This may be obvious to some (obviously not those that booed at the MSG last night – idiots) but it needs to said all the same. The King, once more deserves Vezina consideration. While it may be obvious to many that Tim Thomas will win the award (should he continue his year) one could argue no goalie is more important to their team than Lundqvist. Leading the league – with Thomas – in shutouts, only 4 goalies that have played more 35 games have a better save percentage while only 3 goalies with more than 35 starts have a better goal against average. Among those goalies are Marc Fleury, Jon Quick and Thomas and all three goalies receive better goal support from their own clubs than Lundqvist does. In short, Henrik has to be brilliant to win and more often than not he is.
Representing the Rangers at the all star game is not enough praise for this goalie. 2 shy of 200 career wins, Lundqvist is on course to extend his own NHL record of consecutive 30 win seasons to begin an NHL career. This season should be his 4th Vezina nomination even if he doesn’t win it. Sometimes people don’t appreciate what they have until it’s gone or until things are not the same. This rings true for those fools at the MSG last night who Bronx booed the Rangers goalie after one of the Panthers goals. The Rangers, without a doubt, have a top 3 goalie – in the world – and he may not yet even be at his peak. The Rangers have themselves something very special but for most of you I am spelling out the obvious. With the young Rangers blue line showing much promise and development to go with their huge talent, the Rangers are truly building from the back out – usually a recipe for prolonged success. If this team can support their goalie over the long haul there’s no reason why the Rangers can’t be a contender for a good while and then finally earn their best player a much deserved Vezina trophy – and not ‘just’ another nomination.