NHL Playoffs 2012: 4 Reasons NY Rangers Are Still Favorites in the East

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NHL Playoffs 2012: 4 Reasons NY Rangers Are Still Favorites in the East
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

It was announced Wednesday that New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist is one of the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, which Wikipedia defines as: "Awarded annually to the National Hockey League's goaltender who is djudged to be the best at this position. At the end of each season, the thirty NHL general managers vote to determine the winner."

This marks the fourth time in Lundqvist's seven years in the NHL and with the New York Rangers organization that he has been nominated, but has yet to win it.

If he keeps playing like he has been though, this very well may be the year he takes the trophy home.

Time and time again this season both the Rangers coaching staff and teammates have referred to Lundqvist as "the backbone of their team." That is quite an honor and one that he most definitely deserves.

This season, Lundqvist has achieved a number of career bests. He has a career-high of 39 wins, a career-low of 1.97 goals against average and a career-best .930 save percentage.

Most importantly, Lundqvist proves his importance to his team by recognizing that it is a group effort and is quoted by the Blueshirts United from earlier today stating,

"I think all of my teammates here should feel good about it because this is all about teamwork. I had a good year, but without them I couldn't have done this."

Lundqvist's understanding that his success is dependent upon the rest of the his team and vice versa is yet another essential reason as to why the Rangers continue to be the favorite in the Eastern Conference. 

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