Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy wins 2021 Conn Smythe Trophy

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was voted the winner of the 2020-21 Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded “to the most valuable player for his team in the playoffs.”

A select panel of members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association votes on the award. Vasilevskiy was announced as the winner following the Lightning’s 1-0 Stanley Cup-clinching victory in Game 5 Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens. It’s the 17th time in league history that a goaltender has won it and the first since Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2012.

“It was a big surprise,” Vasilevskiy said afterward, adding he didn’t initially hear NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman make the announcement. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Vasilevskiy played every minute of Tampa Bay’s 23 playoff games. He recorded a .941 5-on-5 save percentage and became the sixth goaltender in NHL history to record five shutouts during a single postseason. The others? Martin Brodeur (7), Dominik Hasek (6), Nikolai Khabibhulin (5), Miikka Kiprusoff (5), and Jean-Sebastien Giguere (5).

When the Lightning needed a big performance in close out games, Vasilevskiy delivered. He’s also 14-0 in postseason games following a loss and dating back to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final against the Dallas Stars, he’s posted shutouts in five-straight series-clinching games.

“The whole team deserves it for sure,” Vasilevskiy said. “We were able to shut down the teams four times in a row in clinching games and that’s just amazing. it’s not about me. It’s about our team.”

2021 Conn Smythe Trophy voting

Andrei Vasilevskiy – 82 points (15 first place)
Nikita Kucherov – 60 points (3 first place)
Brayden Point – 16 points
Ryan McDonagh – 3 points
Carey Price – 1 point

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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