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Goals leader Perry wins NHL’s MVP award
Question of the Day
The Anaheim Ducks forward, who scored a league-best 50 goals, won the Hart Trophy on Wednesday night. His surprise win came at the expense of scoring champion Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks, who was trying to complete an unprecedented MVP double dip after his twin brother and teammate Henrik took the honors last year.
Perry wasn’t planning on standing in the way.
“You didn’t know what to expect coming in, and then all of a sudden you hear your name and you’re like, ‘Oh,’” Perry said. “It surprised me.”
Perry’s win capped the two-hour NHL Awards ceremony and a season in which he surged to the goal title, scoring 19 times in his final 16 games. During that stretch, Anaheim moved from 11th to fourth in the Western Conference.
“You always want to build on the year before and I think it’s a steady increase,” Perry said. “Hopefully it keeps increasing.”
The Sedins didn’t pull off the back-to-back MVP wins, but they do own the past two scoring titles. Daniel won it this season with 104 points _ including 41 goals. He was second in the league with a plus-30 rating.
The scoring title earned him the Art Ross Trophy, and the players voted him most valuable for the Ted Lindsay Award.
Sedin said he wasn’t disappointed that he failed to follow his brother with the Hart Trophy.
“Corey had an amazing season, a great finish and he carried the team a lot of times,” Sedin said. “I expected him to win it and he did, so for me that’s no disappointment. I was nominated, so that’s good enough.”
Lidstrom won the award for the first time since 2008, the last of his second three-peat. His win came at the start of a glammed-up show in Sin City, where the league honored its brightest stars from the 2010-11 season.
Thomas said that while his team pushed for the title, he was more focused on that than winning an individual award.
“I don’t think that my style’s the perfect style _ that’s for sure,” Thomas said. “But it works for me.
“I’m kind of like the redneck of goaltending that duct-tapes everything together to fix it.”
Thomas set an NHL record for save percentage when he finished at .938, surpassing Dominik Hasek’s .937 set in the 1998-89 season. He also had a league-low 2.00 goals-against average and nine shutouts.
Those imposing figures lifted him over fellow Vezina finalists Roberto Luongo of the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne in voting by the league’s 40 general managers.
Rinne had 25 wins in 42 starts, ranking second in save percentage.
Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins picked up the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year, and Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks ended Pavel Datsyuk’s three-year run as Selke Trophy winner, honoring the best defensive forward.
Jeff Skinner, the 19-year-old sensation of the Carolina Hurricanes, won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
Bylsma was recognized for the job he did in leading the Penguins to the playoffs, despite being without star forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for much of the season.
Mike Gillis was chosen as general manager of the year after the Canucks finished with the NHL’s best regular-season record for the first time and fell one win short of their first Stanley Cup championship.
St. Louis prevented Lidstrom from having a two-win night when he captured the Lady Byng Award for the second straight year. St. Louis topped Detroit’s Datsyuk in 2010, ending the Red Wings forward’s four-year run as the award winner.
St. Louis had only 12 minutes in penalties during the season in which he was second in the NHL with 99 points. He has been a Lady Byng finalist six times. Lidstrom had 20 penalty minutes and 62 points, but that wasn’t enough to give him this award for the first time.
Loui Eriksson of Dallas was the third finalist after he posted 73 points and eight penalty minutes _ the fewest among the league’s top 50 scorers.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Ian Laperriere won the NHL’s Masterton Trophy for his perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey following a likely career-ending injury in 2010.
Laperriere, who topped fellow finalists Calgary’s Daymond Langkow and Anaheim’s Ray Emery, blocked a shot with his face during last year’s playoffs, suffering a concussion and fractured orbital bone. He has said he wants to play again, but doctors don’t believe he should.
Emery went through bone-graft surgery last April. More than a year after a puck hit his spine and fractured a vertebra, Langkow returned to play on April 1.
Vancouver goalies Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider were honored for combining on the club that allowed the fewest goals.
New York Islanders center Doug Weight, who recently retired to join the team’s front office and coaching staff, won the King Clancy Trophy for leadership and humanitarian efforts.
Before the show, hundreds of fans lined up inside and outside the Palms Casino Resort to catch glimpses of their favorite hockey players walking the red carpet.
“You’re a riot,” movie director Kevin Smith told “How I Met Your Mother” actress and Vancouver-native Cobie Smulders before they gave Lidstrom his award, poking fun at the Canadian city’s reaction to the Canucks‘ Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup finals.
Comedian Jay Mohr also poked fun at the city, calling the riots the “elephant in the room” at the start of the show.
“What an un-Canadian way to behave,” Mohr said.
Oskar Garcia can be reached at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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