The NHL season is just about halfway over, so we’re using the moment to pick our faves for end-of-season trophy winners. The NHL Awards are messy and infrequently go to the players who actually deserve to win, so our picks reflect who should win the award, not necessarily the traditional front-runner. Feel free to agree or disagree with the picks, but these are the correct answers.
This time: The Vezina Trophy, a.k.a. Best Goalie.
Gibson is in the midst of one of the most impressive goaltending seasons of the modern era. The Ducks have given up 865 shots at 5-on-5 with Gibson in net this season, and he still has a 92 save percentage in 36 games. Gibson has saved 17 goals above average, beating the next highest goaltender by six. The Ducks wouldn’t be competing for a Western Conference playoff spot without the stellar play of their goaltender. Gibson is single-handedly dragging the fourth worst possession team (the Ducks have a 47.3 shot-attempt percentage) into relevance.
While the Leafs are teeming with offensive talent, Frederik Andersen is a large part of their success this season. Andersen has faced 777 shot attempts at 5-on-5, and he has the fifth best save percentage in the league with 92.3. The Danish goaltender also saves 8.9 goals above average, which is the fourth best mark in the NHL. The Leafs are an offensive juggernaut with average, maybe even below-average, defenseman, and Andersen has bailed the team out many times this season.
Who’s your pick for the Vezina?
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