There will be a first time winner of the Vezina Trophy announced on June 20 in Las Vegas, in a ceremony broadcast by CBC Sports.
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, Nashville Predators netminder Pekka Rinne and Los Angeles Kings puck stopper Jonathan Quick were announced Wednesday as finalists for the Vezina Trophy.
Lundqvist is back as a finalist after being among the final three from 2006 to 2008. The Swede helped the Rangers go from eighth in the Eastern Conference last season to first this year, finishing in the top 5 in every meaningful statistical category.
Quick was the biggest reason by far that the Kings were able to squeak into the playoffs, with an NHL-best 11 shutouts. He lost six separate games by a 1-0 score, as his teammates were a lowly 29th of 30 teams in goal production this season.
Rinne is a finalist for a second consecutive season. In addition to being up for the award last season he finished fourth in Hart Trophy voting as league most valuable player. This season, the six-foot-five Finn faced more rubber than any other goaltender but still managed to finish fifth in save percentage.
Named after goalie Georges Vezina, who died at the age of 39, the award was first handed out in 1927.
The award is voted on by the NHL's general managers.
There has never been a member of the Predators or Kings to win the award. Lundqvist could be the fifth Rangers goalie to accept the honour, following Dave Kerr (1939-40), the tandem of Eddie Giocamin and Gilles Villemure (1970-71), and John Vanbiesbrouck (1985-86).
Rinne and Quick are on to the second round of the playoffs with their clubs, while Lundqvist and the Rangers will look to avoid the series upset Thursday night at home against the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 (CBC, CBCSports.ca).
Here are the statistics for the finalists and where they rank in different categories. Rankings are based on goaltenders who appeared in more than half of their team's games.
62 games played, 39-18-5, 8 shutouts, 1.97 goals-against average, .930 save percentage
- 3rd in shutouts
- 3rd in goals-against average
- 3rd in save percentage
- 3rd in wins
69 games played, 35-21-13 record, 11 shutouts, 1.95 goals-against average, .929 save percentage
- 1st in shutouts
- 1st in goals-against average
- 3rd in save percentage
- Tied for 5th in wins
73 games played, 43-18-0, 5 shutouts, 2.39 goals-against average, .923 save percentage
- Tied for 10th in shutouts
- 10th in goals-against average
- 5th in save percentage
- 1st in wins
- Tied for 1st in appearances