As we near the Friday/Saturday night split awards presentations, we continue on with the awarding of our own awards. We have already awarded the Calder, Selke, Lady Byng, Messier, GM of the Year and Masterton. Today we award the best of the masked men.
THE VEZINA TROPHY
AWARDED TO: ” the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at this position” – NHL.com
VOTED ON BY: The 30 NHL General Managers
AND THE NOMINEES ARE:
SERGEI BOBROVSKY – In his first season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Sergei Bobrovsky carried the team within an eyelash of making the playoffs for the first time in years. He was second in the NHL in save percentage (.932) and fifth in GAA (2.oo). He finished with a 21-11-6 record. His season was the best numbers-wise for any goaltender in the short history of the Blue Jackets.
HENRIK LUNDQVIST – The defending Vezina trophy winner, Henrik Lundqvist tied for the league lead with 24 wins. He has been nominated on 4 previous occassions and won just once. His SP was .926 and GAA was 2.05. The Rangers weren’t as dominant as they were the previous year, and had to scratch and claw to make it to the playoffs.
ANTTI NIEMI – The former Stanley Cup winner in Chicago, Antti Niemi finally got some recognition for his individual abilities, after years of “Chris Osgood Syndrome”. He tied Lundqvist for wins with 24, while he posted a 24-12-6 record with a 2.16 GAA and .924 SP leading the Sharks back to the playoffs as the 6th seed.
AND THE WINNER IS…
SenShot selects Antti Niemi as the winner of the Vezina Trophy. It was a split vote, 2 for Niemi and one for Bobrovsky. Niemi was a stalwart for the Sharks, appearing in 43 of the club’s 48 games and losing just 12. Bobrovsky might have won the award had the Blue Jackets made the playoffs, and Lundqvist didn’t have the type of season he had in 2011-12. It might have been a moot point as Ottawa’s Craig Anderson would have been the likely winner if not for Chris Kreider rolling over his ankle forcing the Senators netminder out of action for weeks.