Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets won the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie in the NHL on Monday.
Hellebuyck was second in the NHL in wins (31), first in shutouts (six) and seventh in save percentage (.922) among goaltenders to play at least 20 games. He was 31-21-5 with a 2.57 goals-against average and allowed two or fewer goals in 32 of his 58 games to help the Jets (37-28-6, .563 percentage points) to advance to the Stanley Cup qualifiers, when they lost a best-of-five streak to the Calgary Flames in four games.
Hellebuyck led the NHL goaltenders in shots received (1796) and saves (1656), and he was tied for first in games Prix Carey of the Montreal Canadiens. Hellebuyck, who was the Vezina’s finalist in 2017-18, is the first goaltender in Jets / Atlanta Thrashers history to win the award.
“In a season like the one we’ve had, it’s more if you get the flow, play the guy that’s hot,” Hellebuyck said. “We have an excellent other keeper in [Laurent] Brossoit with us so being able to give and take and when I needed a night off he was right there playing well. I got hot and we got on top of me a bit. ”
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During the regular season, Hellebuyck faced at least 37 shots in 13 games and was 10-1-2 with a GAA of 2.08 and save percentage of .949 in those games. He set a career-high 51 NHL saves in a 3-2 victory at the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 1, when he set the Jets / Thrashers record for saves in a span with 27 in the second.
Hellebuyck finished with 123 points, including 19 first place votes, voting for the award by the NHL general managers before the start of the playoffs.
Tuukka Rask the Boston Bruins and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning were the other finalists. Rask finished second with 99 points (10 first place votes) and Vasilevskiy has 31 points (one first place vote).
Rask finished 26-8-6 and placed first in GAA (2.12) and second in save percentage (.929) among NHL goaltenders with at least 20 games, and he was tied in second with five shutouts Elvis merzlikins the Columbus Blue Jackets and Marc-André Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights. Rask helped the Bruins win the Presidents’ Trophy for having the league’s best record (44-14-12, .714) and shared the William M. Jennings Trophy with save Jaroslav Halak for Boston who allowed the fewest goals in the NHL (167).
Vasilevskiy, who won the award last season, led the NHL in wins for the third consecutive season (35-14-3) and had a GAA of 2.56, save percentage of .917 and three launderings. He had a 21-game one-point streak (19-0-2) from December 17 to February. 15 and has helped Tampa Bay win at least 10 consecutive games twice this season.
The 2020 NHL awards were slated for June 18 in Las Vegas, but were postponed to March 25 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
Vezina Trophy 2020 vote (1st-2nd-3rd)
1. Connor Hellebuyck, WPG 123 (19-9-1)
2. Tuukka Rask, BOS 99 (10-15-4)
3. Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL 31 (1-3-17)
4. Jacob Markstrom, DE 7 (0-1-4)
5. Elvis Merzlikins, CBJ 4 (0-1-1)
6. Robin Lehner, VGK / CHI 3 (0-1-0)
7. Jordan Binnington, STL 1 (0-0-1)
Tristan jarry, PIT 1 (0-0-1)
Darcy Kuemper, ARI 1 (0-0-1)