Goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers, Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings, and Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators have been named finalists for the Vezina Trophy, NHL announced this morning.
The award is voted on by the 30 General Manager.
The two front runners for the award is Kings netminder Jonathan Quick and Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Quick who is expected to be a finalist for the Hart Trophy, started a personal-best 69 games, going 35-21-13 and winning 35 of the Kings 40 wins this season. Quick led the League with 10 shutouts, and was second in the NHL with a 1.95 GAA and ranked 5th in the NHL with a .929 save percentage. I would call him a slight favorite over Lundqvist for the award.
Lundqvist led the Rangers to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and went 39-18-5 with a 1.97 GAA and .930 save percentage and had 8 shutouts in the season.
While Lundqvist and Quick were two obvious choices, the third spot was expected to be contested among the likes of Pekka Rinne, Mike Smith, and even Marc Andre Fleury.
Rinne led the NHL with 43 wins and overall went 43-18-8 with a 2.39 GAA and .923 save percentage. Rinne had 5 shutouts on the season.
Fleury matched up well with Rinne, going 42-17-4 with a 2.36 GAA and .913 save percentage. Fleury had 3 shutouts and his low amount of shutouts and poor save percentage likely kept him out of the top-3.
I felt Mike Smith deserved to join Lundqvist and Quick as finalists over Rinne.