By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — By any measure, Tuukka Rask was one of the very best goaltenders in the NHL during the 2019-20 season. By some measures, he was the best in the business.
It was no surprise, then, that Rask was formally announced as a finalist for this year’s Vezina Trophy on Friday.
This seems pretty good.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 17, 2020
Rask, 33, won the Vezina once before, for his work during the 2013 lockout-shortened season.
This year, in 41 starts, Rask went 26-8-6 with a .929 save percentage and a 2.12 goals-against average. He also recorded five shutouts.
NHL RANKINGS (AMONG GOALTENDERS WITH AT LEAST 35 GAMES PLAYED)
1. Tuukka Rask, .929
2. Connor Hellebuyck, .922
3. Ben Bishop, .920
4. Robin Lehner, .920
5. Jacob Markstrom, .918
1. Tuukka Rask, 2.12
2. Carter Hart, 2.42
3. Ben Bishop, 2.50
4. Andrei Vasilevskiy, 2.56
5. Joradn Binnington, 2.56
Even-Strength Save Percentage
1. Tuukka Rask, .939
2. Philipp Grubauer, .929
3. Connor Hellebuyck, .927
4. Corey Crawford, .926
5. Andrei Vasilevskiy, .925
The other finalists for this year’s award are Connor Hellebuyck and Andrei Vasilevskiy.
The only knock on Rask would be his limited playing time. With just 41 games played, Rask ranks 15th in the NHL. By contrast, Hellebuyck started 56 games (secondin the NHL) while Vasilevskiy started 52 games (tied for third). Despite that large gap in playing time, Rask did still rank seventh in the NHL with 26 wins. Vasilevsky led the league with 35 wins, while Hellebuyck was second with 31.
The NHL typically hands out the awards in July, but given the unique circumstances this season, it’s not clear when the league will announce the winners of its awards this year.