We are well into the second half of the NHL season. and there have been some surprising developments when it comes to the race to claim the Vezina Trophy – which is awarded annually to the best goalie in the NHL.
Jack Campbell of the Toronto Maple Leafs was the front runner for the award for most of the first half of the season. Campbell has not only tumbled from his perch at the top of the board but has fallen behind several other players. With Campbell’s drop, Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers has taken over the top spot in the odds to win the 2022 Vezina. Meanwhile, the 2019 winner of the award, Andrei Vasilevskiy is still a strong contender to claim his second career Vezina. Vasilevskiy plays for the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning
Before we look at the players who are in the running for the 2022 Vezina Trophy, be sure to check out our tips on NHL Awards betting for the 2022 NHL season. Also, look at our list of the best NHL betting sites.
|To Win 2022 Vezina|
Igor Shesterkin surges
In January, Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers was the third most likely goalkeeper to win the 2022 Vezina Trophy. In February, he surged to the top of the Vezina odds. The 26-year-old Shesterkin is in his third season between the pipes in New York,
Shesterkin played eight games for the Rangers in January. His record during that time was 7-1 with two shutouts. During that stretch, his goals-against average was 1.86 and his save percentage was 94.68.
Over the course of the 2021-22 season, Shesterkin has a 2.10 GAA and .937 SP. He ranks third in the NHL in goals against and second in saves percentage. What makes these numbers stand out, even more, is that the Rangers are among the top teams in allowing scoring chances.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stays in the mix
Andrei Vasilevskiy won the Vezina in 2019. He finished third in voting the following year. Last season he was the runner-up to Marc-Andre Fleury in a very close ballot. Fleury gets 14 first-place votes to Vasilevskiy’s 12 first-place markers. The reigning Conn Smythe winner for his performance in last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, Vasilevskiy looks like he will be in the hunt for a second Vezina.
Vasilevskiy has been a workhorse for the Lightning. He’s played in 37 games this year and compiled a record of 25-8-4. He is fourth among goalies in minutes played this season and tied for first in wins. Vasilevskiy ranks seventh this season in GAA at 2.25 and his save percentage is also seventh in the NHL.
What stands out about Vasilevskiy’s play is that he has backstopped the Lightning to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles and has been able to play at such a high level with higher than average minutes played.
Jacob Markstrom makes his case
Jacob Markstrom is in his 11th year in the NHL and he is having a career season for the Calgary Flames. The 32-year-old, who signed a six-year, $36 million deal with the Flames during the 2020 offseason has the team in second place in the Pacific Division, and he is an enormous reason why the team is +44 in goal differential this year.
Before this year, Markstrom had never put up more than three shutouts in a season. With 36 games played for the Flames in 2021-22, he has already posted a league high eight shutouts. The two players who are closest to him in that stat are Jack Campbell and Ilya Sorokin, who each have four shutouts.
If Markstrom stays on his current pace, he will also set career-best numbers in games played, wins, goals-against average and save percentage.
The Flames missed the playoffs last year. The team has only moved past the first round once since they went to the Stanley Cup final in 2004. Markstrom has the Flames faithful hopeful of a deep run in 2021-22.
Jack Campbell falls
Jack Campbell of the Toronto Maple Leafs looked as if he was going to claim the 2021-22 Vezina for most of the first half of the NHL season. However, after posting impressive numbers in November (95.94 save percentage and 1.27 GAA), Campbell’s play dipped in December (90.91 save percentage and 2.97 GAA) and cratered in January. In seven full games in January, Campbell went 5-1-1 but his numbers were not good. He posted goals against an average of 3.57 in those outings to go along with an 87.96 save percentage. The Maple Leafs’ offence did a lot of covering up for Campbell’s poor play in the net. Despite the goalies’ troubles, the team outscored their opponents 31-26 in games Campbell was in the net.
Something to note about Campbell’s fall off is the fact that he has never played more than 31 games in a season before. He has played in 34 games this year and the heavier workload seems to have gotten to him as the season has progressed.
Our Canada Sports Betting Vezina Trophy Pick
As good as Igor Shesterkin has played for the New York Rangers, I think Andrei Vasilevskiy gets the nod at the end of the season.
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