Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Brian Elliot Should (but won't) Win The 2012 Vezina Trophy

When the 2012 NHL season comes to a close, Henrik Lundqvist and Jonathon Quick will be the top two choices for the Vezina Trophy for the leagues best goaltender. The tender who should but won't win is Brian Elliot of the St.Louis Blues. The reason he won't win is because he'll likely finish the season with 40 or fewer games played. Of the last 10 Vezina winners, the fewest GPs have been by Tim Thomas with 54 and 57 the two times he won, with no other winner playing less than 60. Elliot, who Colorado let go by not even making him a qualifying offer last summer (then traded 1st and 2nd round draft picks to Washington for Varlamov), is currently leading the NHL with 9 shutouts, a 1.48 GAA, and a .941 SVPCT in 36 games played. He would have played more, but teammate Jaroslav Halak has also been sensational and has split the starts. The dynamic duo has all but locked up the Jennings for lowest team goals against, but it remains to be seen if either is even nominated for the NHL's best goalie.

Lundqvist and Quick have all but locked up Vezina nominations, but the 3rd spot is up in the air. Could be Elliot, Rinne, Smith, Lehtonen, Howard, or Fleury. If I had a vote, it would be for Brian Elliot to win the trophy, but I don't and he won't.

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