from the previous season in which he won the Vezina. The team had the 28th ranked offense and they were a win away from the Eastern Conference Finals. Rask earned every penny of his new contract going 36-15-6 with a 2.04 GAA and a .930 save%. Rask has proven he was an elite goalie and now he has the hardware to prove it and hopefully he will win a few more before he hangs up his skates.
Now to the forwards Bergeron was able to win the Selke Trophy for the leagues best defenseman for the second time. Bergeron was again a beast in the face off circles winning 58.6% of his draws. Bergeron was also second in the NHL in plus minus with a plus 38 rating only behind teammate David Krejci. Bergeron is known as one of the best two way players in the game and he is often called upon to play against the opposing team's best offensive players and most of the time he is able to shut them down. Bergeron had a great season finishing with 30 goals and 62 points after a rough start to the season he finished second on the team in points again behind Krejci and tied for the lead in goals with Jerome Iginla. The combination of offensive and defensive skills make Bergeron one of the most valuable players in the league. If you don't agree ask the voter for the Hart Trophy the NHL MVP trophy which Bergeron finished fifth in the voting for. This wasn't the end of Bergeron's night as he also won the NHL Foundation Player Award for his charitable and community work. Even with two trophies Bergeron still wasn't done as he won the contest to be the NHL 15 cover player which may be the biggest award as it was voted on by the fans which shows he is no longer just known in Boston.
The Bruins also had two players named to the NHL First All Star Team as Tuukka Rask and Zdeno Chara both made the team. The Bruins youth was not left out as Torey Krug was named to the NHL All Rookie Team. Unfortunately the Bruins fell short in their quest for the Stanley Cup but all of these players had great individual seasons and deserved these awards and honors. It was a great night to be a Bruins fan and an even better night to be Patrice Bergeron. Hopefully all of these players continue to improve and will be able to bring the Cup back to Boston at the end of next season until then it's on to the draft.