Vezina finalists named
|Vancouver Canucks' Roberto Lunongo, Nashville Predators' Pekka Rinne and Boston Bruins' Tim Thomas have been nominated for the NHL's Vezina Trophy which is awarded to the NHL's top goaltender. (REUTERS/QMI Agency)
NEW YORK -- Vancouver's Roberto Luongo, Nashville's Pekka Rinne and Boston's Tim Thomas have been named finalists for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender.
Luongo is a Vezina finalist for the third time, having finished third in the voting in 2004 and second in 2007. He backstopped the Canucks to their best season, as the club won the Presidents' Trophy for the first time in franchise history and posted the lowest team goals-against average at 2.20.
In 60 games this season, Luongo notched a record of 38-15-7 with a career-best 2.11 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. He tied for the league lead in victories, ranked second in GAA and was fourth in save percentage.
Rinne is a first-time Vezina finalist after setting career bests in all three major categories. He posted a record of 33-22-9 with a 2.12 GAA and a .930 save percentage to help the Predators to their sixth playoff appearance in the last seven seasons.
The Nashville netminder ranked second in the league in save percentage and was third in GAA. He started 42 of the club's final 46 games and allowed two goals or fewer 28 times in that span.
Thomas finished the campaign with a record of 35-11-9 to help the Bruins to the Northeast Division title. He led the league with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage, the latter being the best mark since the statistic was introduced in 1976-77.
The 2009 Vezina winner was second in the league with nine shutouts. He won his first eight decisions of the season to set a Bruins record and also won his first nine road games to become the first NHL netminder since Chicago's Glenn Hall in 1965-66 to accomplish the feat.
General managers of the 30 NHL teams submitted ballots at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists.
The winner will be announced during the 2011 NHL Awards program on June 22 in Las Vegas