Did hell freeze over? Did the Four Horsemen show up? Corey Perry wins the Hart trophy for the NHL MVP. (I haven't left the Palms yet, but it is quite possible that the Rapture has happened and I have been left behind.)
What an effing night. As I type this, I have barely stopped shaking as I try to put into words what Perry's victory means to Ducks fans. Like Perry when accepting his award, I am somewhat at a loss for words.
Since coming to play for the big club, Perry has taken a backseat to the bigger names on his line. In 2007, it was Penner and Getzlaf. Now it's Getzlaf and Ryan. Perry has been nothing but conciliatory throughout the entire season that he wouldn't have the success that he did without his teammates. I think it's finally time that Perry stop thanking Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan, and they start thanking him.
The Hart Trophy is about the player that made the largest contribution to his team. The Ducks would not have made the playoffs without Corey Perry. Bobby Ryan put up another solid 30 goal season, but he was seriously streaky. No one can explain what happened to Ryan Getzlaf (excluding the facial injury). He wasn't the Getzy we are used to or the Captain we expected him to be. Those three together are the most feared top line in hockey, but there were only flashes of greatness throughout the season, not the consistent and expected domination. More often than he should have, Corey Perry carried Getzlaf and Ryan.
I can't help but be genuinely happy for Corey. Coming into this season, the focus was on everyone, BUT Perry. Scott Neidermayer had retired. Teemu Selanne was returning. Cam Fowler anointed the Golden Child. Ryan Getzlaf had been given the "C". Bobby Ryan signed the five year contract. Perhaps this suited the usually aloof Perry.
Even after winning the highest award given to a single player, the spotlight was turned away from Perry and on to the opponent he just beat. One of the reporters in the post-award media scrum (I can call it that, as I'm a credentialed member of the media) asked Perry not about winning the award, but about his own doubt in his ability to take this award away from Daniel Sedin. Unreal.
This is a great night for Corey Perry, the Anaheim Ducks, and all Ducks' fans. Perry has gone by many names (most of which cannot be repeated) but I like this one the best - MVP.
(P.S. Video of the press conference will come later. My laptop and I are having issues)