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.’’