It’s the halfway point in the season and we’re creating a hypothetical mid-season Vezina Trophy here at DailyFaceoff.com. We’ve created the shortlist of nominees who could all be judged as the greatest goaltender. Normally, the general managers choose who wins but we’d like you to choose! The poll can be found at the end. We’re going to run through mid-season versions of all of the prominent NHL trophies and awards so stay tuned!
Martin Brodeur (27-11-1, 2.16 GAA, .921 SV%, 5 Shutouts)
At the tender age of 37, Brodeur has bounced back from a serious injury to put together one of the finest seasons of his career. He has been lights out for the first place Devils, and also broke two incredible records; most career games played for a goalie and most career shutouts. His strong play will likely earn him the starting gig for Team Canada at the Olympics, and a fifth Vezina is not out of the question.
Ryan Miller (25-8-3, 2.04, .935 SV%, 5 Shutouts)
Another guy who is bouncing back from injury, and silencing the critics. Prior to this year, the big criticism of MIller was that he was consistently solid but could never steal a game, as evidence by his 12 shutouts in 6 seasons. That all changed this year. Miller has 5 shutouts in 37 starts, and leads the league with a .935 SV%.
Ilya Bryzgalov (23-12-4, 2.21 GAA, .921 SV%, 5 Shutouts)
Bryzgalov’s strong play this year shouldn’t be a huge surprise considering how well he has played in the previous two seasons, but an improved team in front of him has allowed him to put up some strong win totals, and help push Phoenix into the playoff picture in the competitive Western Conference. He is currently 9th in the league with a 2.21 GAA.
Miikka Kiprusoff (23-11-5, 2.16 GAA, .927 SV%, 3 Shutouts)
Kiprusoff is putting up arguably his best numbers as a full-time starter, and the Flames are the beneficiary. Perhaps it is the addition of stud defender Jay Bouwmeester, but there is no denying this netminders skills. He is in the top 6 in both SV% and GAA, and the Flames are leading the Northwest division.
Evgeni Nabokov (24-7-7, 2.36 GAA, .921 SV%, 2 Shutouts)
Nabokov didn’t get off to the best of starts, losing 4 of his first 7 games, but since then has been among the best goalies in the league. His .921 SV% is a career high, and the Sharks have the 3rd best record in the NHL. However, fans in San Jose don’t want another President’s Trophy, they want a cup.