Hockey historians, experts and pundits all agree that the most important part of a hockey team is its goaltender. A team follows its goaltender onto the ice and they are often thought of as the team’s second leader after the team captain.
The goaltender is a team's last line of defense and is usually the reason why a team does or does not make the playoffs.
Elite goaltenders perform night in and night out without complaint. Goaltenders often take losses the hardest out of all the players on a team. However, in the case of these individuals, losing is a feeling that these men are not really familiar with.
The season is at the halfway point, so it is a great time to take a look at the early favorites to win the Vezina Trophy.