BOSTON (CBS) — Tuukka Rask was named the 2014 winner of the Vezina Trophy on Tuesday night, earning the honors as the NHL’s best goaltender for the past season.
Rask beat out Lightning netminder Ben Bishop and Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov for the award, the first of his career.
The award is voted on by NHL general managers, and it rewards “the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at this position.”
Rask completed his first full 82-game season as a starter this year, compiling a 36-15-6 record, .930 save percentage and 2.04 goals-against average. Rask ranked first in the NHL in save percentage and second in GAA (among goaltenders with at least 40 games played).
Bishop posted a .924 save percentage and 2.23 GAA, while Varlamov posted a .927 save percentage and 2.41 GAA.
Rask playing on the first season of his eight-year, $56 million contract, which he signed last offseason.
In April, Bruins head coach Claude Julien was asked about Rask’s being a finalist for the award.
“To me, it’s a no-brainer,” Julien said. “He’s had such a good year. He has been so good for us and he has had an unbelievable season. He did well at the Olympics for his team [Finland] too, but this is based on the NHL. I just think he has had a great year and would be really disappointed had he not been one of the three nominees.”
Though postseason numbers weren’t factored in when the votes were made, Rask did post a .928 save percentage and 1.99 GAA in 12 games.
The last Bruins netminder to win the Vezina award was Tim Thomas, who won it in 2011 and 2009.
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