This year we have a great group of goaltenders to choose from to win the Vezina. Each goalie has had a great season and has been critical to their team’s success. I think in order to qualify for the Vezina award discussion your team should have at least made the playoffs despite this award going to the best goalie, not the best goalie who got their team to the playoffs. That would eliminate Sergei Brobovsky who has been absolutely fantastic for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Despite his great play all season long, he wasn’t able to get himself and the Columbus Blue Jackets into the playoffs. They made a nice run in the last half of the season but were beaten out by the Minnesota Wild. Brobovsky may very well win the Vezina. It wouldn’t surprise me at all and it might even be a bit foolish to leave him out of the this discussion.
The three big candidates for me are Henrik Lundquist, Tuuka Rask, and Antti Niemi. Each goalie had a great season statistically and all three were critical pieces to their respective team’s success in qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Which Vezina Candidate had the best GAA?
Rask had a very impressive 2.00 GAA which is the best of the three. Although it wasn’t by much because Henrik Lundquist had a 2.05 and Antti Niemi had a 2.15.
Which Vezina Candidate had the best Save Percentage?
From the two statistical categories for goalies, we could eliminate Niemi from the running.
Which Vezina Candidate had the most Wins?
24 wins in 43 games started Lundquist
24 wins in 43 games started Niemi
19 wins in 36 games started Rask
Wins are a huge factor in how I weight the Vezina Candidate’s strength to win the award. Bobrovsky had 21 wins in 38 games started for what it is worth.
Overall, I think Henrik Lundquist should win the Vezina. He like all the other goalies discussed above was fantastic this year. The Rangers were without a doubt not going to make the playoffs if he didn’t play at such a high level on a regular basis.