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Bishop, Rask and Varlamov named Vezina finalists

Apr 25, 2014, 11:27 AM EDT

Sergei Bobrovsky Getty Images

Three first-timers have been named the finalists for this year’s Vezina Trophy.

Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop, Boston’s Tuukka Rask and Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov have been chosen as the three nominees for the award, given annually to the league’s top goalkeeper and voted on by the league’s GMs.

Bishop, in his first season as a full-time starter, set a number of Lightning franchise records and became the first Bolts goalie to be nominated for the Vezina since Darren Puppa in 1996. Bishop finished fourth in the NHL in wins (37), fourth in shutouts (five) and seventh in goals-against average (2.23).

Rask earned his nomination by finishing as the only goalie to finish in the top five of each major statistical category: first in shutouts (seven), second in save percentage (.930), fourth in goals-against average (2.04) and fifth in wins. Rask also allowed two goals or less in a whopping 37 of 58 starts this season and helped the B’s capture their first Presidents’ Trophy since 1990.

Varlamov, who led the NHL with 41 wins and broke head coach Patrick Roy’s Avalanche franchise record in the process, shouldered a massive workload this year and finished tops in the NHL in shots faced (2,013) and saves (1,867). He is also the first Avs goalie to be nominated for the Vezina since Roy finished second to Jose Theodore in 2001-02.

  1. ironyisadeadscene - Apr 25, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Rask for the win

  2. matt14gg - Apr 25, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Love Tuukka (in fact I think he’s the best goalie in the world right now) but I think it’s gonna be Varly this year.

    • shutton83 - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      It’s a close race but I think Rask takes it, his save %, GAA, and SO’s are just to ahead of the pack to ignore. Varly has had an OUTSTANDING season and deserves a huge pat on the back but Rask was just to good this year

    • purpleguy - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      Rask if for no other reason than he doesn’t beat up on women.

      • matt14gg - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        How do you know?

  3. crusty14 - Apr 25, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Rooting for Rask as well, but I don’t think you could go wrong picking any of these 3. Varly played well behind a young upstart Avs squad, the same could be said about Bishop. Whoever wins, it will be well deserved!

  4. jcornella - Apr 25, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    I’ll take Tukka right now over anyone.

  5. jcmeyer10 - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    It’s Tuukka time now. He went into the Olympics a little shaky and came out a new man. Watching highlights of the Finland-Canada group game was like watching him find his groove again.

    He put up the best numbers for the best team in the league and has at times (see first period last night) had to carry this team.

    • avscup - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      That sounds like Varly except Varly had one number that is better. 41 wins! Varly for VEZINA.

  6. idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Henry got robbed.

  7. comeonnowguys - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    With the amount of stuff thrown at Varlamov nightly, it’s gotta be his year. I know this won’t sit well with the Boston fans who think Tukka and his backup should be two of the three finalists.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      It’s gonna be close. Varlamov did face over 400 more shots than Rask and had more wins with just having a .003 less SV percentage. You could also argue that the West was more difficult to play in this year and that he also didn’t have the defense in front of him that Rask had.

      However the last time a similar situation came into play, Jonathan Quick was robbed of the Vezina. So you shouldn’t expect those to facts to be factored into the decision.

  8. titansbro - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Rask, and it’s not really close. Are you watching this Boston-Detroit series? I know it’s for regular season but he’s the balls.

    • tru2joelu4eva - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      it’s not even close? maybe you should stick to watching the titans, bro

  9. patthehockeyfan - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    The sad thing is is that all three of these guys have had outstanding years, and that the trophy can go to only one of them. I say, cut it in thirds and give them each a piece. They all deserve it.

    • spezzdispenser - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      just like in Mean Girls!!

      • patthehockeyfan - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        You lost me on that reference. Haven’t seen Mean Girls.

  10. toiletclown - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Gotta be Varlamov, if not him then Bishop is a nice pick

    • drewzducks - Apr 25, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      Fleury was robbed !

      • shutton83 - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:31 PM

        Fleury is not on the other nominees level at all, Fleury is an effective goaltender (in the regular season) but he did not have a Vezina year.

      • c9castine - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:50 AM

        you said it. nobody else.

  11. supercoop8 - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Being a boston fan and seeing tuuka play night in and out i can honestly say he is one of the best in the world, and can steal wins when needed, but for what was asked of varlamov with his supporting cast and system to me was a greater accomplishment. I would give varlamov the award but with the hype machine factored in i would put my cash on rask to receive it,

    • avscup - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      Very accurate comment!

  12. idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Has a goalie ever won the Vezina with fewer than 2 shutouts?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Interesting question. Answer: Yes, at least once. Bill Durnan won it in 1945 and had one shutout. Possibly others, but I’m suspending my search.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        Nice research. I kinda figured the likelihood of it happening was good since the Vezina has been around since the mid 1920’s and there were less teams and games back then.

        Interesting to know there is at least one other Vezina winning goalie with 2 or fewer shutouts should Varlamov win it.

      • shutton83 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        Back then the Vezina was not the same trophy, before ’81 it served the function as the Jennings trophy (fewest goals scored upon) idk if that changes anyone’s thinking, just thought I’d clarify. Now the Vezina goes to the goaltender “adjusted to be the best at the position” with the Jennings serving as the old Vezinas replacement.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        Shutton, interestingly, pre-1965, the Vezina was to go to “the goalie playing the most games for the team allowing the fewest goals”. In 1964-65, Terry Sawchuk played 36 games for the Leafs, and Johnny Bower the other 34. Sawchuk declared he’d not accept the award unless he officially shared it with Bower. Yah, very cool. The NHL modified the rule. As you noted, they later changed the criteria completely and introduced the Jennings. (I suspect some insidious auto-correct changed “adjudged” in your note to “adjusted”.)

  13. joey4id - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! No doubt these three are all very good at what they do, and were invaluable to their respective teams. Just like I believe Therrien did an amazing job with the players at his disposal (should be a nominee for Jack Adams Award), Price could have been a nominee for the Vezina because if not for his goalie prowess I believe the Habs would have lost more games.

    • shutton83 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      Price had a great year, but out of these 3 guys which one would you bump for Price? Price isn’t a finalist because his play was sub par, he isn’t a finalist because of the play of Rask, Bishop, and Varlamov, all of whom deserve the nomination.

      • joey4id - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        yeah! I don’t disagree now that I think about it. Price maintained a .941 SV% from Jan to Apr. Best in the league, but not has good from Oct to Dec. So I suppose it’s fair.

    • matt14gg - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      You are embarrassing yourself (again) when you claim Michel Therrien should be a candidate for the Jack Adams. He is an awful coach and before these playoffs are over he will do something (again) to embarrass himself and his team. No one panics, blames outside forces, and whines (especially since Mike Gillis has been canned as Vancouver GM) quite like Therrien…and by the way, I bet if you polled Habs fans about 80% would support his being fired tomorrow.

      • joey4id - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        You are entitled to your opinion as I am mine. Besides, the candidates are determined by PHWA, and not a poll of the fans. It’s comments like yours that I easily remember and like to re-post. Maybe you can re-post it after they announce the nominees. We can have a good chuckle regardless of who’s on he list.

        I’m so embarrassed now… Not really! Cheers!

      • joey4id - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        BTW, I think Roy and Julien will be on the list, and the final spot will be a toss up between Cooper and Therrien.

  14. pastabelly - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Tuukka was the most consistent start to finish and rested against weaker teams at home. His record earned against the metal.

  15. pfhockey - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    No love for Bishop? He carried the Lightning for most of the year. And the Canadiens exposed the caliber of Tampa’s D without Bish in net.

  16. patpatriot7 - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    It’s T – U – U – K – K A, T – U – U – K – K – A, T – U – U – K – K – A Time!!!!!

  17. alicesrightfootesq - Apr 25, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Such an insane amount of Massholes on this website. I wonder how many of you were watching pre-2011.

  18. titansbro - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    I think the Fleury comment was posted with just a touch of sarcasm.

  19. slaugin - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    TUUKKA and Varly having are neck and neck but my deciding factor is 7-2 Shut Outs advantage Rask . 7 shutouts is kind of a big deal

    • slaugin - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      *erase “having”

  20. cutelittleguy02 - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    More motivation for the Habs to beat Bruins in playoffs. Yes. Can t wait.

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