Blue Jackets Bobrovsky Wins His Second Vezina Trophy
In the midst of all of the excitement over the NHL’s newest expansion team in Las Vegas, they also managed to announce the winners of some league awards, including the Vezina Award for best goaltender.
The finalists, announced in April, were Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals, and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens. As noted in our Vezina breakdown two months ago, the race really came down to Bobrovsky and Holtby. Bobrovsky’s .931 in all situations leads all starting goaltenders in the league this season.
This is Bobrovsky’s second Vezina award. He also won in the lockout shortened season in 2013.
Since that time, however, Bobrovsky began to miss games with groin injuries. In 2015-16, he played only 31 games due to injury, so he made changes in his offseason training regimen.
Bobrovsky had added muscle in the 2015 offseason to try to add power to his lateral movements, but in the end the extra weight not only slowed him down but threw his body mechanics off enough to cause persistent groin injuries. For the 2016 offseason, he dropped some 17 pounds of muscle and revamped his preparation routines, which helped him regain quickness without losing the power he’d gained.
The changes paid off with the Russian posting his best numbers since his last Vezina win. In addition to the .931 save percentage, Bobrovsky’s 2.07 GAA led all goalies with at least 40 games and his 7 shutouts was tied for third in the league. His 41 wins were
The NHL also presented the Jennings Trophy for the team with the fewest goals against to Braden Holtby and Philip Grubauer of the Washington Capitals. Between them Holtby and Grubauer allowed 182 goals (the NHL includes shootouts in the total), and posted 12 shutouts. They led the NHL in Goals Against Average at 2.14.
Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators was awarded the Masterton Trophy, which is given to the player who best exemplifies perseverance and dedication to hockey. The winner is picked by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Anderson missed time throughout this season to be with his wife Nicholle who was undergoing treatment for a rare form of throat cancer. Anderson played in 40 regular season and 19 postseason games, with a .925 save percentage overall, backstopping the Senators to the Eastern Conference Final.
In other awards news, today also marked the announcement that InGoal readers and staff awarded Scott Darling the inaugural Bunny Larocque Trophy, honoring the season’s best backup goaltender.