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Poll: Who will win the 2012 Vezina Trophy?

Apr 25, 2012, 11:40 AM EDT

tim thomas vezina

As mentioned earlier, the NHL announced its Vezina Trophy finalists this morning — New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne.

The nominations came as no real surprise given how well each goaltender has played this season, and what unique resumes each brings to the table: Lundqvist was the MVP of the best team in the Eastern Conference and the No. 2 squad in the NHL, Quick won 35 games and made the playoffs despite L.A. having the league’s second-worst offense and Rinne played more than any goalie in the league, leading in appearances (73) and wins (43).

Before we get to the vote, some things to consider:

– NHL GMs vote on the Vezina, not the Professional Hockey Writers Association. This is key, because there’s a long-held belief that Western Conference goalies (see: Quick, Jonathan) fail to get proper recognition because by the time they play, most GMs are passed out in a recliner.

– To that point: 17 of the last 20 Vezina winners have come from the Eastern Conference.

– Snubs? Not really. This has to be one of the strongest (and most obvious) trio of finalists in recent memory. You could make the case for Phoenix’s Mike Smith or St. Louis’ Brian Elliott — both had outstanding seasons — but to do that you’d have to remove one of Lundqvist, Quick and/or Rinne…and that’s a tough sell.

– None of the three finalists have won a Vezina before. This is Quick’s first-ever nomination; Rinne was a finalist for the first time last season while this is Lundqvist’s fourth time at the dance. Could be why many figure it’s his award to lose.

– The last Rangers goalie to win a Vezina was John Vanbiesbrouck in 1985-86.

– No King and/or Predator has ever won.

Okay, to the poll…

  1. dadeyemi - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    lundqvist. duh

  2. mgp1219 - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Quick duh

  3. riles1008 - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Quick. I still think Smith should have got nominated over Rinne.

  4. ballistictrajectory - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Give the King (not the LA King) his due. He’s performed above and beyond regardless of the quality of the team in front of him and 4 nominations supports that claim.

    • mgp1219 - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Lundqvist had more support than any other goalie in the league. It looks like the rangers have 6 goalies out there most of the time.

      • johnnymotto - Apr 28, 2012 at 2:41 AM

        You do realize that Lundqvist actually averaged more shots against than Quick, right?

        Statistics are your friend.

        Did Quick play behind an injured-make shift defense without two of his top defensemen most of the year surrounded by HBO cameras playing in the toughest division in the league?

  5. bergeronforselke - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Quick

  6. shortsxit - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Quick and Lundqvist had virtually identical numbers, but Quick had less support and played a bigger role in his team’s success. I say Quick, but Lundqvist will probably win.

    I also think Quick should win the Hart. No player in the entire league has been as valuable to his team as Quick. Without Quick, the Kings are dead last in the division, probably a 12-13 seed. He single-handedly win several games and got the Kings into the playoffs.

    In 31 losses he had given up 39 goals. How’s that for lack of support?

    • islandersfan - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Quick winning the Hart and Lundqvist the Vezina does actually seem like a great compromise to me, but you are right my personal vote goes to Quick as well for Vezina but King Lundqvist is a deserving winner as well, and playing in NY with his previous nominations he is the likely winner.

    • challer9 - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      “In 31 losses he had given up 39 goals. How’s that for lack of support?”

      Fact check time! Not sure where you got your stats from but according to NHL.com and ESPN.com he had 34 losses (21 in reg., 13 in OT) and gave up 86 goals in those games.

      • shortsxit - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:49 PM

        Obviously that was a typo…

  7. thehighcountrybear - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Simplify the selection process by employing this formula: Vezina = height X width X square yards of nylon X square yards of leather X wingspan X splits coefficient( inseam + skate size ) \ IQ

  8. spizzjr - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Quick

  9. biffnasty - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    King Henry . This just a no brainer

  10. tcclark - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    I’m a huge Quick fan. He’s probably my favorite goalie in the league and I wish he was on Flyers east instead of Flyers West, but i think it has to go to Lundqvist. I understand that Quick doesn’t have any support and i think he has a great argument for the Hart Trophy, but when I look at the best goalie, I think it’s Lundqvist. Their numbers are almost identical, but Lundqvist did it on a bigger stage and against tougher competition. It’s a lot harder to play in NYC in front of Rangers fans, than it is to play in LA in front of Kings fans. The Media pressure is larger and the expectations are also much higher. The Rangers are in the National Spotlight and are an original six team. Just ask Ilya Bryzgalov what it’s like to play for a west coast team compared to an East Coast team that plays in a huge hockey market.

    Lundqvist also played in a much tougher division. The best team in LA’s division (Phoenix) would’ve finished 5 points behind 4th place in the Atlantic division. Quick faced the offenses of Phoenix(#17), San Jose(#11), Dallas(#21), and Aneheim(#24), while Lundqvist faced the offenses of Pittsburgh(#1), Philadelphia(#3), New Jersey(#11), and NYI(#25). Lundqvist went 14-5 against those teams. Also 10 of the 15 highest scoring offenses play in the eastern conference including the all of the top 4.

    i love Quick but Lundy put up almost identical numbers against tougher competition with more pressure placed upon him by fans and the media. I’d say Quick was more valuable to his team, but Lundqvist was the better goalie.

    • challer9 - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      Couldn’t agree more.

    • dte421 - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:13 PM

      Perfectly said. The East was far and away the superior conference this year – Lundqvist is the ONLY goalie from the East in top 10 in GAA. Fleury was #2 in the conference with a GAA a full .4 higher. Only one other goalie in the East finished in the top 10 in save percentage, and that was Thomas at #10, a full .1 behind the King. When you look at the numbers of Lundqvist vs his conference peers, and then the numbers of Quick vs. his conference peers, this becomes an absolute no brainer. Henrik is the pick.

  11. creek0512 - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    I don’t see how it’s a tough sell to include the guy that led the NHL in both GAA and SV% in the Vezina finalist. You just remove one of the guys that was behind him.

    • dte421 - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:47 PM

      Give me a break. The guy started 36 out of 82 games. You really can’t justify nominating a guy who couldn’t even become the clear cut starter on his own team for the award as the top guy in the league.

    • challer9 - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      I’m assuming you are talking about Brian Elliott? Yeah, starting 36 games isn’t going to cut it. So by that theory Crosby should win the Hart because in the limited games he played averaged 1.7 points per game. Right.

  12. capsfan19 - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Big j quick fan! He gets my vote

  13. blomfeld - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    You like Ike ? … well I pick Quick !

  14. squawkbert - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    While I agree that all 3 are fine candidates, my fond hope is that Elliot & the Blues go the distance, taking all three nominees out and making the GMs look like sleepy idiots in the process.

    The only knock on Elliot is that he had to share net time with Halak.

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