Well, I’m back in the comforts of my Woburn, Mass., home. Montreal was obviously a blast. I’ll have more on my trip later.
Today the news got even better for Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, who is resting along with the rest of his teammates today in the aftermath of their first-round playoff sweep of the Montreal Canadiens. For the second straight year and the third time in his career Chara was named one of three finalists for the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman.
The competition in this category, however, is through the roof — with Washington’s Mike Green and Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom the other two finalists. Lidstrom, of course, has won the Norris Trophy six times in the 10 years he’s been a finalist. Just as tough to beat as the man who has won the last three Norrises is the guy who led the NHL in points by a defenseman, Green. The Caps blueliner is a first-time nominee, but he set the record for consecutive games with a goal by a defeneseman and became just the seventh defenseman to scored 30 or more goals.
MK: There’s no way Chara should lose this vote. But unfortunately too many of my colleagues in the PHWA probably relied on stats and highlights to make their votes. The things that made Chara the best defenseman in the league hardly ever showed up in those two places. All you have to know is he was the No. 1 blueliner on the best defensive team in the league and the team with the second-best record. That’s something neither of the other finalists can claim.