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Henrik Lundqvist wins the Vezina Trophy

Jun 20, 2012, 9:04 PM EDT


New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been a superstar for years, but it took him seven seasons, including three previous nominations, to win the Vezina Trophy for the first time.

The award goes to the league’s best goaltender and that’s a particularly impressive distinction to earn this season. The NHL featured quite a few standout contenders in 2011-12, including fellow nominees Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators.

Lundqvist had a 1.97 GAA and .930 save percentage in 62 starts, which is almost identical to the 1.95 GAA and .929 save percentage Quick had in 69 games. Still, the NHL General Managers’ voting was not even close.

Lundqvist got 120 points to Quick’s 63. Rinne was a distant third with 42 points and Phoenix’s Mike Smith finished fourth with 35.

Lundqvist reacts

The Rangers goalie took his on-stage profanity in stride, joking that he – and the show’s producers – appreciated the delay. Like many other players, Lundqvist seemed taken aback by winning the award.

“I’m so happy right now; it means a lot to win,” Lundqvist said. “Like I said on stage, to be on that list with a couple of my heroes – with Patrick (Roy), Dominik (Hasek) and Marty (Brodeur) – it feels good. It’s been a goal and a dream of mine for a long time.”

One interesting note is that Lundqvist carried a lighter load this season compared to previous ones. He played 62 games this season after ranging between 68 and 73 during the last five. Lundqvist admitted the rest made a difference.

“It helped a lot,” Lundqvist said. “I could practice harder and push myself … Going into the playoffs with a lot of energy definitely helped.”

Recent Winners:
2006 – Miikka Kiprusoff
2007-08 – Martin Brodeur
2009 – Tim Thomas
2010 – Ryan Miller
2011 – Tim Thomas

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  1. kingfooj - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    As disappointed as i am not to see Quick up here, lets all remember this is regular season voting. Lundqvist had a great season, good for him.

    • manchestermiracle - Jun 21, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      I agree that HL had a great season. What bugs me is that, while the Kings’ offense was a no-show for the majority of the season, Quick was consistent and the main reason the team made the playoffs. His numbers for the regular season were virtually identical to Lundqvist’s, and Quick got better as the season wore on while HL tailed off. And yet JQ received little more than half the votes Hank did. That tells me that the GMs who voted for him had already decided he would win long before the season ended.

  2. cameltoews - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Way to go hank

  3. 950003cups - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    How does a goalie who has 5 other goalies playing in front of him win with matching numbers to Quick who had balls on a stick for half a season! I’ll call that a pity vote.

    • stakex - Jun 21, 2012 at 1:03 AM

      Lundquist had a .001% higher save percentage then Quick. That means Lundquist actually stopped a higher percentage of the pucks that reached him this season, reguardless of what the Rangers defense did in front of him.

      Its also worth noting that while the Rangers defense started to really click in the second half of the season, Lundquist all but carried them for the first half. Don’t forget, at the All-Star break most people considered it all but certain the Lundquist was going to win the Vezina. His numbers slipped a bit down the stretch, which is what brought Quick back into the debate.

      I know you Kings fans think Quick should have won, and I’m sure a lot of you base that on the way he played in the playoffs. However the playoffs don’t count towards the Vezina, and during the whole regular season Lundquist was the better goalie. So get over it and enjoy your cup, while it last.

      • manchestermiracle - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:05 AM

        Lundqvist had an offense in front of him all season. If Quick didn’t hold the opposition to one goal or none (10 shutouts to HL’s 8) he didn’t stand much of a chance of winning. Along with making their decision based on the first half of the season, the GMs voting on this apparently took into consideration wins. A goalie can keep you from losing, but cannot win a game himself. You have to score goals to win and the Kings’ offense didn’t show up until the season was nearly over.

        And, mathematically speaking, 1/1000th of a point is virtually no difference at all. By those standards Quick crushed Lundqvist with a .02 lower GAA and two more shutouts. These stats are actually about as close as two goalies can get. They both played lights-out between the pipes the whole year. Picking either one would have been fine with me, but a 120-63 vote is an insult to Quick and clear evidence that most NHL GMs likely saw very few regular season games involving the Kings.

        Lastly, thanks, we WILL enjoy winning the cup, at least until next season starts (keep your fingers crossed that the CBA doesn’t torpedo it). I guess Rangers fans will have to console themselves with the Vezina, since their team didn’t get to the finals…..

      • manchestermiracle - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:15 AM

        Don’t know where that stupid smiley face came from. Lundqvist had eight shutouts in the regular season.

      • anthonykornheiser - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        don’t know where your stupid insults to ranger fans on top of the smiley face came from either. i dont see any ranger fans calling out Quick. they are both great goalies.
        For you to say bias or GM’s aren’t up watching Quick play is the most insane thing ever. A GM’s job is to spend all their time analyzing, evaluating and watching each and every player. I would think most stay up to watch and if they don’t each gm and their advanced scouts are watching film all day long on every team, including recent call ups no one will ever hear from again. Do you honestly think GM’s and coaches, scouts etc don’t watch Kings games? youre joking yourself.

  4. bdfools - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Congrats to Lundqvist!

    Did anyone else notice he dropped the f bomb? Funny after they made a (lame) joke to open the show about warning Quick they’d be on a seven second delay, haha.

    • manchestermiracle - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      Anyone else notice how many called out Brown for doing the same thing right after winning his first Cup? Brown does it during an exceptionally emotional moment right after a Cup-clinching win: Plenty of criticism. Lundqvist does it during a made-for-TV, blinged-up circus: Isn’t that cute?

      Anyone notice that Melrose claimed the Blues’ coach had wished Sutter hadn’t left Canada for “Anaheim?” You’d think Barry could remember the Kings are from L.A., since he coached them once upon a time in the distant past…..

  5. brian32556 - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    950003cups – Jun 20, 2012 at 9:21 PM
    I’ll call that a pity vote.
    And I’ll call you a dickhead!

    Long live the KING!!

  6. quonce - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    um, the Devils beheaded “the king” and his 5 henchmen collapsing on the net.

    Richard Petty called, said he wants his rightful knickname back.

    Lundqvist = Luongo = Overrated

  7. 950003cups - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Ok Brian. Say what you want. But everyone knows Quick deserved it. Lundqvist had 5 shot blockers. Quick didn’t. So you can suck my “dickhead”

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:35 PM

      Lundqvist deserved it. No way the Rangers would have been top seed without him. They might not even have had home ice.

      • manchestermiracle - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:13 AM

        Rangers might not have gotten top seed, but they’d have made the playoffs for sure. The Kings would have been done long before the regular season ended if not for Quickie. And Quick was so good (at least as good as Lundqvist) that the Kings didn’t need home ice at any time during the playoffs….

  8. capsfan19 - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    I concur with the pitty vote notion.

  9. proudliberal85392 - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Rather surprising.

  10. flyingswede - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Keep in mind Quick stood on his head and lost around 9 games I believe 1-0

  11. flyingswede - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Keep n mind Quick lost 9 games 1-0, doubt Lundqvist had those stats, let me know if I’m wrong

  12. jkay1818 - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    you’re right it’s a pity vote. all the nhl managers, GM’s etc, who have no reason whatsoever to feel bad for lundqvist did, including division rivals, people who hate the rangers and so on. What planet are some of you people on? he was the best goalie in the regular season, his numbers were a shade better than quick’s and his team won the eastern conference. and for those idiots that posted his “5” guys in front of him, look at how many shots he faced this season and also, look how many times his “5” guys in front of him had pucks bounce of them and redirect into the net, changing directions on him. Relax, you didnt lose the trophy to lundqvist, two others did. just like someone who commented the devils beheaded him. last i checked the vezina didnt go to the goalie who won the cup each yr. by that logic most vezina winners were “beheaded” by someone. people need to make their minds up. all yr its the NYR are awful and all they have is lundqvist and they stink without him. now hes recognized for it and its his teammates who won it for him…right
    congratulations hank.

    • manchestermiracle - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      Only number better than Quick’s was save percentage. All of .001….

      • anthonykornheiser - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        if you want to go that route than his GAA all of .002….i guess lundqvist having more wins and a better win % doesn’t count as a number either? thats like saying a pitcher in baseball had the same #s and excluding the fact that one had more wins. but wins arent impt right?

  13. dannymac17 - Jun 20, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    im sure Quick is much happier with this conn smythe.

    i dont mind.

  14. sjsharksfan11 - Jun 20, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    What a joke. Perfect example of East Coast/Canadian bias at its finest. Ironic that Quick got “Royally” screwed however…..

    • stakex - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM

      How was Quick “royally screwed”? What about his numbers compared to Lundquist should have made him the favorite to win the Vezina? Their stats are virtually the same, while Lundquist had a better record (4 more wins in 7 fewer games)… so again, why is it a Joke Lundquist won? At most it was a toss up that Quick simply lost.

  15. badintent - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Typical West Coast morons that don’t know jack about hockey, think it is some video game on their XBOX and yap their bandwagon BS. I grew up on the East coast, lived in SD for 5 years,the weather is perfect and the Chargers couldn’t sell out half their home games. And more Raider fans are at the games that Chargers fans.. Pathetic. But go walk on Hollywood Walk of Stars, lots of Hockey players have stars. right, chumps ???

  16. mrpigs - Jun 21, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    You people and your east coast bias are freaking idiots! This award is voted on by the GM’s! I’m sure they are all biased and want king Henry to win because he plays in NY! He’s put up amazing numbers for 7 years now, 30+ wins every year of his career! He had a amazing year and was due this award. What quick did in the playoffs can’t be matched, just cause you kings fans started watching hockey 2 months ago doesn’t mean you can critique award winners. As for the SJ fan talking smack, I would expect more from you, sharks fans are usually more informed then that!

  17. theroc5156 - Jun 21, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    As a Ranger fan, I’m very happy that Lundy won the award. He deserved it. Sure, Quick deserved it as well but someone had to win it and someone had to “lose” it. I would love to trade this award for the Stanley Cup and I am sure Lundy would as well so Kings fans should just get over it.

    I will admit though that if they do take into account the stuff done during the playoffs (they don’t), then Quick would have gotten it.

  18. mrpigs - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    4 more wins, 7 less starts against a far offensively superior division

  19. eagoalie27 - Jun 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Pit was 4th in the NHL Philly was 6th NJ was 9th.They are in Lundqvist division. That’s 18 games against top 10 teams this year. Where Quick played against PHX 11th overall San Jose 12th and Dallas 18th. The award is based on the regular season, so why should Quick be here over Lundqvist. Every team except the islanders had 100 points in Lundqvist division. Not one team in Quick’s division did. Look at who Henrik played against Crosby, Malkin, Giroux, Kovy, Parise every other night. Quick was great just don’t discredit Lundqvist he got what he deserved.

  20. eagoalie27 - Jun 21, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    9 of the top scores where in the East. 5 of the top 10 where in Lundqvist division. The West had 1 top 10 scorer and none in Quick’s division. The right man won.

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