Who doesn't love a good underdog story?
Sergei Bobrovsky broke into the NHL as an undrafted goaltender and was unceremoniously shipped out of Philadelphia when they brought in a bright and shiny new toy. He was an afterthought pickup during the offseason as best, and didn't show up on many radars as a possible impact guy on a new team.
However, his impact on the Columbus Blue Jackets has been massive.
Goaltending—and none of the other perceived issues—has been the bane of the Blue Jackets for the better part of three seasons. Bobrovsky stepped in and solidified the most important position in the game and gave the Blue Jackets confidence that they could go out and play their game every night without worrying about soft goals.
With Steve Mason in net, they started every hockey game down 3-0 before the puck even dropped. It's impossible to win that way.
While he didn't have quite the body of work that Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Niemi, that shouldn't prevent him from winning the award here. He played in enough games where voters know that he is for real, and had to fight to become a starter with his club.
Bobrovsky won eight of his last nine games with the Jackets vying for a playoff position and needing every single point to get there. They lost out in the closing minutes of the regular season, but that had nothing to do with Bob's play.
While Lundqvist and Niemi have both been outstanding, Sergei Bobrovsky has been the best netminder in the NHL in 2013 and deserves the Vezina Trophy.