Colorado Avalanche starter Philipp Grubauer has been named one of the finalists for the 2021 Vezina Trophy -awarded to the NHL’s top goaltender. Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning were named the other two finalists.
NHL general managers voted for the Vezina Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winners of the 2021 NHL Awards will be revealed sometime during the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final, with the exact dates, format and times to be announced.
Gruabuer is a first time finalist for the Vezina and led the league in shutouts with seven while finishing with a .922 sv%. While it’s fun to see Grubuer recognized for his outstanding season, he will likely end up third in the voting.
The favorite to win the Vezina is likely Andrei Vasilevskiy who won the award back in 2019 and has been a finalist each of the last four years. He led the league in wins while finishing with a career best .925 sv%. With his Tampa Bay Lightning team struggling with injuries in front of him, Vasilevskiy was once again a rock in the crease for the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
Marc-Andre Fleury - who along with Robin Lehner won the Jennings Award for the NHL’s best save percentage - is the third finalist in the group. He finished with a .928 sv% while climbing the NHL’s all time wins list. This season, Fleury passed Ed Belfour and Roberto Luongo to sit alone in third place all time with 492 wins.
Graubeur took a big step this season as the undisputed top guy for the Presidents’ Trophy winning Avalanche. With Pavel Francouz missing the entire season and no legitimate NHL backup as an alternative, the Avalanche were forced rely heavily on their starter this season and Grubauer was definitely up for the challenge. He was a big reason why the Avalanche finished on top of the NHL in the regular season and has been even better through the first five games in this year’s playoffs.
The Avalanche are looking for 11 more wins in the postseason and Gruabuer will be a big part of getting them there.