The Boston Bruins announce that rookie forward Brad Marchand won this year's "7th Player Award." This is the award that is given to the player that exceeded all expectations with his stellar play on the ice.
With all due respect to Brad Marchand, my vote would have gone to goaltender Tim Thomas. Here was a guy who lost his job last year to Tuukka Rask and he had to have off-season hip surgery. Many people felt that he was all done with his career. Now, he led the NHL in goals against average (2.00) and he is in line to win yet another Vezina Trophy.
If you look at professional sports today, everyone has high expectations for rookies. In particular cases, an organization will draft a rookie that will carry the franchise on his shoulders right away (Taylor Hall from the Edmonton Oilers). This situation is true beyond hockey as it exists in all sports. Hats off to Marchand's rookie campaign, but by definition of the "7th Player Award," it should have gone to Thomas.
On a side note, ESPN NHL analyst Matthew Barnaby predicts that the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks will face each other in the Stanley Cup finals. The Bruins defeated the Canucks already this season. I hope I did not jinks anything by saying that. See you guys Thursday for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarter finals.