On numbers alone, Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick is a legit candidate to win this year’s Vezina Trophy. He leads the NHL in shutouts (10) is second in goals-against average (1.89) and third in save percentage (.931) — yet when it comes to the actual Vezina conversation, most pundits have New York’s Henrik Lundqvist already writing his acceptance speech.
According to one of Quick’s teammates, that’s just not fair.
“If he’s in a different market, somewhere like Vancouver on anywhere on the East Coast, I think there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that he would get the Vezina,” Drew Doughty told LA Kings Insider. “I think he kind of gets punished for playing here, just because he doesn’t get that recognition.”
The West Coast issue comes up a lot during awards season, especially with the Vezina Trophy (which is voted on by the league’s general managers.) Given that Kings games don’t often start until 10pm ET, there’s an assumption most of the Eastern-based voters are fast asleep by the time Quick does his thing.
(PHT Aside: Interesting to note that of the last 20 Vezina winners, only three — Miikka Kiprusoff, Ed Belfour x2 — came from the Western Conference.)
Doughty, meanwhile, remained adamant that Quick deserves this year’s award.
“I don’t think there’s any way that any goalie has played better than him this year,” he explained. “[Quick] might not have the same amount of wins as some other goalies, but in a lot of those losses he had, he let up one goal and we didn’t get any.
“He definitely gets under-recognized, and if he doesn’t win the Vezina, I think it kind of got stolen from him.’’
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.