TAMPA — The Lightning's playoff run ended abruptly two months ago, but the successful regular season for Tampa Bay warrants recognition.
When the NHL Awards Show takes place tonight at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, the Lightning will be represented by four people up for three awards to help celebrate the unexpected second-place finish in the Atlantic Division.
Jon Cooper is a finalist for the Jack Adams Awards as the coach of the year (along with Colorado's Patrick Roy and Detroit's Mike Babcock). Ben Bishop is up for the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender (along with Boston's Tuukka Rask and Colorado's Semyon Varlamov). And Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat were voted finalists for the Calder Trophy (along with Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon) as rookie of the year, the first set of teammates to be named finalist for the Calder since Chicago's Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in 2008.
Johnson is also the first undrafted free agent to be named a Calder finalist since Ed Belfour in 1991.
“If you are getting those accolades, that means your team has done well,'' Cooper told the media in Las Vegas. “I can't say that a year ago I'd be sitting here at this time in Las Vegas in front of everybody doing (interviews), and I'm sure Tyler, Ondrej and Bish would have all said the same thing. Team success, this is what happens when you have that, and in the big picture that's what we want. If you get recognized individually, that's an unbelievable honor, but it's team success that brought us here and that's what counts.''
No schedule update: As of late Monday, the Lightning were still working with the league to resolve the schedule conflict for one of the team's home dates in April.
When the NHL schedule was released on Sunday, Tampa Bay had a home game scheduled against Montreal on April 7, the same date the NCAA women's basketball title game is scheduled to take place at the Forum.
A team spokesman said the Lightning will continue to work with the league to rectify the situation, but no timetable has been determined.
Drouin honored: Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin, the third selection in the 2013 draft, recently was selected as the team MVP for Halifax in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Drouin led the QMJHL with 79 assists and was third in the league in scoring with 108 points in 46 games. Drouin had 13 goals and 41 points in 16 playoff games.
MAJOR AWARD FINALISTS
Hart Memorial Trophy, league MVP — Sidney Crosby (Penguins), Ryan Getzlaf (Ducks), Claude Giroux (Flyers).
Vezina Trophy, top goaltender — Ben Bishop (Lightning), Tuukka Rask (Bruins), Semyon Varlamov (Avalanche).
James Norris Memorial Trophy, top defenseman — Zdeno Chara (Bruins), Duncan Keith (Blackhawks), Shea Weber (Predators).
Frank J. Selke Trophy, top defensive forward — Patrice Bergeron (Bruins), Anze Kopitar (Kings), Jonathan Toews (Blackhawks).
Calder Memorial Trophy, top rookie — Tyler Johnson (Lightning), Ondrej Palat (Lightning), Nathan MacKinnon (Avalanche).
Jack Adams Award, top head coach — Mike Babcock (Red Wings), Jon Cooper (Lightning), Patrick Roy (Avalanche).
General manager of the year — Marc Bergevin (Canadiens), Dean Lombardi (Kings), Bob Murray (Ducks).
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, gentlemanly play — Patrick Marleau (Sharks), Ryan O'Reilly (Avalanche), Martin St. Louis (Rangers).
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, perseverance — Jaromir Jarg (Devils), Manny Malhotra (Hurricanes), Dominic Moore (Rangers).