The three finalists for the NHL’s Vezina Trophy are Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals, Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings.
The general managers of all 30 clubs vote on who should receive the award at the end of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters being the finalists. The winner will be announced during the NHL Award Show, which takes place on Wednesday, June 22 in Las Vegas.
Braden Holtby played in 66 games for the Capitals this season and finished with a 48-9-7 record. The 48 wins tied the single-season NHL record set by Martin Brodeur in the 2006-07 season. Holtby became the seventh goalie in NHL history to record consecutive 40-win seasons. His 2.20 goals against average was good for fifth in the league, while his .922 save percentage was eighth among goalies, and he faced the sixth most shots (1802). This is the first time that the goaltender has been a finalist for the Vezina Trophy.
He was a big part of the reason why the Capitals were as good as they were this season. He made crucial saves while making the hard ones look easy. Holtby never panicked while in the crease, no matter the situation. He only allowed three or more goals 23 times this season.
Ben Bishop played in 61 games for the Lightning this season and finished with a 35-21-4 record, after Tampa Bay got off to a slow start. His 2.06 goals against average led all goalies and the .926 save percentage was second in the league. Bishop added six shutouts this season, which was second in the NHL. He is now the winningest goalie in Tampa Bay history with 115 career wins after surpassing Nikolai Khabibulin, who had 83. Bishop finished in third place after being a Vezina finalist for his 2013-14 season.
Bishop was a reason why the Lightning managed to turn their season around after a bleak start. His 35 wins ranked him fourth among all goaltenders. The goalie played well when he needed to and his six shutouts were a career-high. He only allowed three or more goals 19 times this season, and deserved to be one of the finalists.
Jonathan Quick played in 68 games for the Kings this season and finished with a 40-23-5 record. The 68 games were the most played by any goalie this year. His 40 wins ranked second, his 2.22 goals against average ranked sixth, and he finished the season with a .918 save percentage. He allowed three or more goals 29 times this season, which is the most among the finalists. This is the second time that Quick has been a finalist for the Award. He finished in second place in 2011-12.
Some people feel as though Chicago’s Corey Crawford should have been a finalist for the Award over Quick. Crawford was 35-18-5 with a 2.37 goals against average and .924 save percentage in 58 games played this season. Crawford was also injured in the final weeks of the season and didn’t play so that could have cost him.
Holtby is the favorite to win the Award since he led the Capitals to the Presidents Trophy and had great season overall.