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.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby

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Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).

Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16


Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.

OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.

For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.

You can watch all three goals in the video above.

It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella

Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).