The NHL Wednesday announced the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league's best goaltender. Not surprisingly, Henrik Lundqvist was among them. The other two were Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick, and Nashville's Pekka Rinne.
This season, Lundqvist posted a career high 39 wins while starting just 62 games, the lowest since his rookie season of 2005-06. His 1.97 goals against average and .930 save percentage were also career highs. The King finished in the top four in the NHL in both categories, as well as shutouts, of which he had eight.
Quick started a career-high 69 games for the Kings this season, and had 35 of his team's 40 wins. He led the league with 10 shutouts and was second with a 1.95 GAA. His .929 save percentage was fifth best, all while his offense scored just 2.29 goals per game, second to last in the NHL. To put it into perspective, Quick 15 losses where his team scored 2 goals, and nine losses when the Kings scored one goal or less.
Rinne played a league-most 73 games this season, finishing with 43 wins. His .923 save percentage was seventh best. He finished with a 2.39 GAA and five shutouts.
In my (slanted) opinion, Lundqvist is the Vezina winner. He was in the top of every major category, something the other two — while they both had great seasons — cannot say. He was the backbone of this team that also didn't score many goals for him, and still managed to win 39 games.
In the end, he's due to win. He's been nominated several times, and this should be his year.
The NHL announced tomorrow night's Game 7 between the Rangers and Ottawa Senators will begin at 7 pm. The game can be seen on MSG and NBC Sports Channel.
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