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Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy not a Vezina finalist for first time in five seasons

The goaltender is as valuable as ever to Tampa Bay’s success, but isn’t among the three finalists selected for this year’s award.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, center, had been a Vezina finalist four straight seasons.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, center, had been a Vezina finalist four straight seasons. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published May 10

TORONTO — Inside the Lightning locker room, there’s no question that Andrei Vasilevskiy is the best goaltender in the world. While he has the personal hardware to prove it, Vasilevskiy will not add a second Vezina Trophy to his collection this year.

Vasilevskiy was not among the three finalists for the Vezina, which goes to the league’s top goaltender as selected by the league’s general managers. The Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin, Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom and Nashville’s Juuse Saros were the three finalists named Tuesday. The award is based on regular-season performance.

It ended Vasilevskiy’s string of four straight seasons as a Vezina finalist. He won the award in 2018-19, was second to Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury last season, and placed third two other times.

Vasilevskiy, the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner as last year’s most outstanding player in the postseason, led the league in wins for the fifth consecutive season. His 39 victories tied Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky, and they were Vasilevskiy’s most since his Vezina-winning season. Statistically, this wasn’t Vasilevskiy’s best season, as he recorded a .916 save percentage and 2.49 goals-against average.

On Monday, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman was named one of the three finalists for the Norris Trophy, which goes to the league’s top defensemen as selected by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. It is the sixth straight season Hedman has been a Norris finalist.

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