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Johnathan Quick exemplified goaltending in 2012. His Conn Smythe won't be the only trophy he snags.
The Vezina Trophy is voted on by the general managers of the league. The award goes to the goaltender judged to be the best at his position.
As a career forward, I never really liked goaltenders. I always felt like they were robbing me of something, but I digress. This is the first year I can remember that I have been more intrigued by watching goaltenders change games than scorers.
The exception, of course, is any time I watched the Lightning play. Vincent Lecavalier, Marty St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, that's my kind of team. The Bolts may have even been better off going empty net so I wouldn't have to watch the goaltending.
However, any other time I watched the game of hockey, it was all about goaltending. The list is long: Halak, Quick, Lundqvist, Thomas, Brodeur, Luongo/Schneider, Smith, Rinne, should I continue?
Unfortunately only three can be named finalists. Those three:
Johnathan Quick (LA)
Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)
Pekka Rinne (NSH)
By the numbers:
Quick: 35-21-13, 1.95 GAA, .929 S%
Lundqvist: 39-18-5, 1.97 GAA, .930 S%
Rinne: 43-18-8, 2.39 GAA, .923 S%
There are arguments for all of them. Rinne had the best record and most appearances. Lundqvist had the highest save percentage. Quick had the best goals-against average. This one is fun because there really is no wrong decision. They all had tremendous seasons and have brought goaltending back to the forefront of successful teams in the NHL.
That being said, the winner is, Jonathan Quick. Ten shutouts (three in the final month), 10 wins in the final month of the regular season. Without him, the Kings wouldn't have been in the playoffs. We all know what happened when they got there. Quick was a huge part of it.