Ryan Miller wins his first Vezina Trophy


RyanMiller1.jpgOne of the more intriguing awards of the night to be given out tonight was the Vezina Trophy for league’s best goaltender. With three worthy finalists in Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, Phoenix’s Ilya Bryzgalov and award stalwart Martin Brodeur from New Jersey it was curious to see how the voters would go on this one. All three goalies proved to beyond important for their teams and all three were beyond stellar in goal.

In the end, it would be a runaway victory for Ryan Miller taking home his first Vezina Trophy. After such a great season both for Buffalo and for Team USA in the Olympics it was tough to ignore what Miller did in goal this year. The votes reflected that this really was a three-horse race this year and after all of that, it was just one horse that ran away with it all.

        Pts.        1st-2nd-3rd
        1.        Ryan Miller, BUF        126        (23-3-2)
        2.        Ilya Bryzgalov, PHX        79        (5-16-6)
        3.        Martin Brodeur, N.J.        32        (1-6-9)
        4.        Evgeni Nabokov, S.J.        9        (1-1-1)
        5.        Craig Anderson, COL        9        (0-2-3)
        6.        Henrik Lundqvist, NYR        6        (0-1-3)
        7.        Tuukka Rask, BOS        3        (0-1-0)
        8.        Jimmy Howard, DET        2        (0-0-2)
                Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY        2        (0-0-2)
        10.        Jaroslav Halak, MTL        1        (0-0-1)
                Roberto Luongo, VAN        1        (0-0-1)

That’s a pretty definitive vote for Miller taking down 23 out of 30 first place votes and for Bryzgalov to be as distant of a second place as he was speaks even louder for how folks felt about Ryan Miller’s season compared to Bryzgalov. Even more interesting to note is just how much of a non-factor both San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov and Colorado’s Craig Anderson were in the vote, with Nabokov showing up on just three ballots. 

For Miller, this could be the start of a string of Vezina’s for the East Lansing, Michigan native and former Hobey Baker Award winner at Michigan State.

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.


After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”