, Joey MacDonald
and Milan Lucic
, step up to the podium.
These three players took home Fans' Choice Awards for Goal, Save, and Hit of the Season, respectively, in NHL.com's inaugural Fans' Choice Awards.
While it may not be the biggest award these three have garnered in their careers, it is a fitting tribute for three NHLers who drastically overachieved this season.
With more than 50-percent of the vote (voting closed at 10 a.m. ET, Friday), Oshie's individual effort against the Vancouver Canucks
was the overwhelming pick for Goal of the Season. Coming in second was Blake Wheeler
's amazing 1-on-4 rush, while Alex Ovechkin
's backhanded spin-o-rama goal came in third.
It's been a magical run for Oshie and the Blues these past few weeks, and the young forward is a worthy recipient of this award. Ovechkin fans, fear not, for the dynamic forward will likely have his name on a lot more trophies before season's end.
For Hit of the Season, Lucic's monstrous body check on Toronto's Mike Van Ryn
narrowly edged out Keith Ballard
's hip check of Evgeni Malkin
For the goalies, it was Joey MacDonald
's miraculous save on Mikael Samuelsson
that rocked the vote, defeating Miikka Kiprusoff
's diving stick-save on Kyle Wellwood
and Tim Thomas
' reaching glove-save on Patrik Elias
For those of you who haven't yet seen these plays, we invite you to take a look below, re-living the 2009 NHL.com Fans' Choice for Goal, Save, and Hit of the Season.
Thanks to all who voted -- and enjoy the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs!
Goal of the Season: T.J. Oshie - March 26, 2009: Vancouver at St. Louis
Big-game players raise the level of their play, hoisting their respective teams on their broad shoulders, late in seasons with playoff spots on the line. That's just what happens when spring arrives in the NHL.
The St. Louis Blues, who have been playing playoff hockey for more than a month now as they battle to get into the playoffs, are very familiar with this dynamic. Even Oshie, a rookie, appears to have caught on if this goal is any indicator.
In this game, the Canucks had been holding down the upstart Blues. But, suddenly, Oshie took a pass off the wall, eluded a diving Canucks' defender, then walked his way into the slot, around a diving Roberto Luongo, and buried the puck into the back of the net.
The goal, which tied the game at 1, was almost as nice as the fist pump with which Oshie chose to celebrate.
Save of the Season: Joey MacDonald on Mikael Samuelsson - March 27, 2009
Revenge is a dish best served cold. Especially when it's served up against your old team, in the form of a 2-0 shutout in front of their home fans, in a game they must win to remain in the Presidents' Trophy chase.
Yes, Joey MacDonald delivered that dish of ice-cold revenge on the Detroit Red Wings, whose high-octane attack is leading the League in goals scored. But, in this game, Mikael Samuelsson, was unable to add to that goal total because of the individual brilliance of MacDonald.
On the power play, early in the second period of a scoreless game, defenseman Niklas Kronwall makes a terrific cross-seam pass to Samuelsson that appears to set up a gimme goal. Amazingly, though, MacDonald leaps back in time to nab Samuelsson's shot.
What made it even more important -- to MacDonald at least -- is that the Red Wings were the team that "Joey Mac" started with in the NHL.
This is one save -- and one shutout -- that the young netminder will likely never forget.
Hit of the Season: Milan Lucic on Mike Van Ryn - Oct. 23, 2008
Lucic is enjoying a break-out campaign in his second full season in the NHL.
His gritty, hard-hitting style of play has established him as a cult hero in the greater Boston area, and amongst fantasy hockey junkies across the globe.
Early in 2008-09, before opponents really knew to keep their eyes open -- and their heads on a swivel -- for the swashbuckling sophomore, Lucic was skating in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Defenseman Mike Van Ryn was trying to break out of the Leafs zone, which he accomplished with an outlet pass, but not before Lucic caught him with a clean, but vicious, shoulder check that knocked Van Ryn through a shattered pane of glass. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.
A highlight-reel hit across the globe, Lucic's glass-shattering body check on this night in October catapulted the young forward into the forefront of the Boston renaissance, and sent a message to the rest of the NHL that a new sheriff was patrolling the ice in Boston.
In fact, this hit, perhaps more than any other play this season, endeared Lucic to the Burins' faithful, reminding them more than a little of the early days of beloved power forward Cam Neely as a Bruin wrecking ball.