Boston Bruins: Tuukka Rask has earned the Vezina Trophy this year

Boston Bruins, Tuukka Rask #40 (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Tuukka Rask #40 (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

Boston Bruins’ goalie, Tuukka Rask deserves to convert his Vezina Trophy nomination this year into a win for several reasons.

First and foremost, neither of the other nominees faced true competition. Tuukka Rask had to battle with Jaroslav Halak this season to maintain his spot as the Boston Bruins’ netminder.

Secondly he endured, yet again, further issues with a concussion in January. To be able to fight back from such a knock shows great courage and perseverance. Ignoring the fact the award is centered around being the best goaltender, this deserves some degree of recognition.

Thirdly and perhaps most tellingly, he topped the NHL in the key traditional statistics that are used to judge goaltending. His goals against average of 2.12 was a league-best, while his save percentage of 92.9% and his 5 shut-outs ranked second-best.

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The goaltending duo of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak have already taken home some hardware; their ability to keep the puck out of the back of the Boston Bruins’ net earning a shared William M. Jennings Trophy.

Standing in his way is Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lighting and Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets. Both goalies had strong seasons; indeed, the Tampa Bay goalie had the most wins among all goaltenders with 35 with Hellebuyck second on 31.

However, when you equate these with the number of games played versus how many they won, Vasilevskiy is the only one bettering Rask, with a winning percentage of 67.3% versus Rask’s 63.4%. It’s worth noting that if Tuukka Rask had played as many games as him, he’d have likely finished just 2 wins back, based purely on statistics.

Add to this equation that Rask played every game in the Boston Bruins’ run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final last season and his accomplishments seem all the more impressive.

Not only did he get the least down-time over the summer, but he’s been able to maintain the form that saw his team come within a whisker of the Stanley Cup.

It’s hard to place a lot of credence on past results, on injuries or otherwise when it comes to looking at a winner of what is an award for an individual player, however Rask has certainly made a strong case this season that he is deserving.

Yes, there’s other goaltenders out there that statistically better him or stand-out in other ways, but when all is said and done, surely the best goaltender should go to the one that saves the most shots and concedes the least goals.

Next. Why Bergeron should net a fifth Selke Trophy. dark

When it comes to that the Boston Bruins goalie wins the day, hence why he has earned his nomination and deserves to be crowned the Vezina Trophy winner this season.