2008 NHL Vezina Award
Brodeur, Nabokov, Lundqvist are Vezina Award Nominees
The Vezina Trophy goes the goaltender of a team that exhibits the most importance to his team’s regular season success. New Jersey Devils’ Martin Brodeur, San Jose Sharks’ Evgeni Nabokov and New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist are the well-earned nominees for this exceptional award. Their near flawless play helped their teams make the playoffs respectively, thanks to the dedication and sacrifice they bring to protection of the net.
The 36 year old Brodeur has won 3 Vezina’s in the last 4 seasons. This year he finished the season with 44 wins and only rested for 5 games in the 82 game season. At one point, he played in an astonishing 41 straight games, which is half the season. Brodeur possesses the power of the energizer bunny, which may last for a many more years. He is the elder of the 3 nominees but he still gets results. Brodeur’s 2.17 goals against average (GAA) and .920 save percentage are not tops in the league, and he does play behind a severely defensive minded team who usually does not allow him to face that many shots.
I like Brodeur a lot and New Jersey only scored 7 more goals than they allowed all year, proving his importance. He should win his 4th Vezina in 5 seasons.
Nabokov led all goaltenders with 46 wins and started the season playing 43 games in a row (even more than Brodeur), winning 25 of them. His 2.14 GAA was slightly better than Brodeur’s and he was definitely looked upon much more to make saves. Nabokov played extremely well in his first season as the #1 goalie, just not good enough for the award. He led the Sharks to the second-best record in all of hockey including the Pacific Division title, overcoming the Anaheim Ducks. Though he is the core of the San Jose team, his play is definitely not as essential to his team as Brodeur is to New Jersey.
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Lundqvist is a Vezina Trophy finalist for the third straight season and finally drove the Rangers into the playoffs. He did finish the season with an NHL best 10 shutouts, but his 2.23 GAA is nowhere near the league's best. Lundqvist brings much more consistency than his counterparts, but he plays fewer games.
He will definitely be nominated for this award many more times in his career. It’s just too bad that for him that Brodeur is still in the NHL.
The three nominees had combined for 20 shutouts and 127 wins while only allowing 491 goals in 2007-2008. All three of these goalies are incredibly valuable to their teams, though I think Brodeur is more special than the other two.
Hart Trophy | Adams Trophy | Byng Trophy | Calder Trophy | Norris Trophy | Selke Trophy | Vezina Trophy
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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