Midseason Vezina Trophy picks
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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our midseason picks for the Vezina.
The Winnipeg Jets are not a good defensive team. At all. They rank 30th in expected goals against and 26th in chances against. Despite this, the Jets are holding down a playoff spot.
Of the 29 netminders with 1,000+ minutes played at 5v5, Hellebuyck ranks 2nd in save percentage (.933) and leads the charge in goals saved above average (13.24).
Even accounting for all game states, Hellebuyck has still stopped pucks at a higher clip than Andrei Vasilevskiy, Jordan Binnington, Marc-Andre Fleury, Carey Price, and some other notable goaltenders playing in much more stable conditions.
He gets my vote.
Darcy Kuemper is my midseason pick for the Vezina. He's hurt right now, but his pre-injury work was too impressive for me to ignore in making this selection. He boasts a 2.17GAA and .929SV%, and is absolutely one of the main reasons that Arizona is challenging for the Pacific Division's top spot right now.
Per Natural Stat Trick, among goaltenders with 1000+ minutes of five-on-five ice time this year, Kuemper ranks 3rd in goals saved above average, 4th in save percentage, and 4th in goals against average. He's been elite for an Arizona team that wasn't necessarily expected to do much this season.
Honourable Mentions: Tuukka Rask, Semyon Varlamov
numbers via naturalstattrick.com
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