Tuukka Rask won the Vezina trophy last night at the 2014 NHL Awards held in Las Vegas. The Vezina Trophy is awarded each year to the NHL’s best overall goaltender. For most people, it’s hard to argue that Rask wasn’t the best member of the crease police during the 2013-14 season. Rask led all his fellow goaltenders with at least fifty games played in the following categories: goals against average (2.04), save percentage (.930) and shutouts (seven). He ended up with a 36-15-6 record last season, which was good for fifth overall in wins. He never placed below fifth in any of the major categories. Many of the big people in hockey thought Rask was a shoo-in for the award, and the final tally proves them right. Over half of the NHL’s general managers believed Rask was deserving of this award, and all but three GMs had him in their top three.
Vezina: BOS’s Rask a clear No. 1 (10 for 16) with COL’s Varlamov solid 2nd. MTL’s Price and TB’s Bishop in virtual dead heat for 3rd spot.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 9, 2014
Here’s Tuukka Rask accepting the award for being the best goalie in the NHL. There was some serious grumbling among the fan base though. Social media was filled with individuals who believed that this was Varlamov’s year to win his first Vezina. There were also people who thought Montreal’s Carey Price had deserved consideration to be a finalist. In the end, it’s hard to say that the writer’s association got it wrong though. Tuukka Rask was the only one of the finalists to finish in the top five of all the major categories.
Here are the top five goalies in terms of voting. They are ranked by their point totals and the total number of first to fifth place votes.
Here is the post award interview with Rask courtesy of the Boston Bruins. He also talked about seeing his former teammates Andrew Ference and Rich Peverley again. This is the Bruins third Vezina win in the last six seasons. (Tim Thomas brought home those honors in 2009 and 2011.)
While it wasn’t the Stanley Cup he was hoping for, it’s certainly a nice piece of silver to add to one’s wall. It will certainly look nice next to his 2011 Stanley Cup and his Olympic bronze medal. The only thing that probably brought Rask down was having to be interviewed by Montreal Canadiens’ defenseman P.K. Subban right afterwards. If you didn’t see the interview, it was bloody awkward. Subban had just lost to Patrice Bergeron for the cover of NHL 15, and Rask was facing his bane in the Bruins early departure from the playoffs. (Ah, the joys of a Bruins-Canadiens rivalry.) Congratulations to Tuukka Rask on this well deserved honor.
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