Miikka Kiprusoff: The Race for the Vezina Heats Up, Part Two

Account KillerContributor IFebruary 23, 2009

Welcome to Part Two of this three-part Vezina Trophy report. Today's focus will be Miikka Kiprusoff and Tim Thomas.

Kiprusoff has led the Calgary Flames to continued success in his six-year career, four with the Flames. He leads the NHL with 35 wins and an impressive list of big saves.

Kiprusoff has a save percentage of .907 and a GAA of 2.71. As with all great players his numbers do not tell the whole story. Kiprusoff is known for making huge saves when it counts the most. It seems as though every shot he faces is a good scoring opportunity.

He is solid between the pipes playing a standard butterfly style to perfection. His best saves come with the blocker and stick attached to his right arm.

In his last game Kiprusoff made another huge save. He dove across the net and knocked the puck away with the paddle of his stick to keep the game close. These kinds of big saves have become a staple for Kiprusoff this season as he remains a key figure in Calgary's success.

The only knock against him is his reputation against shooters in the shootout. He does not seem very enthusiastic to make saves in these situations and has often been criticized for it. A perfect example of this is his performance in Calgary's last shootout.

The winning goal came on a shot that Kiprusoff did not even move for. If that is not a lack of enthusiasm then I do not know what is.

In the end, Kiprusoff is the most complete candidate for the Vezina, but he does not have the same flare that Miller and Nabokov have.

Tomorrow I will wrap up the race by making short arguments for Tim Thomas and all the other goalies considered in the running.