Saturday, February 02, 2008

My Vezina Pick

Earlier this season, I had been picking Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins as the NHL's best goalie. His saves percentage was leading the league by a significant margin. As time passed, Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks closed the gap and since Luongo had more games played, I began to pick Luongo as the best goalie in the NHL.

Since Luongo was many people's pre-season Vezina prediction it felt like this is the normal situation in the NHL. A more unheralded goalie had led early on, but a more known candidate was now in the lead. This often happens and is sometimes used as a marker for the point when enough games have been played in the season to have meaningful results. If the leaders are the players one would expect, we have reached a meaningful enough number of games in the season.

However, Tim Thomas has now re-affirmed his saves percentage lead with a .931 saves percentage. Luongo has begun to drop off a bit. He currently has a .924 saves percentage. Thus, I am re-selecting Tim Thomas as the NHL's best goalie so far this season. Where would Boston be if Thomas had not been in their goal? They certainly would not look like a team that is likely to make playoffs (Boston currently sits seventh in the East Conference).

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