We’re a little more than halfway through the NHL season now. I think we can start talking about awards now, right? The Vezina is the most intriguing award for me. These are the guys between the pipes, the guys under pressure each night, the guys whose job it is to keep some of the best players in the world from scoring. So let’s take a look at some of the frontrunners.
Marc-Andre Fleury: 11 wins, 1.68 GAA, .946 SV%. The only thing keeping MAF from being seriously considered at this point is the fact that he missed time due to injury. But his numbers are tops in the league. He is a prime factor in the Golden Knights success in their inaugural season.
Andrei Vasilevskiy: 27 wins, 2.27 GAA, .927 SV%. Andrei leads the NHL in wins. He has been a wall in the net for the Lightning. Tampa Bay sits atop the standings in the East, primarily because of Vasilevskiy.
Connor Hellebuyck: 25 wins, 2.29 GAA, .926 SV%. Winnipeg is having a strong season. Many factors contribute to their success, but with Connor in the net each night, the Jets know they always have a chance to win.
Pekka Rinne: 23 wins, 2.42 GAA, .925 SV%. A few years ago, Nashville signed Rinne to a fairly large contract. Pekka is making them glad they did each night he’s between the pipes. At 6’5, he makes it very difficult to find space to score.
At this point, my vote would go to Vasilevskiy. There are a few others that could make a late run as well. Frederik Andersen, Tuukka Rask, Braden Holtby, just to name a few. These guys are facing pucks coming at them at over 110 mph every night. A sweet goalie save is one of the most exciting parts of hockey. Ever heard Pat Foley go up 3 octaves when calling a game? Goosebumps every time.
I’m off for now, going to fire up my Center Ice package and catch a few games tonight. Maybe I’ll get to hear Foley’s “and a saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave”!!!!