Ahead of tonight’s NHL Awards (7 p.m., NBC Sports Network), the two Boston Bruins looking for trophies in Las Vegas have continued to emphasize that these awards would merely be part and parcel of a job well done by the entire team.
In pre-awards meetings with the media, both Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron remained humble and relatively selfless about the fact that they could win the Norris and Selke Trophy, respectively. They epitomize the kind of “leave your ego at the door” philosophy that general manager Peter Chiarelli praised Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell for having when their re-signings were announced earlier this month.
Bergeron credited his teammates for giving him the chance to possibly take home his first Selke and the Bruins’ first since Steve Kasper won in 1982, breaking a four-year win streak by the Montreal Canadiens‘ Bob Gainey that included the inaugural Selke presentation.
He also put the awards in perspective, saying that they were an honor but that the ultimate goal is to bring back the Stanley Cup.
Still, for months Bruins fans and officials have campaigned hard for Bergeron to win. I recall before the last home game of the regular season that the pre-game awards ceremony included a call for him to win after he was given Second Star of the Year honors. Coach Claude Julien said “there’s no doubt” that Bergeron should win. Chara also said he has no doubt in that, too.
Plus, four out of five Rant Sports NHL writers predict a Bergeron win!
Chara reiterated the importance of the entire team when asked about the Norris, going so far as to restate part of a sentence from ‘when I did that’ to ‘when we did that.’ If he wins the Norris, it would not be his first time: he won in 2009 and made sure to thank his team.
This is Chara’s fifth nomination and, if he wins, that would be the 14th time a Bruin has taken the Norris–a league high. Much of that is thanks to a long consecutive win streak by Bobby Orr and five victories by Ray Bourque.
What’s even better, though, is how Bergeron and Chara talk about one another. Bergeron spoke highly of how Chara has impacted the rest of the team, while Chara praised Bergeron’s ability to make his linemates better just by being on the ice. (Judging by the great seasons that Bergeron’s frequent linemates Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin had, he’s right.)
Whether Bergeron and Chara win or lose tonight, they are still two integral parts of a team low on egos and laden with good hearts.