Brodeur, Lundqvist, Nabokov are Vezina finalists
Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils, Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Evgeni Nabokov of the San Jose Sharks were announed on Monday as th finalists for the 2007-08 Vezina Trophy awarded to the NHL's best goaltender.
The finalists are the top three vote-getters in balloting by the league's 30 general managers at the conclusion of the regular season. The finalists for each of the league's seven major awards will be announced each day through next Tuesday, with winners declared on Thursday, June 12 at the 2008 NHL Awards Television Special in Toronto.
Brodeur is a Vezina finalist for the eighth time as well as a four-time winner (2003, 2004 and 2007). He posted a 44-27-6 record with a 2.17 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and four shutouts during the regular season, ranking among the NHL leaders in minutes played (first, 4,635), wins (second) and GAA (fifth). He and Hall of Famer Patrick Roy are the only goaltenders in NHL history to reach the 500-win mark, and Brodeur finished the season with 96 career shutouts, seven shy of all-time leader Terry Sawchuk. Brodeur also extended his NHL records by registering a third consecutive and seventh career 40-win season as well as his 10th consecutive campaign with 70-or-more games played.
Lundqvist is a Vezina finalist for the third season in a row after third-place finishes in the voting in 2006 and 2007. He was 37-24-10 with a 2.23 GAA and .912 save percentage in 72 games, leading all goaltenders with 10 shutouts. He tied his career high in wins, set last season, and is only the second netminder to ever have three consecutive 30-win seasons at the start of his career. Philadelphia's Ron Hextall (1986-87 to 1988-89) is the other. Lundqvist's 10 shutouts were the most by a Ranger since John Ross Roach posted 13 in 1928-29.
Nabokov, a first time finalist, led the NHL in wins (46), two shy of Brodeur's single-seaon mark set last season, and had 25 one-goal victories, second only to Brodeur's 26. Nabokov ranked second in minutes played (4,561), third in GAA (2.14) and tied for third in shutouts (six). He had a 43-game consecutive-start streak to begin the season, one shy of the longest such streak since 1989-90. He started 51 consecutive dating back to March 24, 2007 before being given a night off on Jan. 13.