The Vezina Trophy
The Vezina Trophy is awarded to the best goaltender of the year.
Lucas Burrell- John Gibson, Anahiem Ducks
Let’s just get this out of the way immediately. The Anaheim Ducks would not have even sniffed the playoffs without the stellar play of John Gibson last season. They crawled their way through the season and placed second in the Pacific division with 101 points, and it had little to do with their offense.
John Gibson posted an astounding 92.58% on-ice SV%, that’s good enough for second in the entire league among goalies who started 50+ games Pekka Rinne placed first, but one must take into consideration that he arguably has one of the strongest defensive groups in front of him. Gibson went through points last season where he was missing integral parts of the Ducks defense.
Anaheim as a team lead the league in HDSV% , while also placeing 2 nd in overall team save %. The Ducks were consistently being caved in offensively; they posted both sub 50% corsi/fenwick scores, while being constantly out chanced by the opposing team’s offenses. Gibby bailed
them out consistently, and will likely continue this pattern into this upcoming season. Look for Anaheim to rely even more on their goaltender now that they have him locked up for the next 8 years.
Michael Gutnick- Connor Hellybuck- Winnipeg Jets
Last season, Connor Hellebyuck put on a show defending between the pipes for the Winnipeg Jets, who advanced all the way to the Western Conference Finals – a feat the franchise hadn’t accomplished in their history. The Jets have struggled with goalies in the recent years with the likes of Ondrej Pavelec, Michael Hutchinson, and Steve Mason. Now, Winnipeg has found their main man to lock down the fort as the team looks to make an even deeper run in to playoffs with Hellebyuck as a primary Vezina Trophy candidate.
Hellebyuck finished with 44 wins and 3,966 minutes on the ice, which ranked atop all goaltenders in the National Hockey League in just his second full season with the starting job. Finishing second on the Vezina ballot behind Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne, the 25-year-old native of Commerce,Michigan posted an impressive 2.36 GAA and .924 save percentage. Hellebyuck
is already off to a strong start to this season, stopping 41 of 42 shots against the revitalized St. Louis Blues in their season opener.
David Boettcher- John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks
Gibson has been an elite goalie for several years. This is the year the league recognizes how talented the Ducks goaltender is and awards him accordingly.
According to NHL.com, Gibson has a five season career save percentage of .924 and a goals against average of 2.27. These are elite numbers and it looks like he is continuing this play into this year. This year, in two games, he has a 1.00 GAA and a .973 save percentage. Of course it’s a small sample size, but this is in line with his previous play.
The Ducks aren’t a great team but Gibson looks like he is going to make up for a lot of those flaws. If he continues his stellar play, he will likely will the Ducks into the playoffs. He will still have to compete against the Price’s and Holtby’s who get far more attention being on the east coast,
but if the Ducks make the playoffs, he should win the award.
Steve Fishman- Sergei Bobrovski, Columbus Blue Jackets.
This guy. Again.