The following are my top five picks for the Vezina award, and my favourite to win the award. This is the second article in a five part series outlining my picks for the Hart, Vezina, Calder, Norris, and Jack Adams award. To see my first article regarding the Hart Trophy, just follow the link at the bottom of the page.
What can you say about Steve Mason? Mason has had an unbelievable season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, leading them to their first ever playoff appearance in his rookie season. Mason has a nice .916 save percentage, and he sits at second in the league in goals against with a 2.29 GAA.
What is amazing about Mason though is that he has amassed 10 shutouts this season, which is the best in the league. The next closest goalie to that feat is Roberto Luongo which should speak for itself. Steve Mason could very likely win this award.
Tim Thomas could very likely become the oldest first-time winner of the Vezina award in NHL history. Thomas led the league in save percentage with an impressive .933 percent, and if that's not enough, he also led the league in goals against, only allowing 2.10 goals against.
Thomas pulled the Bruins out of the basement and brought them inches away from the Presidents Trophy. Thomas's performance this season will be very hard to top next season.
It is only his third season in the NHL, and already Backstrom is a star. Backstrom may not have gotten the Wild into the playoffs (which may seriously hurt his chances), but it certainly was not his fault. He was fourth in the league ini save percentage with a .923 percent, and also managed to land third in goals against with a 2.33 GAA.
Backstrom also managed eight shutouts which is third in the league. He was one of the best, and deserves to be placed amongst the best.
Roberto is Roberto, he only managed to lead the Canucks to the Northwest division title, collecting nine shutouts along the way. Luongo is arguably the best goalie in the game today, and he proved it once again this season. Luongo will finally get his second taste of the playoffs this season, and I don't think anyone is as excited as I am to watch that unfold.
Vokoun went rather unnoticed this season, but when you look at what he did, and what his partner Craig Anderson did this season with the Panthers, you'll wonder why on Earth they didn't get much press. Vokoun had a very impressive .923 save percentage this season (2nd best). He got the Panthers very close to a playoff appearance this season, but was never recognised for it.
Steve Mason edges out Tim Thomas, based on the fact that he is a rookie, and led the Jackets to their first ever playoff appearance.