Pekka Rinne

No question: Price wins Vezina Trophy by decisive margin

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For the first time in his career Carey Price is the winner of the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender.

The Habs’ starter beat out Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne.

Price won 44 games during the 2014-15 season beating Jacques Plante’s franchise record. His 1.96 G.A.A. and .933 save percentage led all goalies this season.

Earlier in the evening Price won his first Ted Lindsay Award.

Here are the full voting results:

Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd)

1. Carey Price, MTL 144 (27-3-0)
2. Pekka Rinne, NSH 60 (1-15-10)
3. Devan Dubnyk, MIN 28 (1-4-11)
4. Braden Holtby, WSH 26 (0-7-5)
5. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR 6 (1-0-1)
6. Corey Crawford, CHI 3 (0-1-0)
7. Andrew Hammond, OTT 1 (0-0-1)
Jonathan Quick, LAK 1 (0-0-1)
Cam Talbot, NYR 1 (0-0-1)

Here’s a list of the Vezina winners and second-place finishers since 1990:

Year Winner Runner-up
2015 Carey Price, Mtl. Pekka Rinne, Nsh.
2014 Tuukka Rask, Bos. Semyon Varlamov, Col.
2013 Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ Henrik Lundqvist, NYR
2012 Henrik Lundqvist, NYR Jonathan Quick, L.A.
2011 Tim Thomas, Bos. Pekka Rinne, Nsh.
2010 Ryan Miller, Buf. Ilya Bryzgalov, Phx.
2009 Tim Thomas, Bos. Steve Mason, CBJ
2008 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Evgeni Nabokov, S.J.
2007 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Roberto Luongo, Van.
2006 Miikka Kiprusoff, Cgy. Martin Brodeur, N.J
2004 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Miikka Kiprusoff, Cgy.
2003 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Marty Turco, Dal.
2002 Jose Theodore, Mtl. Patrick Roy, Col.
2001 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Roman Cechmanek, Phi.
2000 Olaf Kolzig, Wsh. Roman Turek, St. L.
1999 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Curtis Joseph, Tor.
1998 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Martin Brodeur, N.J
1997 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Martin Brodeur, N.J
1996 Jim Carey, Wsh. Chris Osgood, Det.
1995 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Ed Belfour, Chi.
1994 Dominik Hasek, Buf. John Vanbiesbrouck, Fla.
1993 Ed Belfour, Chi. Tom Barrasso, Pit.
1992 Patrick Roy, Mtl. Kirk McLean, Van.
1991 Ed Belfour, Chi. Patrick Roy, Mtl.
1990 Patrick Roy, Mtl. Daren Puppa, Buf.

Oddsmaker: Carey Price heavy favorite to win Hart Trophy

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The NHL Awards will be handed out on Wednesday and online bookmaker Bovada is predicting that it will be a very good night for goaltender Carey Price. They put the odds of him winning the Vezina Trophy at a staggering 1/100, which is actually to be expected given that he’s widely regarded as a lock to claim that award.

What is more noteworthy though is the 1/20 odds they’re giving to anyone that wants to pick Price as the Hart Trophy winner. Alex Ovechkin has 5/1 odds while John Tavares is at 10/1. Price was certainly regarded as a serious candidate for that award, but the clear favorite? As good as his season was, the league’s MVP award typically doesn’t go to a netminder, although it wouldn’t be surprising if Price proves to be one of the exceptions.

Keeping with the theme, Carey Price was also given the best odds to win the Ted Lindsay Award (2/7) over Ovechkin (5/2) and Jamie Benn (6/1).

Erik Karlsson is also favored to win his second Norris Trophy over P K Subban and Drew Doughty. Meanwhile Johnny Gaudreau is projected to win the Calder Trophy while Bob Hartley is the favorite for the Jack Adams Award.

You can see the complete list below:

Odds to win the 2015 Hart Memorial Trophy
Carey Price (MON) 1/20
Alexander Ovechkin (WAS) 5/1
John Tavares (NYI) 10/1

Odds to win the 2015 Vezina Trophy
Carey Price (MON) 1/100
Pekka Rinne (NAS) 13/2
Devan Dubnyk (MIN) 11/1

Odds to win the 2015 James Norris Memorial Trophy
Erik Karlsson (OTT) 1/4
P K Subban (MON) 11/4
Drew Doughty (LA) 6/1

Odds to win the 2015 Calder Memorial Trophy
Johnny Gaudreau (CAL) 1/2
Aaron Ekblad (FLA) 7/4
Mark Stone (OTT) 5/1

Odds to win the 2015 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
Anze Kopitar (LA) 5/11
Pavel Datsyuk (DET) 12/5
Jiri Hudler (CAL) 4/1

Odds to win the 2015 Frank J. Selke Trophy
Patrice Bergeron (BOS) 2/9
Jonathan Toews (CHI) 7/2
Anze Kopitar (LA) 5/1

Odds to win the 2015 Jack Adams Award
Bob Hartley (CAL) 2/11
Alain Vigneault (NYR) 4/1
Peter Laviolette (NSH) 5/1

Odds to win the 2015 Ted Lindsay Award
Carey Price (MON) 2/7
Alexander Ovechkin (WAS) 5/2
Jamie Benn (DAL) 6/1

Preds sign Saros, Rinne’s backup at Worlds

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The Nashville Predators announced that they have signed goaltender Juuse Saros to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Saros, 20, was taken with the 99th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He’s coming off of a strong season in the Finnish league where he posted a 2.14 GAA and .929 save percentage in 47 games with HPK Hameenlinna. That’s after he was 2013-14 Finnish Elite League Rookie of the Year with a 1.76 GAA and .928 save percentage in 44 games.

On the international stage, Saros led Finland to a gold medal in the 2014 World Juniors. He also was Pekka Rinne’s understudy in the 2015 World Championship. That role didn’t lend itself to much playing time, but when he was called into service against Slovakia, he earned a shutout by turning aside 22 shots.

Rather than once again become Rinne’s backup, Saros is more likely to be given a chance to adjust to North American hockey while honing his skills in the minors during the 2015-16 campaign. Nashville already has Carter Hutton inked to a one-way contract, although the 29-year-old goaltender’s deal will expire after the 2015-16 campaign, so if Saros has a strong season then perhaps he’ll be viewed as a serious candidate for the backup job at that time.

For Ducks, Gibson’s injury might’ve been blessing in disguise

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Prior to tonight’s Game 2 against Chicago, Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau had some interesting remarks about Frederik Andersen’s emergence in these Stanley Cup playoffs.

“Fortunately for us, or unfortunately, [John Gibson] got hurt in early April and Freddie ran with it a little bit,” Boudreau explained. “He’s gotten better and better and better.

“I think it’s taken the worry out of Freddie’s game and it’s taken the worry from us about him being able to handle playoff pressure.”

Gibson, the club’s 21-year-old goalie of the future, got hurt while battling for Anaheim’s playoff starting gig, and his injury all but took the decision out of Boudreau’s hands — which, hindsight being 20/20, could’ve been the best thing that happened to the Ducks.

Why? Well, the “worry” in Andersen’s game, as alluded to above, was partly due to Boudreau’s (ahem) colorful dealings with his goalies.

Like last spring, for example, when Anaheim became one of the few teams in NHL history to start three different netminders — Gibson, Andersen and Jonas Hiller — in a single postseason. Andersen opened as the playoff starter in Round 1 against Dallas, only to cede the job to Hiller, who eventually closed out the Stars in Game 6.

Hiller then opened Round 2 against the Kings, lasting just two games before Boudreau went back to Andersen — but when the Andersen got hurt, it was Gibson, not Hiller, who took over, as the Ducks eventually fell to L.A. in seven games.

Unsurprisingly, Boudreau’s handling was met with negative reviews. Hiller called the situation “frustrating” after leaving in free agency; in March, Andersen all but assumed he’d be embroiled in yet another “who’s the starter?” saga heading into the playoffs.

“I know we both have to battle for it,” he told the O.C. Register. “I know it’s going to be a long season. You saw it last year. We had three goalies playing due to different circumstances. I know that.”

Boudreau’s penchant for flip-flopping predates his time with the Ducks. In Washington, he yanked Jose Theodore in favor of Semyon Varlamov during the 2009 playoffs; a year later, after vowing “there is no short leash” for Theodore, Boudreau yanked him in favor of Varlamov.

Again.

So it’s easy to see why, this year, Andersen (9-1-0, 1.86 GAA, .930 save percentage) isn’t as mentally taxed. The notion of yanking him in favor of Gibson isn’t constantly looming; in fact, of all the goalies to play at least six playoff games, only Andersen, Carey Price, Henrik Lundqvist and Pekka Rinne have been in net for the entirety.

And it seems all that uninterrupted action is paying off.

“I think [Andersen’s] getting more confidence,” Boudreau explained. “He’s played through two rounds now. He’s seen the pressure that comes with it.

“You don’t win unless your goaltender in any playoff series is really good. You need it.”

Rinne breaks shutout streak record at Worlds

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Pekka Rinne’s time at the 2015 World Hockey Championship didn’t start very well, but sure improved quickly.

During Monday’s tilt against Belarus, the Finnish netminder set a tournament record for longest modern-day shutout streak, going 206:26 to break the previous mark set by Slovakia’s Jan Lasak in 2004.

Rinne set the record early in the first period.

As mentioned above, things didn’t start especially well for Rinne at this year’s tourney. He opened with a 5-1 loss to the U.S. on the first day of competition but got better — and in a hurry — following up that loss with wins over Denmark (3-0), Norway (5-0) and Slovenia (4-0).

In Finland’s last game, a 3-0 win over Slovakia, backup Juuse Saros got the nod.

Rinne’s shutout record at the Worlds is a feather in the cap of a pretty successful campaign. The Preds netminder earned his third career Vezina nomination on the strength of a 41-17-6 record, .923 save percentage, 2.18 GAA and four shutouts. The 41 were were two off his career-high, set in 2011-12 (when he finished behind Henrik Lundqvist and Jonathan Quick in Vezina voting.)