Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been named a finalist for the NHL's Vezina Trophy for the second consecutive year.
On Tuesday, the NHL announced that Lundqvist was one of three finalists for the highest honor the league bestows on goalies. Joining Lundqvist as finalists are New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff, the 2006 Vezina winner, and Vancouver's Roberto Luongo. Brodeur, Lundqvist and Kiprusoff were also finalists in 2005-06.
The Vezina Trophy officially goes to the "goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position" and is voted on by the 30 NHL general managers.
Lundqvist finished the 2006-07 season with 37 wins, tying him with Eddie Giacomin for the second-most victories in one season behind Mike Richter's team record of 42. In 2005-06, Lundqvist set the Rangers rookie record of 30 victories and he now has more wins (67) over his first two seasons than any netminder in Blueshirts history.
In 2006-07 Lundqvist appeared in 70 games and ranked among the league leaders in several categories. He was fourth in minutes played (4,108), tied for sixth in shutouts (five), tied for eighth in wins and goals-against average (2.34) and tied for ninth in save percentage (.917).
In his last 44 games of the regular season, Lundqvist had a remarkable 1.89 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. He was named the NHL's "First Star" of the week twice in a three-week period in March.
Lundqvist's candidacy for the Vezina could make him the first Rangers winner of that award since John Vanbiesbrouck's remarkable 1985-86 season brought him the honor. Prior to the 1981-82 season, the Vezina was given to goaltenders on the team that allowed the fewest goals during the regular season. Under that format, the only Rangers to win the award were Ed Giacomin and Gilles Villemure in 1970-71 and Dave Kerr in 1939-40.
Finalists for seven other NHL trophies were also named on Tuesday. Winners will be announced on June 14 during the 2007 NHL Awards Television Special at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. All awards are based on regular-season performance only.
Following are the finalists for each trophy, in alphabetical order:
CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY (outstanding rookie): Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh; Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh; Paul Stastny, Colorado.
FRANK J. SELKE TROPHY (outstanding defensive forward): Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina; Samuel Pahlsson, Anaheim; Jay Pandolo, New Jersey.
HART MEMORIAL TROPHY (most valuable player to his team): Martin Brodeur, New Jersey; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver.
JACK ADAMS AWARD (outstanding coach): Lindy Ruff, Buffalo; Michel Therrien, Pittsburgh; Alain Vigneault, Vancouver.
JAMES NORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY (outstanding defenseman): Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit; Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim; Chris Pronger, Anaheim.
LADY BYNG MEMORIAL TROPHY (sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct): Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit; Joe Sakic, Colorado; Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay.
LESTER B. PEARSON AWARD (most outstanding player as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA): Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh; Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver.
VEZINA TROPHY (outstanding goaltender): Martin Brodeur, New Jersey; Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary; Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; Roberto Luongon, Vancouver.
Oh, I certainly agree...but I think the Devils have a little bit better of a team than the Canucks...
I agree. I haven't seen much of the Canucks but from what I understand their defense is pretty weak. Marty more than deserves the award but this year I think Luongo deserves it a little more. I think Marty should win the Hart though.