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Goal Line Report

The Elusive Vezina Trophy

Since joining the league in the 2005-06 season, New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been nominated the Vezina Trophy three times (2006, 2007, and 2008).

Unfortunately, he has yet to win it despite deserving to win it each of those three seasons. This season, however, might be his best chance.

Dave Lozo of NHL.com says that Lundqvist is the front-runner to win the award this season so far:

The Rangers’ rise to the top of the NHL standings has been jump-started by the 29-year-old, who has been nominated for the Vezina three times but has yet to win it. His numbers for the season are excellent—18-7-4, 1.89, .939—and he’s been even better recently. Since Dec. 1, Lundqvist is 8-3-1 with a 1.57 GAA and .947 save percentage.

The last Rangers’ masked man to win the Vezina was John Vabiesbrouck, and that was after the 1985-86 season. Prior to the “King”, the last Blueshirts’ goaltender to be nominated for the Vezina was Mike Richter after the 1990-91 season.

 

 

Should Lundqvist continue his fine play, the trophy should be his to win.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, john+vanbiesbrouck, mike+richter, new+york+rangers

Comments

DocF's avatar

To consider anyone except Jimmy Howard for the Vezina based on play this season is preposterous.  Actually, Lundqvist has been very good - about the third best goalie behind Howard and Tim Thomas.  The New York press, though, will skew the results.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 01/10/12 at 02:29 AM ET

shazam88's avatar

Lunquist is playing great hockey, no doubt and wouldn’t be undeserving imo. As much as I hate to admit it, the Wings fans have a legitimate gripe when they talk about Howard not getting props this year. And being a Kings fan, I’ll toss Quick into the mix, though we all know our games end far too late for him to get any notice from the East coast press.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 01/10/12 at 03:35 AM ET

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Brian Elliot.

Posted by bluesman from B.R., LA on 01/10/12 at 12:13 PM ET

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I agree that Lundqvist is probably the front-runner this year.

Elliot’s save percentage is only marginally better (.940 versus .939) and he has played enough games (he’s only started 20 to Halak’s 21). Rask (.949) has even fewer starts (13), and Thomas has fewer starts AND a marginally lower save percentage (.938). Howard is killing in wins, but that’s a team stat. His individual numbers are Vezina nominee level but not Vezina winner level.

If I had a midseason ballot—(1) Lundqvist (2) Quick (3) Howard.

But there’s a whole lotta time left and a lot of goalies in the mix, and if Boston would actually pick a guy and stick with him ...

Also, I gotta take you to task for this one:

Unfortunately, he has yet to win it despite deserving to win it each of those three seasons.

Sorry, but in 2006 Kiprusoff was the obvious choice; in 2007 I probably would have given it to Luongo (Brodeur was the winner); in 2008 there really was no clear winner (but Lundqvist, at .912, basically had a league-average save percentage—he got the nom basically because he started a bunch of games for a pretty good team and thus got a lot of wins). I would have picked at least Brodeur (eventual winner), Vokoun, Luongo, Bryzgalov, Thomas, Biron and Backstrom before Lundqvist that season.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 01/10/12 at 03:38 PM ET

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Jon Quick has been as good or better than all mentioned and his team scores pathetically few goals for him. He should clearly be the frontrunner if eastcoast media members did their job in looking COMPLETELY around the league.

Posted by Doug from Nowhereville, USA on 01/10/12 at 05:13 PM ET

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Jon Quick has been as good or better than all mentioned and his team scores pathetically few goals for him. He should clearly be the frontrunner if eastcoast media members did their job in looking COMPLETELY around the league.

The Vezina selects the goaltender “adjudged to be the best at his position.” L.A.‘s inept offense should have no bearing on the discussion.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 01/10/12 at 05:41 PM ET

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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.