The NHL released the Georges Vezina Trophy finalists Friday evening. The ones we all expected in Carey Price and Pekka Rinne were named, but, surprisingly, the Minnesota Wild's Devan Dubnyk was named as well.
This is the first time Price has been named as a finalist and it is deserving as Price led the NHL with 44 wins, passing the Canadiens' franchise record held by Ken Dryden and Jacques Plante. Price is the triple crown winner of the regular season, finshing as the top goaltender in save percentage (.933), wins (44), and goals against average (1.96). He's been a Vezina favorite since the beginning of the season and has helped lead the Canadiens to the Atlantic Division crown. Price set a career high with nine shutouts.
Often named as the catalyst for the quick turnaround in Nashville after missing most of the 203-14 campaign, Rinne was tied for second in the league with 41 wins. His GAA of 2.18 is good for third behind fellow Vezina finalists Price and Dubnyk. Rinne had four shutouts this season as the Predators took the runner-up spot in the tough gauntlet that is the Central Division. All season long, Rinne and Price were the easy Vezina favorites.
Minnesota acquired Dubnyk on January 15th as they sat eight points out of a playoff spot. Dubnyk started 38 straight and propelled the Wild into the first Western Conference wildcard spot with a 27-9-2 record. He has 36 wins on the season and broke a Wild franchise record with his 38 consecutive starts. Dubnyk owns a 2.07 GAA and a .929 save percentage, but had a 1.79 GAA during his time with the Wild and a .936 save percentage as well. He almost single-handedly save the Wild's season as he stabilized the goaltending position behind a Wild team that was sunk in the standings due to terrible goaltending in the middle of the season. He entered the Vezina conversation, but it seemed like a long shot even with his GAA and save percentage ranking number two just behind Price. Many say that he has only done what he has done for half a season, while the other two have done it for the entire season. Even with the good numbers, it seemed like the Hart trophy, which is handed out the the league's Most Valuable Player, was more likely than the Vezina.
Doobs is in the last year of his contract and will be a free agent come July 1st.